Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report 2020

This year’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) report 2020 reflects the tenacity and aspiration of our University staff and students. They are committed to ensuring that equality and diversity are embedded within the culture of the University in order to achieve equity and inclusion.

Safe, welcoming and respectful

Equality and fairness are at the heart of the way that we value staff at the University. We believe that a thriving EDI culture encourages an environment that is a safe, welcoming and respectful place for everyone to learn, work and visit.  This is why we have seen another year of disclosure rate increases across all of the protected characteristics. In particular, those choosing to disclose their sexual orientation has increased by 4% since 2017.

We have worked hard to heighten the EDI agenda this year in a number of ways:

This report shows that the University has a lot to be proud of. Contained within are key statistics, trends and examples of the work that has been undertaken to further the EDI agenda. However, we are not complacent. We continue to take meaningful steps forward so that we maintain the ongoing momentum and ambitions for inclusion and belonging at the University.

a banner promoting inclusion hanging in the University's busy atrium
a packed University event with a slide on a big screen saying

Our EDI objectives

The current Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy (2017-2021) is in its final year before refresh. Its accompanying objectives are presented in this report. Our metrics (staff and students) provide measure for objectives 1-3 and our culture demonstrates the work we have undertaken to fulfil objectives 4 and 5. Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion objectives are:

Objective 1

Ensure due regard is given to equality, diversity and inclusion in all University activity. This includes policy development, planning, corporate change projects, procurement, and decision-making processes through the implementation of robust and systematic processes.

Objective 2

To Support Colleges and Professional Departments to integrate and implement equality priorities into their business plans.

Objective 3

To widen equality data collection, monitoring and analysis on staff and students to facilitate better identification of needs and strengthen work on equality.

Objective 4

To achieve an equally high level of staff recruitment, staff satisfaction, retention and progression across all employee demographic groups.

Objective 5

Strive to achieve excellence in EDI.

BAME and non-BAME members of staff chatting

Staff and student data

Our staff and student data and is measured against Objectives 1, 3 and 4 of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy (2017-2021).

Staff data


Our staff body is made up of:

This has remained consistent with the data from the previous year.


The percentage of staff who identify as BAME has risen by 2% to 12%.


The percentage of staff with a declared disability has increased this year from 6% to 7%.

Sexual orientation

The numbers of staff at the University who identify with the LGBT+ community continues to increase.

This year, the University was ranked 34th in the Stonewall Workplace Index UK Education sector and the University received the highest staff engagement score in its comparative group. External recognition by Stonewall is a significant sign that the University is committed to inclusion.

Religion and belief

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.

AgePercentage of staff
<20 years <1%
21-30 12%
31-40 24%
41-50 28%
51-60 25%
61-65 11%

Student data


A slight shift towards a greater proportion of female students overall has continued, with a 1% increase for a third successive year.


For a third successive year, the proportion of all students identifying as BAME has increased by 1%. 21% of our student population identify from a BAME background, while 68% of students identify as non-BAME. For 11% of the study body, their ethnicity is unknown.


The proportion of students with a disability has increased for a third successive year, with 17% of students declaring a disability. 83% of students do not have a declared disability.

Sexual orientation

The biggest increase this year is the number of students overall declaring themselves as bisexual, increasing by 60 (still 3% of the total student population).


The overall profile of Derby’s students is one that is becoming older. The proportion of both ’25 to 29 years’ and ’30 years and over’ has grown by one percentage point since the 2018-19 academic year. The proportion of students aged ‘under 21 years’ has fallen, by two percentage points to 33% at the overall level. Nearly all of this decrease can be attributed to those studying at undergraduate level.

smiling members of staff at a University event


The continuing improvements that have been achieved in relation EDI culture at the University demonstrate the intrinsic link between culture and staff satisfaction (Objective 4) and how the University strives for excellence in EDI (Objective 5).

This year, EDI enhanced the University’s excellence in teaching and learning, as collaboration with key stakeholders led to the development of a Diversity Statement for the Module Handbook Template. The statement foregrounds acceptable language, behaviours and attitudes aimed at embedding excellence in EDI practice across the University, including supporting students to become good global citizens.

