Staff equality, diversity and inclusion report 2019 Gender actions
In 2019, the University undertook a large consultation exercise to collect the views of 1,000 staff and students through focus groups and anonymised surveys. This research underpinned the development of the University’s People Strategy and its Action Plan. The data from the People Strategy consultation has been analysed to better understand how different groups feel about their promotion prospects and success and the kind of support they feel they need to apply for promotion and be successful.
The University has continued to engage with Athena SWAN: the University’s Bronze institutional award was renewed in May 2018; 13 of our Academic Schools have received a Bronze Athena SWAN award and 3 Schools have received Silver. Additionally, the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy continues to hold the Juno Champion Status from the Institute of Physics.
Mentoring and development schemes for women
The Elizabeth Garret mentoring programme, which started in January 2018, continues to support women in, or aspiring to, academic leadership roles. To date, the scheme has supported 58 mentees.
In the academic years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, the University sponsored a further 47 members of staff to take part in the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education Aurora programme. This is an external women-only leadership development programme designed to take positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the higher education sector.
Support for carers
The University continues to hold the Carer Positive Employer Award and has progressed from the ‘Established’ level to ‘Exemplary’, the highest level.
The University launched a Staff Parents and Carers Network in March 2019 to support the working lives of staff who have parental and caring responsibilities. This provides a networking forum to share knowledge and experiences and raises awareness of the needs of working parents and carers through events and initiatives. In the context of Covid-19, in March 2020, a virtual network was launched to support staff working remotely.
Recruitment and promotion
Recruitment and promotion procedures have been revised to:
- encourage applications from women and other underrepresented groups
- disallow single-sex shortlists for advertised academic posts without a pause in the process and Principal’s Office discussion
- require mandatory unconscious bias and diversity training for recruitment and promotion board members.
Gender Pay Gap Working Group
Since September 2018, a new Gender Pay Gap Working Group has been working to support and enhance the University’s ongoing activities in tackling the gender pay gap and related issues. A gender-mixed membership includes:
- Assistant Vice-Principal for Diversity
- Director of Human Resources
- Head of Equality and Diversity
- a representative from Planning
- Trades union representatives from UCU, Unison and Unite
- academic and professional services staff representatives.
The group has also commissioned work from the University Planning Office, HR and the EDI team. This work includes an analysis of the impact of job titles and advertisements on the gender of applicants and appointees.