Valuing our staff and delivering on equality and diversity
28 October 2015
UCL 2034 makes it clear that we should value our staff, and deliver on equality and diversity and I am delighted to launch our new Equalities and Diversity Strategy 2015-2020:
This lays out our medium-term ambition for equality, and sets us firmly on the UCL 2034 path. As Chair of the Equalities and Diversity Committee (EDC) I've worked with colleagues to consult and draft the strategy, taking our mandate from the UCL community to ensure that it is topical, focussed, ambitious and deliverable.
The strategy outlines our vision of UCL as a place where people can bring their whole selves to work and study: where no-one feels compelled to conceal elements of their identity for fear of stigma. It also affirms that we understand the value of the social and cultural capital we have in the diversity of our institution, and recognise that this is one of UCL's greatest strengths. We know it enhances problem solving and enables us to deliver original and skilful ways of thinking about global issues.
The seven objectives are to:
- Increase the 'net diversity' of senior staff in grades 9 & 10 at UCL - primarily looking at disability, gender and race - to achieve a 5% increase by 2020;
- Improve the consistency of experience and support of staff and students around pregnancy, maternity, paternity, childcare and caring responsibilities;
- Improve UCL's standing in relation to national equality award schemes, in particular, the Athena SWAN Charter, the Race Equality Charter and Stonewall Workplace Equality Index;
- Champion a culture where Disabled people can thrive;
- Take action to achieve universal and timely disclosure of student disability status, and collect and analyse student monitoring data on sexual orientation, gender identity and caring responsibilities with a view to increasing outreach and support;
- Explore and understand the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) student attainment gap at UCL, with a view to reducing it where it exists;
- Increase student applications and enrolments from underrepresented groups across UCL, in particular from: mature students; students from underrepresented BME backgrounds; students with disabilities; and to maintain applications and enrolments from young male students against a falling national trend.
I'm sure you'll agree that these significant changes cannot be brought about by Equalities and Diversity specialists alone. In order for any meaningful change to occur we will all need to take action and identify ways in which our roles can impact on these areas.
Most departments and divisions now have equality action plans, so find out how you can contribute to yours, in order for UCL to deliver on this increasingly important agenda.
Above all, I'm keen that we ensure, particularly if we are managers and leaders, that we respect, include and support our staff. Our actions must reflect these commitments, and align with people's day-to-day experiences. What we say should also be what we do.
Professor Graham J Hart
Chair of UCL Equalities & Diversity Committee