Sunday, 15 February 2009

Are we diverse enough?

In a week's time I'll be in front of the University Equality and Diversity Board, explaining how we as a department ensure that the University's Equality and Diversity policies are being proactively implemented. As a service department there are two aspects to this - one is in terms of looking after the staff in the department and ensuring that we have a culture where equality and diversity is celebrated. The other is looking at the services we provide and making sure that they are accessible and suitable for all. Spent most of the end of last week finalising the report that will go to the Board - we have a good story to tell in most areas, especially in the provision of services. We have put a lot of effort into accessibility issues for the web site, the Information Commons is totally accessible and open 24*7, and we provide Diversity and Cultural Awareness training for staff. But is difficult to know whether we could do more internally - I believe that we do have a department where everyone is treated equally and diversty flourishes, but responses to a recent staff survey implies that not all staff feel as positive. This is one of the areas we are working with the different staff groups in the department to find out how this can be improved. I will know more after the Board has scrutinised me and our report!

Off to the RUGIT two day meeting in Edinburgh tomorrow where we'll be looking at the Financial outlook for Univeristies, and sharing experiences about some of our recent issues, including outsourcing student eMail to Google.


Anonymous said...

CiCS could do more internally by ensuring ALL members of staff attend Cultural awareness/diversity training. What do you think to making this training compulsory? because at the moment not all staff attend it.

Perhaps a message stating what kind of behaviour is expected of staff while they are at work would be appropriate.

Do you think it would be a good idea to conduct group discussions (on an informal level) regarding the issues that concern staff, in a similar format to the surgery sessions the VC has. This might help in understanding why there was such negative responses to the recent staff survey.

Chris Sexton said...

Thanks for the comment - we're currently looking at what training to make compulsory, and diversity is on the list.

And I'll certainly look at the group discussions idea - do you mean with me (like the VCs surgery) or just groups of staff who can then report back?

Anonymous said...

Group discussions with the Customer Services team might be a good idea and they could feed the main points back to you, would you be in favour of that? as your a very busy person.

Perhaps if staff (who don't feel daunted) wanted to approach you directly, they could too?

P.S Your a fabulous Director and it feels nice to know our views are being listened to.......finally