We are pleased to hear the news this week that Jo Phoenix, a Lesbian professor of criminology in the UK has won her her empolyment tribunal against her former employer, the Open University. Jo was found by a panel of judges to have been harassed and discirminated against due to her belief in the importance of sex over gender in some areas of life, including her own area of research – effectively consituting constructive dismissal.
In an impactful interview this week on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, Jo described the personal cost that standing up for freedom of speech in the higher education sector – well worth a listen. Those who followed the proceedings noted role that the OU’s department responsible for equality, diversity and inclusion appears to have played a role in the harassment of Prof. Phoenix – activities that they were set up to prevent!
This represents a victory for all of those – like us – who recognise the importance of sex based policy and services in some aspects of life, such as our right as Lesbians to host single sex events and spaces. A massive thanks to Jo for standing up for all of us!