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21 September 2005 PR 05/90

Equal Opportunities Adviser awarded top TUC honour

Lesley Mansell, Loughborough University’s Equal Opportunities Adviser, has been awarded the TUC (Trades Union Congress) Women’s Gold Badge 2005 – one of the organisation’s most prestigious honours.

The Gold Badge is awarded annually to the woman considered to have the best record of trade union and community/voluntary work over a period of years. Each trade union is invited to make just one nomination for the award.

This year’s Gold Badge was presented to Lesley in recognition of her significant contribution to the Amicus trade union and the wider labour movement, and particularly for her campaigning work on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) issues – the first time the award has recognised work in this area.

“I was really shocked when I was told I’d won this coveted prize, especially when I think of the calibre of the women who have gone before me,” said Lesley.

“A number of other lesbian women could have received this award too, as quite a few of us have been campaigning for many years within our respective trades unions for equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people, as well as working on the women’s agenda.

“What we’ve achieved has been done by working together for a common aim – which is what the trade union movement is all about. The important thing for me is that it makes the work visible and helps to encourage all those LGBT people to ‘come out’ rather than stay invisible at work and in society, often in misery.”

Lesley sits on the National Women’s Committee and the National LGBT Committee, and has a long history of helping to develop the equalities agenda within the union movement. She was instrumental in the creation of the Leicester Women’s Centre, providing advice and support on a range of employment and health issues, and also set up and, for a number of years, ran a national information helpline giving advice on employment to LGBT members.

Lesley was presented with her award by the TUC President, Jeannie Drake, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown at the TUC congress in Brighton on Tuesday 13 September.

At the presentation, Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, said of Lesley and the other award recipients: “The fantastic work done by union reps in branches up and down the country is helping to improve the lives of millions of people every year. The time, effort and work these people put in to help their colleagues often belies the time and resources they have available. I am delighted that they have been recognised in this way.”

– Ends –

For further information contact:

Hannah Baldwin, Head of PR, Loughborough University,
T: 01509 222239, E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Notes to editors

  1. Amicus is the UK’s largest manufacturing, technical and skilled persons’ union.

  2. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities, and industry highlights Loughborough in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 45% of the University’s income is for research. The University has been awarded four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

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