Staff networks

Collaboration has been a main feature of this year. Through ‘Celebrating You,’ key messaging around visibility of Role Models has been aimed at creating as sense of belonging and engagement. This has been enhanced each month by activities from the Staff Equality Networks, the Union of Students, Student and Graduate Experience (SAGE), Estates and Central Marketing.  

Race Equality Network

Black History Month was marked in October, raising a Pan African flag outside Kedleston road with two black students and displaying indoor flags at each site. The Union of Students produced and exhibited a series of images representing black role models.

Disability and Wellbeing Network

Disability History Month provided the opportunity to launch the Sunflower scheme at the University of Derby in support of hidden disabilities. This has enabled us to update our guidance and facilities, making them accessible for people with hidden disabilities. Accessible Maps have been created in hard copy and online using the sunflower, ensuring that accessible lifts, WCs, entrances and exits are clearly labelled for people with hidden disabilities as well as visible disabilities. In support of the Covid return-to-campus work, the Sunflower badge is used to demonstrate exemption from face coverings and has also been used to highlight accessible bays at the asymptomatic testing centre.

LGBT+ Allies Staff Network LGBT+

The Rainbow flag was raised outside Kedleston Road marking LGBT History Month during which time training was delivered and well attended. Role models featured throughout the month through internal communications and over 45 staff and students took part in the Rainbow Run and Ramble in Derby and Buxton. Derby Occupational Therapy Student Society (DOTS) organised an Equali-Tea Party, offering tea and biscuits as a conversation-starter on the topic of sexuality and gender identity.

In November, Transgender Day of Remembrance was observed with a remembrance service in the Multi-Faith Centre. The event was attended by over 30 students and staff as well as organisations from the public and private sector. The service remembered transgender people who had lost their lives through hate crime.

Gender Equality Network

In December, a menopause seminar was delivered by a Menopause Specialist nurse from St Thomas’s Hospital in London. This was followed by three workshops: one for women to discuss the impact menopause has on working lives; one for men to develop greater understanding of the menopause; and one for managers to discuss line-manager support strategies. Over 40 staff members attended the event and additional work is taking place in this area.

For International Women’s Day, staff and students celebrated #eachforequal and took the opportunity to initiate discussions on gender equality within the workplace. A panel event, Women in Business, was hosted by the Union of Students (UoS) and attended by the Vice-Chancellor.

Faith and belief

Faith and Belief Month was celebrated for the first time in May. A collaboration event with the Chaplaincy team, UoS and SAGE collated and shared ‘Thoughts for the Day.’ Role models for faith and belief featured in internal communications each week. A new Faith and Belief Staff Equality Network and a new part-time UoS officer for faith and belief were both established as a result of the month’s success.

Role models and allies

This year the role models and allies programme was launched to help support the strategic aims of the People Strategy, Athena SWAN, Stonewall and future ambition for the Race Equality Charter. Throughout the year, role models and allies have featured in Derby Daily, mostly coinciding with a diversity month, but more recently expanding with a focus on men’s health.

The role models and allies programme has been adopted by external partners who have been inspired and similarly with the UoS, the outcome of which is hoped to have a positive effect on links with the Access and Participation Plan and the awarding gap.

External networking

The University continues to work with its regional public sector 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.


Throughout the year the University has offered staff and students the opportunity to engage with topics aimed at improving their understanding of wellbeing, learning how to stay active and take self-help steps to maintaining positive mental and physical wellbeing. Activity has included mental health awareness, menopause support, understanding neurodiversity, supporting those with hearing impairment.

Wellbeing and Mental Health Support - joint staff and student initiative during Covid-19

'A Part While Apart', April 2020

Derby Occupational Therapy Student Society (DOTS) and the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Team (EDIW) collaborated on Twitter and encouraged staff and students to share pictures of items of a specific colour for seven days. Over 1,000 photographs were sent in by staff and students and stitched together to form a ‘University Community Rainbow’.

The project was called 'A Part While Apart' and demonstrates the power of connection, commonality and hope. This joint project was shortlisted in the 'Collaboration and Wellbeing' section of the National Societies and Volunteering Awards in May 2020.

a collage of small images presented as a rainbow flag with the hashtag #APartWhileApart April 2020