Our life gets better by change
28th November 2018
I hope you’ve enjoyed the personal stories over the last few weeks. They are really powerful, aren’t they? This week I thought I would set out the equality, diversity and inclusion context within which they sit.
I have mentioned previously that we were waiting for agreement on our equality objectives and actions. These were signed off at our Equality and Diversity Committee meeting earlier this month. With so much change in the higher education sector, we have focused on a small number of broader objectives:
Creating, developing and supporting a more diverse workforce;
Aspiring to, embedding and celebrating success; and
Improving our students’ experiences.
The breadth of our objectives should help us to be more agile and responsive to this changing landscape.
During this academic year we maintain a focus on dignity and respect. Having reviewed and updated both our staff and student policies and procedures, we turned our attention to our Dignity Advisers. These are staff who act as a confidential first point of contact for staff and students who experience harassment or bullying. We have enhanced the support and development offered to them so they are better able to support others. There are a couple of other actions in the pipeline building on this; they should be ready early 2019. Wow, that’s the first time that I’ve written 2019; it feels a bit weird!
We continue to put in place actions to reduce our gender pay gap and analyse pay variances more broadly. One of our female professors set up a female Professorial Group to support and encourage female academic’s career progression. This should influence the diversity in our talent pipeline.
We have published our Student Well Being Strategy and have planned a number of actions and initiatives to launch it. Aligned with this, we are progressing with the Workplace Wellbeing Charter to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our staff. We have a number of actions to support particular students, for example our mature students induction, our Challenge for Change project and the Sprint Women’s Leadership Development programme. This year we will also be developing our cultural awareness and intelligence, and have prioritised our Internationalisation Strategy.
However, we are not just supporting change internally. The team have also participated in a large number of consultations including tackling the BAME attainment Gap led by UUK and the NUS; the Government consultation on mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and Advance HE’s review of Athena Swan. The outcomes of all three consultations should be available by Autumn next year.
These are just some of the headlines from our Equality and Diversity action plan. You can find the full copy on our website
If you’d like to write a piece for our blog, please get in touch. We’d love to hear your stories.
Don’t forget you can also keep up to date via Twitter @UoGEquality