Professor Kamil Omoteso
PVC Dean College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, and Chair of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
This year’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion report is supported by the new Equity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Strategy (2022-2025). Our new strategy has been shaped by the voices of our colleagues, students and by organisational need, and clearly articulates the University’s commitment to Inclusion and Wellbeing. It presents our philosophy, designed to enable us to embed inclusion throughout our University in a way that is a felt, lived, valued and inclusive experience, where people feel they have purpose, place, choice and belonging, and is held up by six core standards:
- A culture of belonging
- A zero-tolerance approach
- Being free from bias
- Having diversity of thought
- Intersectional by default
- A strategy for wellbeing
We recognise that there is a deeply felt connection between inclusion and wellbeing that rests in an environment where people feel psychologically safe to be their whole self. Our wellbeing approach is holistic and connects inclusion and wellbeing to how people experience work. Through our new strategy, we firmly see inclusion as everyone’s business, and I look forward to monitoring the progress we make against the measures we have set for ourselves.
This report draws attention to the University’s successes. This year, the University was awarded Gold by Stonewall for its inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people. We are currently 144 in Stonewall’s Workplace Index having increased our ranking again this year. We continue to strive to be in the top 100. Similarly, the University increased its level in the Disability Confident Scheme to level 2, Confident Employer. Our aim is to continue in this journey and reach level 3. It is through our membership of employer recognition schemes that we can benchmark the work we do and bring in best practice.
In June of this year, we hosted a two-day event at the University on the themes of Race Equity, Belonging and Allyship, with invited keynote speakers, presented case studies, discussions of best practice through lived experience, and allyship. We have also participated in external debates and panels, raising the profile of the University in the inclusion space.
We have continued with our commitment to drive inclusion and mutual respect through awareness raising and development opportunities, all of which enable people to be their authentic selves. Colleagues have had the opportunity to participate in 27 equality, diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing related activities; 10 were wellbeing related with guidance and tools to support mental health, 8 related to lived experience, 5 supported workplace inclusion with practical advice, and the remaining courses covered understanding neurodiversity, supporting survivors of domestic abuse, and challenging Antisemitism and Islamophobia. We refresh our programme each year and offer a range of face-to-face training, as well as online.
A measurable impact of our people development programme can be seen in the data included in the report on disclosure rates. Over the last year, our data shows that the number of people declining to disclose their protected characteristics has again decreased. We would like to see these figures continue to reduce, with fewer people declining. This is because increasing disclosure rates demonstrates a culture that has inclusion at its centre, and encourages an environment that is safe and welcoming, providing a respectful place for everyone to learn, work and visit.
In support of our work on the Race Equality Charter, the University offered employees and students the opportunity to participate in its first race survey. The results told us that ethnicity was important to the way people feel connected to us. We have identified a series of actions that address the key findings, and our senior leadership are fully committed to our journey to achieve a Race Equality Charter Bronze award. Athena Swan remains a high priority for the University, and we continue to make progress towards institutional Silver.
This report shows that we have a lot to be proud of, but we are not complacent in our approach.
The Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Strategy’s themed objectives
1 Accountability and leadership
Leadership is accountable for the governance of inclusion and wellbeing through our leadership processes.
We will embed inclusion within our governance practices to improve accountability and leadership. Equity, inclusion, and wellbeing will be discussed openly at all levels to engender trust and remove any barriers that equip poor attitudes and hinder progress. We will actively take time to listen to people’s lived experience and shape our processes to enhance staff engagement.
2 Culture and belonging
Develop a culture that is compassionate and culturally sensitive, promoting connections with others through our networks - locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Collaboration is a key underpinning feature of this strategy, recognising that shared ownership will deliver success. We work closely with our critical friends, networks, allies, employees, and partners to enrich the inclusion agenda and to help us build cultural competencies within our staff and student populations and enhance and strengthen our engagement with the community.
3 Workplace representation
Evolve a workplace that prioritises diversity and equity, maximising the potential of our people.
We aim to improve equity in the workplace by taking proactive steps to empower potential and unlock talent. We will do this by attracting and retaining a diverse workforce that is representative of the city and the region, and that our leadership is representative of the staff body, thereby increasing diversity of thought.
4 Wellbeing and accessibility
Accessibility and wellbeing are inclusive and universal, creating a full people experience.
We take an holistic approach to wellbeing and prioritise workplace health and wellbeing by providing tools and a programme of activity that drives a positive wellbeing environment. Our leaders will manage wellbeing in a consistent way, undertaking open conversations that support good mental health. We will integrate universal accessibility and inclusion into the needs of the organisation, our students, and our employees. We will plan and design inclusion and wellbeing into our buildings and increase digital capabilities through learning.
