Workplace culture

Throughout this website, we aim to give an insight into how our faculty and schools have worked hard to enable a great workplace culture for everyone.

Here is some more detail on how we have driven just some of these initiatives:

Wellbeing 

  • CAME have instigated Personal Wellbeing workshops led by Dr Dominique Thompson, an award-winning healthcare professional. 
  • CAME have introduced a protected Thursday afternoon, asking staff to refrain from emailing and prioritise research or other tasks at that time. This is also being considered by SCEEM. 
  • SCEEM run a weekly yoga session for staff funded by the school budget to encourage wellbeing. 
  • Staff are encouraged to sign up to the university’s email charter, to prevent the overuse of email and its burden on recipients. 
  • The faculty has regularly run wellbeing initiatives, such as the team-based Pedometer challenge, Wellbeing walks, or the 24-hour Ping-pong-a-thon or gig rowing in aid of charity. 

 Space and Facilities  

  •  In MVB, SCEEM have a staff Wellness room – a lockable room to express milk or breastfeed a baby, pray, or take a rest if you have a long-term condition.
  • Major estate investments by SCEEM (£15,500, over half the School’s allowance for furniture replacement) have been made to promote a sense of solidarity and inclusivity in the SCEEM, including the famous rainbow booths and a revamped staff common room that showcases the large world map. 
  • Major capital investments in MVB (£77,000) also included the introduction of a better equipped toilet for people with disabilities and a well labelled all-gender toilet.
  • In Queen’s Building, CAME have supported the creation of quiet and relaxing social spaces to facilitate informal meetings or gatherings, as well as refurbishment of a central location Café to provide a social hub and encourage better work/life balance. 
  • All new teaching spaces in MVB have triple hearing loops; desk risers for students; lecturn risers for lecturers, and automatic doors, making them fully accessible for both staff and students. 

 Monitoring micro-aggressions 

  • In January 2018 we were the first faculty to design and launch a web-based system, the Equality and Diversity Radar (EDRadar),  for anonymously reporting discriminatory attitudes, actions and behaviour. This was then superseded by a University-wide Report and Support tool. 
  • In 2018m SCEEM produced and launched a training video for staff and students on being an Active Bystander. 
  • All staff are encouraged to attend the Active Bystander training offered by the university, and to engage in the online Upstander training toolkit. 

 Community building 

  • Social gatherings across SCEEM have been organised within core hours: School Meeting lunches, female and non-binary lunches, and Monday coffee morning sessions at 10am.   
  • Faculty summer and winter parties are put on within core hours and are family friendly. 
  • CAME have instigated an Annual School conference, the first of which was dedicated to Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, which saw 84 staff attend (39 female/45 male). 
  • See the ‘Our Community’ menu for more information on our work to build community in our faculty.

 Meetings 

  • All decision-making or regular meetings take place between the core hours of 10am-4pm. Individuals are advised that accepting 1-1 meetings outside of core hours is at their discretion.  
  • CAME – Established a protected slot at monthly School Meetings for staff members to raise any issues for discussion at School level and/or where a Head of School response is required. 
  • SCEEM – all meeting participants for school meetings are invited to submit agenda items.  
  • SCEEM Introduced regular Head of School and School Manager Open office sessions.  

 Researcher and research support 

  • The faculty worked with the RA representatives to establish a new RA network which was launched in February 2020. 
  • CAME: The School has increased the budget for research pump priming opportunities by 50% this year, which is targeted at research staff (Pathway 2) to facilitate research independence.  
  • An Early Career Group, led by the School Research Director, meets regularly. The aim of this group is to build up a network and to encourage early career researchers (Pathways 1 and 2) to engage with and contribute to management and decision making in the School.   
  •  SCEEM increased the budget held by the School Research Director to do more pump priming via the Idea Accelerator and through School Research Committee support.  
  • CAME has introduced a grant pre-submission process, intended to provide a framework by which applicants can receive appropriate support to prepare the best possible proposal whilst also ensuring that all relevant people/teams have been informed of the proposal and relevant approvals have been obtained, giving the approvers sufficient time to provide informed consent. This process includes an option to access internal peer review to help improve the quality of applications.  

 Leadership roles 

  • All leadership/management roles across the faculty are now clearly defined, advertised and formally appointed by competitive interview.  
  • We have implemented a policy where for each senior academic appointment the Head of School and senior members of the selection panel proactively encourage applications from female candidates.  
  • On faculty board, 7 out of 22 board members are women 32%. 
  • On both of the school management committees, 3 out of 9 members are women – 33% (2 academic) in both schools.  

  Workload model 

CAME have a robust and established workload model which enables academic managers to understand workload across their departments and reallocate where necessary. SCEEM are seeking to introduce a similar model.  

 External bodies  

The faculty has signed up to the Women in Aviation Charter and has also brought on the Women’s Engineering Society as an Education Partner.