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Office of the President and Provost (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion)

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Parents and Carers Together

This network brings parents and carers together on one platform to address the needs of a diverse community

About PACT

UCL Parents and Carers Together (PACT) is a volunteer-led grassroots network that was established in May 2014 to raise awareness of the needs of working parents and carers.
The network directly meets the second strategic objective of the UCL 2020 Strategy: to 'improve the consistency of experience and support of staff and students around pregnancy, maternity, paternity, childcare and caring responsibilities.'

Issues commonly facing parents and carers include:

  • part-time working
  • flexible working
  • techniques and strategies for communicating with colleagues and/or managers 
  • dealing with discrimination and stereotypes 
  • managing expectations of other staff 
  • challenging inappropriate comments
  • emerging technology and its impact
  • establishing work-life balance. 


Core aims

  • To support staff members who are balancing new or ongoing caring responsibilities with work
  • To raise awareness of UCL policies that support parents and carers
  • To open up discussion about the matters facing parents and carers working in universities
  • To empower individuals throughout and beyond life at UCL
  • To help the institution realise and achieve its strategic aims and aspirations, notably UCL 2034, the Equality, Diversion and Inclusion Strategy 2015 - 2020, and the UCL Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing.

PACT also adheres to the following UCL founding principles:

  • Fairness and equality
  • Diversity
  • Collegiality and community building
  • Inclusiveness
  • Openness
  • Ethically acceptable standards of conduct (i.e. duty of care)
  • Fostering innovation and creativity
  • Developing leadership.

Structure of PACT

Steering Group 

Co-Chairs
Madiha Sajid (Professional Services, Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care)
Andy Harris (Professional Services, Office of the Vice-Provost Development)

View group profiles for the PACT Steering Group Members.

Members of the wider PACT network

PACT is for anyone with caring responsibilities, whether for adults or children, that impact in some way on their working life or wellbeing. The network is open to all staff groups and since its creation in May 2014, it has accumulated over 200 members.


What does PACT do?

PACT aims to be responsive to its members' needs. Bi-monthly events provide an opportunity for parents and carers to gain expert advice and insights from UCL colleagues and external service providers. It is also a chance to meet other members with a view to sharing stories, tips and strategies relating to work and/or home in an open and informal environment.

The group also maintains a virtual presence on Moodle. Within 3 years we have delivered 26 sessions, attended by over 600 people. Many of them are innovative and have never been run before, such as:

  • Bilingualism for children
  • Dementia friendly session
  • Leave entitlement at UCL
  • Time management for working parents
  • Caring for elderly parents: personal perspective from senior UCL colleagues 
  • Approaches to flexible working at UCL 
  • Maternity coaching series: A unique and novel support series which has never been provided previously.

Maternity Coaching comprises workshops for those about to take maternity leave and those returning from it. These 2 hour workshops provide support to expectant and new mothers, discuss shared concerns, boost confidence and develop a good work life balance. It is a very good opportunity to meet others who are returning to work at UCL.


Awards and Nominations

  • PACT won the 'Provost's Excellence Award' in 2016 for its service to UCL staff members and for providing coaching and practical support
  • PACT was runner up for the 'Provost's Excellence Award for Service to Staff' in 2017 and was shortlisted from 97 entries.

Join the PACT network

If you would like to join the email network, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Please email equalities@ucl.ac.uk to obtain the enrolment key to join the Moodle forum.

Join the UCL PACT Yammer group. 


Upcoming events 

Please visit the main Events and Updates Page here.