How we are improving Recruitment and Selection to achieve better diversity

Over the last five years we have made a number of changes to our Recruitment and Selection procedures with the aim of facilitating more diversity in our faculty, for the benefit of everyone – and of course our teaching and research!

Here’s an overview of what we have done:


  • Implemented a policy that all academic and professional services advertisements include a statement that part-time and job share applications will be considered and a link to family and career network is included.
  • Mandatory training in recruitment and selection for all members of staff involved in chairing or participating in interview panels. This included training on issues related to EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) and on avoiding unconscious bias. 
  • All interview panels must be gender-diverse.
  • We introduced a policy of including professional services staff members on academic interview panels to build further partnership working between academic and PS staff.
  • An Equity, Diversity and Inclusion-related question is always asked of candidates for Pathway 1 and 3 academics (teaching staff), and for Professional services staff. 
  •  School-wide sessions on unconscious bias were delivered through the school meetings and further similar sessions will be repeated. 
  • Job information packs describe the role, departments, line management, essential criteria and contain details about the University’s commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, positive working environment and flexible working arrangements
  • Increased female academic appointments by using flexible working and part-time arrangements. 
  • We use a Timetabling Constraints process to ensure that all staff with caring responsibilities are able to have teaching duties scheduled for the academic year ahead around their main caring roles.
  • Direct appointment and exceptional talent processes continue to be used, with 3 female professors or lecturers brought in through these routes in recent years.

Recruitment and Selection in SCEEM (School of Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Engineering Maths)

Overall, SCEEM has grown from 220 academic/research staff members in 2013/14 to 275 in 2017/18 (a 25% increase), with an increase in female staff by 45% (33 in 2013/14 to 48 in 2017/18). Therefore the increase in the proportion of female staff is significantly higher than the overall increase in staff (by 20%). 

Technical services staff have been traditionally male, and so with a series of measures to advertise more widely and recruit in a new way

There has been success in recruiting more women to Technical services roles (28% of new technical services recruits since 2016, from a baseline of 0% female staff). 

Recruitment and Selection in CAME (School of Civil, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering)

CAME have ensured senior leadership oversight of all academic recruitment and female inclusion on shortlists, resulting in 50% (14 out of 28) of new academic hires across the School since 2015 being female.

Actions include:

  • introduced a series of mandatory Unconscious Bias training workshops across the School, that have been very well received, and attended by 44 female and 70 male staff.
  • We piloted female search panels for academic staff recruitment. 
  • Guidance on Unconscious Bias are sent to interview panels with recruitment paperwork. 

The gender ratios for academic staff are similar to national data, where 22% of research only, 21% of teach-only staff and 16% of research and teaching staff were female in 2016/17 respectively. In particular we have attracted female staff to Pathway 3 positions with four part-time female Teaching Fellow appointments over the past three years. We have facilitated a transfer of a female Professor now working between Mechanical Engineering and Arts. We have made four key female appointments to Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professorial posts in the past five years, improving our female representation and providing key role models for the School. Five (four female, one male) members of staff on Pathway 3 have now secured open-ended contracts. 

There are eight female and eight male part-time academics (one of each working in a formal job share role) and 11 part time professional services staff (6 of whom work in a formal job share role).  

Induction across the Faculty

  • Staff attend a Faculty Induction Workshop which includes information about HR policies including caring and family friendly policies, support networks and career development information.
  • In SCEEM, the Head of School and School Manager provide a monthly welcome session to all new starters focused on school level information. The School Manager provides an overview on Diversity and Inclusion issues to all new starters within this session. 
  • In SCEEM, for all new PW1 and 3 academics (staff with teaching duties) a member of the School team on their first day and are given comprehensive induction information available on our SharePoint intranet in addition to a welcome bag.
  • In CAME, The School Executive Team (SET) provides a consistent point of contact throughout the recruitment period.  They ensure new staff members are allocated to a research group and are provided with a mentor for support and guidance.  CAME are investigating establishing a monthly welcome session for new starters.