Our LGBTQIA+ community
Melbourne School of Engineering is a diverse organisation, welcoming people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, allies, and more (LGBTQIA+).
These individuals may be exposed to unsolicited discrimination at work, university and in their personal lives. The School is working towards improving the experience of its LGBTQIA+ staff and students through the activities listed below.
As an ally of our LGBTQIA+ staff and students, the term ‘queer’ will be used to describe those within our cohort who identify as members of this community.
The University has joined Pride in Diversity and contributes to the Australian Workplace Equality Index.
Creating awareness to support
Melbourne School of Engineering (led by the MSE Student Wellbeing Committee) hosted an LGBTQIA+ diversity panel during Semester 2 of 2017. This panel discussion included two queer MSE academics and four queer representatives from industry (both former MSE students who now work as engineers, and HR professionals).
The goal of this panel was to provide advice to current students around entering the workforce. Panel members discussed dealing with conscious and unconscious bias both professionally and personally through their own experiences. Moving forward, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee will run an LGBTQIA+ awareness activity each semester.
Establishing anti-bullying policies to protect
Queer community members often find themselves in a vulnerable and uncomfortable position in school and the workplace. At MSE, LGBTQIA+ individuals are protected under our Anti-bullying Policy.
MSE also aims to develop specific HR policies that provide the structure, framework, and support for its queer students and staff. We are also in the process of further exploring successful strategies that have been developed by other organisations in order to provide further support for queer individuals at the School.
Social programs to improve morale
As a result of discrimination, queer individuals are more likely to experience isolation and mental health issues. That’s why we’re developing two social programs to improve morale and provide a sense of community and support. Monthly coffee catchups are open to MSE students to meet fellow queer students and monthly drinks are being organised for queer staff. We hope these gatherings will provide a sense of community and support to the School’s queer community, as well as provide valuable networking opportunities.