Prof Kathleen Stock accuses Warwick of being ‘captured’ by Stonewall’s LGBTQUA+ policies

‘Warwick is an example of a Stonewalled environment in a captured institution’

Professor Kathleen Stock has accused the University of Warwick of being “captured” by Stonewall, claiming the uni is attempting to climb the LGBTQUA+ organisation’s equality rankings.

Stock, who resigned from the University of Sussex in October after facing abuse and accusations of transphobia, criticised Warwick for being an example of a “Stonewalled environment in a captured institution.”

She tweeted: “If you want a quick snapshot of what Stonewall can do in Human Resources once the carrot of workplace equality index membership is dangled in front of an institution, Warwick University handily lays it out here.”

The uni has been working its way up the Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index and was ranked 123rd out of 500 in 2020, having risen 220 ranks in the past three years.

This progress has been made through several initiatives towards aimed at creating an LGBTQ+ friendly workplace, laid out on the uni’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion page. These include re-labelling all gendered single occupancy toilets as “toilets”, relaunching the Rainbow Allies Programme, producing a Trans Web Portal and hosting several LGBTQ+ events on campus.

Warwick’s LGBTQUA+ initiatives

The uni also emphasises the use of the gender-neutral pronoun “they” by default.

Stonewall’s index is considered to be the definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace.

However, many organisations, including BBC and The Department of Health, have pulled out of Stonewall’s index over controversy over impartiality.

Stonewall itself has been criticised for influencing public policy to align with their agendas, and organisations that have brought their policies in line with Stonewall’s are ranked higher.

Ruth Pearce, a social researcher and activist specialising in transgender studies, was offended at the backlash Warwick received over the Stonewall allegation and shared on Twitter her involvement in writing Warwick SU’s all-gendered toilet policy in 2007.

She claimed it took ten years for staff and students to implement the change, and that Stonewall had nothing to do with it.

Warwick said it is a Stonewall Diversity Champion and has been committed to the UK Workplace Equality Index for numerous years. Rising 220 places in the Index “demonstrates our commitment to the LGBTQUA+ community and that we are an inclusive place to work, study and visit.”

Warwick University’s Provost, Chris Ennews, said: “We will continue to work to ensure that we provide an inclusive, welcoming and dynamic environment for all staff, with a clear aspiration to join the top 100 in the future.” 

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