How do we assess Diversity?
Diversity is easy to quantify, right? There are nice numbers we can provide. But it’s also about something more than just numbers… it’s about a feeling you get when walk around the corridors of a place, or talk online to a group of people who work there, or linger in the staff kitchen absorbing the conversation.
If you are a person who has faced barriers or marginalisation, you may be thinking all kinds of things in those moments. Am I welcome here? Do I fit in? Will I be able to myself? Can I get the best possible opportunities here? Do I have to self-limit? To self-deselect? To self-censor?
Diversity isn’t only about numbers, no. But numbers tell an important story, and allow us to assess where we are on the road to an inclusive work community.
Our major priorities for our faculty are focused on Race and Gender. This is not to the exclusion of other Protected Characteristics, such as sexual orientation or disability, but is to enable us to focus on two areas where we have traditionally simply not been good enough.
The Faculty has committed to significantly increasing the proportion of women staff in academic and research roles to 30% by 2030.
The Faculty is discussing a similar quantifiable commitment on increasing the proportion of BAME staff through the new Faculty EDI committee.
In 2019-20, our staff were…
17% of our academic and research staff were female. This represented an increase from 14% in 2014-15 and was thanks to our concerted efforts on implementing gender equality action plans.
82.6% of our professional services staff were female, a decrease from 83.7% in 2014-15 due to our efforts to increase gender diversity in professional services teams by recruiting and retaining more men in Professional Services roles.
8.7% of our technical staff were female – rising from 0% in 2014-15, as a result of major overhaul of our Technical services structures.
18.8% of our academic and research staff were People of Colour (PoC)/Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME). This represented a decrease from 20.1% in 2014-15.
6% of professional services staff are PoC/BAME. This represented a decrease from 8.2% in 2014-15.
6.7% of technical staff were PoC/BAME, which represented an increase from 0% in 2014-15.
As a result we plan to learn from those areas where we have seen improvements and work as a faculty to address the increase in under-representation of PoC BAME staff in Academic/research roles and in Professional Services roles.
2019-20 5.6% of staff declared a disability (an increase from 4.9% in 2014-15), but 7.7% chose not to disclose (the ‘prefer not to say’ category was introduced in relation to Disability monitoring after 2014-15).
Less than 5 people who are staff disclosed their gender is different to that assigned at birth, but between 20-25 people chose not to disclose this information. Data on gender reassignment was not collected in 2014-15.
2.9% of staff disclosed they are LGBTQ+ – an increase from 1.3% in 2014-15 but 12.3% chose not to declare this information, also an increase from 9.6% using the ‘prefer not to say’ option in 2014-15.
22.4% of staff had a religion or belief, an increase from 19.1% in 2014-15, but 11.9% chose not to declare this information, also an increase from 9.8% using the ‘prefer not to say’ option in 2014-15.
The high proportions of staff choosing not to declare information is an issue that the university is seeking to address, by introducing a system where staff are asked for this information six months after their initial application. It is thought that people may be more willing to share equalities monitoring information once established in their roles, as many from outside the institution may not be aware of how this information is kept entirely separately from job applications.
In 2019-20, our students were…
- 21% female overall – an increase since 2014-15, when the student population was 17.5% female.
- The cohort which joined us in September 2018 was 23.7% female versus 18.6% female in 2014 – indicating that the proportions of women students are increasing each year.
- 4 out of our 4287 students identified as non-binary or other gender – an increase of 150% in 4 years
- 32.9% BAME – this represented a slight increase from 31.2% in 2014-15.
- We intend to find out why many students do not declare their ethnicity, as this has increased to 16.9% in 2018-19 from 12.4% in 2014.