Thursday, 21 October 2010

Equality, Diversity and Executive Improvement

Equality and Diversity Board yesterday - a very interesting committee consisting of a cross section of University staff and students as well as lay members, which seeks to ensure that the University is not only meeting its legal obligations with respect to equality and diversity, but is actively promoting it and embedding it in everything we do.  We receive reports from different areas of the University, and discuss with the relevant heads how equality and diversity is promoted in their departments, look at examples of good practice and make suggestions for further action. I'm impressed with the amount of activity in this area - lots of good things going on, and I learn something new at nearly every meeting.  Yesterday was the turn of the Careers Service who produced an excellent report and are very active in all areas.  Many of their resources are available here, and we had a lively discussion about many employability issues.

We also had a presentation on the Equality Act 2010, which aims to harmonise, simplify, clarify and strengthen existing discrimination law. There are a number of changes coming into effect which will affect some of our policies and procedures, including the health questionnaire for job applicants which will now be completed post job offer. 

Then today it was the Human Resources Management Committee  - another enjoyable and useful session, although I did get another presentation on the Equality Act, but that's my fault for being on both committees!

The rest of yesterday and today was taken up with two half day sessions with the Executive Team looking at our priorities for improvement within the team and how we interact with the department. We looked at:
  • Planning
  • Prioritisation
  • Communication - both within and outside the department
  • Decision Making
  • Managerial Coherence
  • Improving Processes
  • Managing Complexity
  • Financial Planning

A very long action plan came out of it, which we are going to spend the next couple of months working on ready for a review of far we have got in January.

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