“What’s it got to do with you?”
There is solid evidence that people from some religions or beliefs, sexual orientations, genders, ethnicities, or those that have a disability, encounter various forms of discrimination and are under-represented in many areas of public life.
Delivering an effective strategy on equality, diversity and inclusion takes more than just policies and procedures. Monitoring the effectiveness of these policies is crucial, and can ensure that every student and member of staff has the same access to support, training, promotion and other opportunities.
Monitoring essentially requires two steps: collecting information, and analysing it. We gather information on the diversity of our student population and workforce, including potential recruits. The information we ask for is based on UK law, which aims to prevent discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion and other protected characteristics.
No one is obliged to answer monitoring questions, particularly as they can be very personal, but the quality of our monitoring will only be as good as the quality of the data.
Equality monitoring has helped us to make positive changes including the introduction of unconscious bias training into our recruitment training; anonymised shortlisting, positive recruitment statements on adverts for underrepresented groups, prayer facilities on campus; workshops for potential female professors; staff transgender policies; and transgender awareness training. Without monitoring, we will not know whether our policies are working or whether the benefits we promote across campus are inclusive.