Research has shown that a diverse and inclusive society is generally better off. UCL, as a leading research and teaching institution, and specifically, the CS department, has an important role to play and a great societal responsibility.
We recognise this important role, and we aim to make our department more inclusive and diverse to benefit everyone. Many groups are regularly marginalized or discriminated against, and we need to work hard to change this, e.g., through raising awareness, workplace attitude, training, outreach, hiring, career paths, and addressing institutionalized and systemic inequalities.
We wish to foster a positive cultural climate that will allow all staff and students to flourish, contribute to the life and culture of the department and reach their full potential. We recognise that this requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels, and that it requires changing cultures across the department.
- Role of the EDI Committee
The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee will promote the value of different identities to create an organisational culture that is respectful and inclusive irrespective of age, disability, gender, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity/paternity/parental/adoption and caring, race, religion/belief, sex, or sexual orientation. Specifically, the Committee will:
- Develop a long-term EDI strategy, identify and propose long, medium and short-term priorities, and draw up an action plan of with clear objectives and targets.
- Encourage colleagues and students across the department to contribute to the development of the strategy and action plan.
- Work closely with subcommittees, e.g., Athena Swan, to implement actions addressing areas they have identified as priorities.
- Seek regular feedback from those responsible for implementation. Review and report on progress against targets and monitor data regularly throughout the year. 5. Publish minutes, updates, and other non-confidential documents to ensure openness and transparency.
Membership will include representatives from academic and professional services staff and students at every level.
Staff members will be appointed to the committee for a 3-year term. Students will serve for 1 academic year in the first instance.
The Committee will aim to meet once every month (except in August and December), although it is expected the meetings will be more frequent during the set-up phase (probably fortnightly).
Committee meetings are open for everyone to join and contribute (including non-members). Nonmembers interested in attending the meeting should register their interest with the Secretary in advance.
“Equity” is defined as follows: Equity, unlike the notion of equality, is not about sameness of treatment. It denotes fairness and justice in process and in results. Equitable outcomes often require differential treatment and resource redistribution to achieve a level playing field among all individuals and communities. This requires recognizing and addressing barriers to opportunities for all to thrive in our university environment.
“Diversity” is defined as follows: Diversity describes the presence of difference within any collection of people. In discussions of social equity, diversity addresses differences in social group membership related, for example, to age, race, class, gender identity or expression, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, and religion. Discussions about diversity linked to access and equity require knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary experiences of oppression and exclusion. Diversity should be understood as uniting rather than dividing. The term calls upon us to appreciate both the differences and interconnectedness, and to recognize and respond to systemic and institutionalized discrimination.
“Inclusion” is defined as follows: being attentive to the impact of social identities and putting disadvantaged members of our community at the centre of design and planning. What works for these groups will automatically benefit everyone. Inclusion values ‘difference’ as an asset but understands that it can require more thought, time and resources to meaningfully accommodate it.