Emily Pinto Co-Chair of Proud Alliance

Meet Emily, our Co-Chair of the Proud Alliance network group here at UHS. The Proud Alliance network is LGBTQ+ network here at UHS and we caught up with her to talk all about her time at UHS and how the network helps support members from the LGBTQ+ community.


Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at UHS

“I am a highly specialist clinical scientist working in the clinical neurophysiology department. We are a small and friendly team within the Wessex Neurological Centre. My favourite part of the job is performing and interpreting electro-encephalograms for the diagnosis and management of epilepsy and related conditions - I love the blend of patient-facing work and scientific analysis”


Why did you want to work in Neurosciences?

“I knew I wanted to work in neuroscience after reading Oliver Sack’s ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ and was intrigued by the detective-style work that goes on behind the scenes in order to figure out various neurological conditions”


Why did you decide to become co-chair of the Proud Alliance?

“The main reason was in order to try and increase membership and promote the network as much as I could, so it’s available as a point of call and a social support for all staff who need it. Work is such a large part of most of our lives and as one of the biggest employers in the city I really feel that we have a responsibility to make this workplace a very welcoming and inclusive environment”


What is the Trust doing to be an inclusive employer?

"We have three main things we are working on, promoting the network within the Trust. We’ve already decided on a new name (the Proud Alliance) and now working on rebranding, with a view to a relaunch in September.

Improving the Trust’s relationship with transgender staff and patients. We want to make sure that transgender staff and the community are involved in reviewing policies that affect them. We are also looking into ways in which we can provide staff with pronoun badges and/or options for pronouns on ID badges for staff to normalise this and make life a bit easier for transgender staff, patients and visitors. Work has been done rolling out gender-free toilets and it is really key that we look to continue this work and make sure something as basic as toilet facilities are available for everyone to use across all our sites.

Increasing the Trust’s engagement with the local LGBTQ+ community. We will be marking important events and awareness days throughout the year and hope to collaborate as much as possible with other networks in the Trust (such as long term illness and disability and OneVoice), but also in the wider community including the University of Southampton staff LGBTQ+ network (Pulse), local charities and youth groups

What does equality, diversity and inclusion at UHS for both staff?:

“The ultimate goal is to have a hospital and workplace where people feel free to be open about important aspects of their identity. The key is that it’s not just about treating everyone equally, it’s about identifying the difficulties that different people might come across in their workplace or accessing healthcare, and putting in the work to make sure we can either remove these barriers or help people to overcome them. It’s about being part of a community that sees and celebrates the differences of those within it and recognising that when we include everyone, it’s better for all of us”


Click here to find out more about how we support our people and our latest people strategy.