University of Leeds statement: Trans Equality Policy and Guidance and associated IT issues.

Equality of opportunity, fairness and inclusion remain at the foundation of our University community and are front and centre of our new strategy for the next 10 years.

Our Trans Equality Policy and Guidance are currently under review and we are consulting and listening to a wide range of stakeholders within the University, including the trades unions, the LGBT+ Staff Network and the Leeds University Union. Nothing is finalised and we are happy to explore alternative forms of wording.

We are fully committed to continuing to support our trans community, and the intention of the review of the policy - which updates the version that was implemented four years ago - is to:

  • bring it into line with our new Equality & Inclusion Framework;
  • update the terminology to reflect current awareness in this area;
  • recognise limitations that have come to light in relation to our IT systems infrastructure.

On the third point, we recognise that our IT systems are not fit for purpose in 2021. To this end a case for very significant investment is this week going to our senior leadership board to address this. If approved, one consequence of this investment is that technical problems with our current systems for supporting name changes or renaming login accounts, which are causing concern for our trans community, should be addressed.

However, this is complex and will take a considerable amount of time, and in the meantime our HR and IT departments are working with individuals to find work arounds, with a view to applying any solutions more widely.

We would welcome meeting representatives of the key parties to hear their concerns first hand and to explain the technical issues we are currently encountering.