Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Equality and Diversity

I'm a member of the Equality and Diversity Board of the University which monitors the implementation of the University's Equality and Diversity Strategy. We meet about three times a year, and much of the meeting is taken up by examining different areas and how they are embedding equality and diversity into their operations. We particularly look at gender, race and disability, but no areas are excluded. Recently we've looked at our admissions policies, procurement polices and capital projects, including the design of accessible buildings and the extent to which our contractors have and take seriously equal opportunities polices.

Yesterday we looked at Teaching and Learning, especially the monitoring of progression and attainment and whether there are differences relating to gender, disability or race. Interestingly there are differences in some areas, where females seem to perform better than males. No-one really know why, and therefore what can be done about it - it's a complex area, and is not just affecting us but schools as well. At the moment it's being monitored and more research done into possible causes and solutions.

It will be our turn soon to be scrutinised by the group, so I will have to be on the other side of the table! I would be interested to know what more people think we could be doing to not just comply with the University's strategy, but to be more proactive in its implementation.


Anonymous said...

One key area that all companies could work which would have great impact on society would tenders and contract pointless having open policy for learning and staff level when your procurement team still have bigoted view on suppliers I like to see all university have quota of 15-25% contract to firms with real diverse program instead what current happing

Indeg said...

Staff should be actively encouraged to discuss (via Forums), issues related to work and whether their department is complying with equal opportunity policy and associated codes of practice.

Staff who breach equal opportunities policy should be disciplined for their misconduct. Unfortunately this is not being enforced. A very casual attitude has been taken particularly by staff in authority, towards the execution of equal opportunities policy. Therefore, in my opinion, its not a matter of being “proactive” but very much telling senior staff to do their job!

indeg said...

I have been asked to qualify what I mean by "Forums". I meant that it would be a good idea if all staff were invited to attend a series of staggered meetings to discuss how Equal Opportunities policy is applied within their
dept and whether they [staff] have experienced breaches of that policy.

These forums could be chaired by a member of an external department such as HR who would report back to the dept conducting these forums. This would allow for staff to talk freely.

Doing this would encourage good practice within deptartments and promote a better service for staff, students and any person who has any dealings with the University.