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November 2012 Council Paper

Steps to progress Equality and Diversity at UCL

Since the Council meeting in May senior management have met a number of times, as well as engaged in email discussions, to decide how best to accelerate the rate at which UCL moves towards its equality targets and increases its diversity, particularly at senior levels. The three main areas of activity are covered below. Action on gender equality in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) is covered in Appendix 1, the Bronze Athena SWAN renewal action plan (to be tabled).

•  A robust framework for Senior Management Team accountability

An equalities accountability framework will be implemented for Provost's senior management team from January 2013. The framework means that:

•  Data-driven and stretching equality objectives will be set annually for each member of the Senior Management Team in the annual appraisal process. This will include the Provost, Vice-Provosts and Deans. Progress against the objectives will be linked to any performance-related remuneration and the right to waiver advertising for high profile appointments in their faculty.

•  Annual equality targets based on faculty workforce and student data and associated action plans will be drawn up by Deans and Vice-Provosts for their respective area. The targets, beginning from January 2013, and progress against these targets, will be reported by each Dean and Vice-Provost in published annual Equality and Diversity Reports to Council. There will be at least 3 equality targets per faculty. They will take into consideration the UCL-wide equalities targets outlined in the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy but will also focus on faculty-specific issues where they exist. One of these targets must be to increase the proportion of women in senior and leadership roles in the faculty, as this is an issue across the university. Deans are responsible for ensuring that action plans are cascaded across the faculty and that effective delegation of responsibilities is in place, although each Dean will retain overall responsibility for setting and achieving targets in the Faculty.

•  Advice on devising appropriate action should be sought from the relevant experts at UCL including, but not restricted to, the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Team, UCL Outreach, the LGBT Equality Advisory Group, the 50:50 group (gender equality) and the Race Equality Group.

•  Equality, Diversity & Inclusion reporting will be aligned with the University's annual budget planning process such that the performance of Deans and Vice-Provosts against equality and diversity targets will be assessed in the context of performance review discussions in July and August. Progress will then be reported to Council in August/September of each year. Council will be invited to recommend or comment on equality and diversity performance objectives for the subsequent reporting period.

•  More transparent recruitment practices

New policy measures include:

•  Women must comprise at least 25% of all UCL recruitment panels, including those for senior positions. In practice this means that there will be at least one woman on all UCL panels, and more than one in larger panels, to avoid the impression of tokenism. This will be monitored annually using UCL's recruitment software and Deans will be held to account for their area.

•  All future appointments for Deans, Vice-Provosts and other senior leadership roles will be advertised externally with appropriate positive action statements.

•  All headhunting firms will be given a clear brief to produce a diverse list of candidates.

•  UCL will advise staff that they can use the positive action provisions in the Equality Act 2010 to recruit a staff member from an underrepresented group where they score equally. Deans will also be strongly encouraged to use the waiver of advertising facility to headhunt the best women and ethnic minority people in their field.

•  A central database of senior women who are trained in recruitment and selection will be maintained and publicised for use by Chairs of recruitment panels.

•  UCL will seek to establish a job seekers mentoring scheme with London Citizens to increase the number of high quality applications from minority ethnic job seekers in local communities.

•  UCL will establish a circle of career advisors' in each faculty to ensure female and minority ethnic staff receive consistent, impartial, high-quality career advice.

•  Diversity-related workstreams

A number of workstreams have been set up, lead by senior management members, as outlined in the table below. These groups will meet for up to a year to devise practical policy solutions to complex and entrenched diversity-related issues. Workstream Leads will be required to report progress to HRPC on a six monthly basis and will be held accountable for ensuring that concrete action is implemented within a year.



Terms of Reference


1. Attracting diverse staff to leadership roles

To develop proposed policy and/or programmes which:

•  reduce the non-academic workload of Heads of Departments, Deans and Vice-Provosts through the delegation of such workload to professional services staff within the Department, Faculty or Division;

•  re-define the role of Departmental Administrators and Managers and Faculty Managers in supporting HoDs and Deans;

•  re-define the role of Deputy HoDs and Vice-Deans in supporting HoDs and Deans, specifically with a view to improving succession planning; and

•  address other reasons why diverse staff may not be attracted to leadership roles at UCL.

Hazel Genn

2. Eliminating barriers to promotion and career development


To develop proposed policy and/or programmes which:

•  mitigate the perceived risk factors that deter women and members of other diverse groups from putting themselves forward for promotion, and/or for appointment to senior roles within the organisation including Head of Department, Dean and Vice-Provost;

•  eliminate the barriers which act against the promotion of women and members of other diverse groups, or against their appointment to senior roles within the organisation.

In considering appropriate policy and/or programmes, this workstream should examine how all eligible staff are systematically considered for promotion or career development and clarify the process for doing this. The workstream will consider:

•  how to ensure that promotion and career development is explicitly addressed in the appraisal process;

•  the perceived barriers to promotion and career development for part-time staff and how to remove them;

•  the promotions criteria for academic staff and whether these might inadvertently lead to underrepresented groups being disadvantaged;

•  the perceived barriers to promotion and career development for staff who are unable or unwilling to work long hours or travel to conferences and how this might be mitigated; and,

•  the potential role of mentoring in helping staff identify when they are ready for promotion or career development.

Mary Collins

3. Leadership development and succession planning for diversity

To develop proposed policy and/or programmes which:

•  provide for leadership and professional development to assist succession planning to leadership positions from amongst women and members of other diverse groups;

•  improve the quality of succession planning and the tools to support it;

•  provide a variety of key learning experiences through which participants from diverse groups can build on their own experience and knowledge of management and leadership in a higher education setting; and,

•  provide a number of leadership and skill development seminars, shadowing experiences, attendance at strategic governance and leadership forums and coaching and mentoring, with the activities scheduled over 12 months.

Graham Hart




Last updated: 05th September 2016