Making change happen: governance and action plans

Institutional governance may sound like an intimidating or slightly dry term, but actually it’s pretty important. It’s the plan of how we make decisions in our faculty, or how we carry out actions.

We have reviewed our governance around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion over the academic year 2019-20 and have made a number of changes. These changes aim to streamline our committees, and allow people to involved to focus on delivering actions. We also hope that by bringing the schools together within action groups, we can ensure they strengthen each other and prevent duplication of our efforts.

Our new governance structure, agreed in Spring 2020, looks like this:

EDI governance – Faculty of Engineering 2020 onwards

To understand the detail of how we came to determine this structure, and how it will work, please see here:

EDI structure

Our Action Plans 2020-21

The action plans we are working on currently stem from the 2018-19 school level EDI action plans.  

  • A lot of actions are already being worked on or are underway as school-level plans, but by bringing the groups together this will hopefully make it more efficient to make changes and reach more people as a result. And of course we expect more actions to be added as we do further data analysis or consultations.
  • We have the five action groups sitting under the Faculty EDI committee. Examples of planned actions – 
  • Current and future students group examples of some of their plans include : delivering recommendations from the Ethnicity and Gender report in CAME including training for staff and students on microaggressions and improving the reporting structure for discrimination; outreach programmes becoming increasingly focused on BAME children and young people or those living in deprived areas by moving to be physically located within areas of multiple deprivation.  
  • New staff action group –examples of some of their plans include: improved induction processes; Women in Engineering talks series; and training for line managers on how to assist new staff in settling in, understanding their role, and in their career development.  
  • Existing staff action group – examples of some of their plans include: events for researchers on career options, handover and succession systems, exploring the effectiveness of the Staff Review system and more recently, liaising with the university on how to mitigate for the impact of Covid 19 on promotions for those with caring responsibilities 
  • Flexible working action group – examples of some of their plans include: better support for people going on or coming back from family-related or compassionate leave; embedding flexible working into our working culture; and more recently looking at the lessons learnt during lockdown *(which is not flexible working! – instead we have been working from home in abnormal conditions, often with lots of stresses such as children at home to deal with)* on how this can help the faculty and university embed flexible working. 
  • Organisation culture and representation – examples of some of their plans include: advertising the reporting system for micro-aggressions or other complaints; run an induction effectiveness survey to understand how to improve induction; put in place a new Exit interview system to understand from staff who are leaving how we could have better retained them.
  • More recently, the Women and Non-binary staff network tabled a request for the faculty to review the meeting protocol to ensure everyone gets to have a voice for online meetings, also training for chairing meetings online. This is a good example of how we anticipate staff networks to table requests to the EDI committees 

So these are just some of the actions planned already, and we expect this to be expanded further as the new Faculty EDI committee and action groups bed in.  

Gender Representation on boards and committees 

Faculty Board – the main decision-making body for the faculty – has 22 people, 32% of whom are women. 

To find out more about our committees at Faculty level, please see our Sharepoint page. 


SCEEM committees 

All School Committees have female representation with the following ratios: 

SCEEM Senior Management Team: 30% female and 70% male and CAME SMT is 45% female, 55% male.    

School Education Committee: 33% female and 67% male  

School Research Committee: 38% female and 62% male 

For more information on SCEEM committees please see the Sharepoint page. 


CAME committees:

CAME SMT: 36% Female and 65% Male

CAME School Education Committee: 30% Female and 70% Male

CAME School Research Committee: 35% Female and 65% Male

CAME School Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (Faculty EDI Subgroup members): 58% Female and 44% Male

CAME Industrial Advisory Board (including industrial members): 23% Female and 77% Male


For more information on CAME committees please see the Sharepoint page.