5 Evaluation and recognition
Gain external recognition through inclusion and wellbeing charter marks, delivering excellence.
We will evaluate our success through the recognition we achieve in the charter marks and employer recognition schemes that we submit to. Through the Race Equality Charter and Athena Swan, our data will enable us to address race and gender equity in the employee lifecycle, our research environment, academic pipeline, and student outcomes. The Mental Health at Work Commitment will increase accountability and responsibility for workplace wellbeing.
6 Student engagement
Cultivate a landscape that embeds inclusion and enables our students to thrive, succeed and become socially transformative.
We enable successful outcomes for students by offering a diverse curriculum that is inspiring and thought provoking. We will deliver positive mental health support for all students and enable employability opportunities in real world settings.
Staff and student data
Our staff body is made up of:
- male 41%
- female 58%
- other 1%
The number of people who identify as ‘other’ has increased from five in 2020-2021 to 16 (1%) this year.
- all ethnic minorities groups 13%
- ethnically white 85%
The percentage of staff who identified themselves as an ethnic minority has increased this year from 12% to 13%.
- with disability 9%
- without disability 90%
The percentage of staff with a declared disability has increased again this year from 8% to 9%.
- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and related communities (LGBT+) 4%
- non-LGBT+ 82%
Religion and belief
- with religion and belief 50%
- without religion and belief 39%
Staff at the University observe a number of faiths and beliefs and the Religion and Belief Staff Network provides a space for dialogue and reflection.
The University employs staff from a broad age range.
A slight shift towards a greater proportion of female students overall has continued, with a 1% increase this year.
- all ethnic minorities groups 22%
- ethnically white 64%
- with disability 18%
- without disability 82%
The overall numbers of students from the LGBT+ communities have increased again this year. There has been a 6% reduction in the numbers who are declining to declare their sexual orientation.
We have seen a decrease in our students who are under the age of 25 with a decrease of 3% for students under 21 since last year. We have seen an increase of 1% of students aged 25-29 and an increase of 2% of students aged 30 years and over.
The continuing improvements that have been achieved in relation to inclusion at the University demonstrate an intrinsic link between culture and staff satisfaction and the ways that the University strives for excellence in EDI.
Derby is a values-driven University, and its commitment to creating space for inclusion and a place for belonging is demonstrated in the way that it puts people at the core of its culture.
The University encourages its staff to participate in open dialogue through seven staff networks, which are:
- Gender Equality Network
- Race Equality Network
- Faith and Belief Network
- LGBTQ+ Equality Network
- Disability, Access, and Wellbeing Network
- Aurora Women's Network
- Diversifying Leadership
Each network offers, a safe space for peer-to-peer support, provides a consultation route for staff, presents opportunities to collaborate with the Union of Students, and helps embed inclusion across the whole University.
Gender Equality Network
The Gender Equality Network has celebrated International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month, International Men’s Day and Non-Binary People’s Day with workshops and communications.
Race Equality Network
The Race Equality Network has celebrated Black History Month raising a Pan African flag outside Kedleston road with the Union of Students and a display of indoor flags at each site. The Union of Students also produced and exhibited a series of images representing black role models.
Faith and Belief Network
The Faith and Belief Network has marked key religious dates throughout the year with communications and training opportunities. Faith and Belief Month was celebrated in May. This was a collaboration event with the Chaplaincy team, members of staff and the Union of Students.
LGBTQ+ Equality Network
The LGBTQ+ Equality Network has marked awareness days throughout the year. The progress flag was raised across the University sites marking LGBT+ History Month. During the month, training was delivered across the organisation. This was well attended, and role models were featured in internal communications.
Disability, Access and Wellbeing Network
The Disability, Access and Wellbeing Network has highlighted support and opportunities available throughout the year. Disability History Month provided an opportunity to promote the Sunflower scheme to our staff and students, which supports people with hidden disabilities. A number of development opportunities were identified, including autism and neurodiversity awareness, and a series of workshops were delivered to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
The University continues to work with its regional partners to improve the lives of those in the community by offering the opportunity to bring together CPD (continuing professional development), research and keynotes. Collaboration of this nature is informing the way regional public services improve the delivery of inclusion agendas for their staff and services.
The University takes a holistic approach to wellbeing. Throughout the year, members of staff and students were offered the opportunity to improve their understanding of wellbeing, learn to stay active, and take self-help steps to maintain positive mental and physical wellbeing. The activity included mental health awareness, understanding neurodiversity, domestic abuse, hate crime awareness, as well as a range of diversity and inclusion workshops.