Imperial will be celebrating the diversity of its community with a range of events for Diverse@Imperial Week 2018.
Diverse@Imperial Week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the diversity of the College’s community of staff and students. It is also a time to discuss what barriers remain to increasing diversity and inclusion at Imperial, and the actions that everyone can take to overcome them.
This year’s event, which takes place from 29 January to 2 February, will include Chartered Electronics Engineer Dr Nike Folayan giving a talk for staff and students on 'A sense of Belonging in Engineering'. Nike will discuss what diversity and the drive towards a more inclusive STEM workforce really mean, with a particular focus on the importance of diversity and inclusion in engineering.
Nike is a chartered engineering consultant in the Railways Division of engineering consultancy firm WSP and has a doctorate in electronics engineering. She is also Chair of the UK Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK), which aims to challenge and inspire people of BME origin to get into engineering.
Inspiring the next generation
The event will also include an outreach event for children from local schools featuring festival-style stands to showcase the diversity of research and researchers at Imperial. Dr Mark Richards from the Department of Physics will give a talk about light and sound waves. The talk, entitled ‘Working with Waves’, will look at how light waves can be used to analyse and monitor trace chemicals in the air, such as air pollution, and how the same principles can be applied to sound to create interesting remixes of contemporary songs.
Every lunchtime throughout the week there will be an Active Bystander information stand on campus where staff and students can find out more about strategies to challenge negative behaviour.
The Faculty of Engineering introduced Active Bystander training in 2017. The training aims to empower staff and students across the College community to challenge poor behaviours, and bring about cultural change through the reinforcement of messages defining the boundaries of unacceptable behaviour.
A commitment to improving equality and diversity
In October last year Imperial appointed Professor Stephen Curry as the College’s first Assistant Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Stephen supports work at the College to foster an inclusive environment for everyone and is responsible for engaging not just with the senior leadership team, but staff and students across the College to help lead appropriate and necessary cultural change.
Stephen said: “There will no doubt be practical hurdles to overcome, but our core aim has to be to make Imperial a place where everyone is respected and feels able to be fully themselves.”
This is the second year the College has run the event, with 2017 featuring a discussion panel chaired by ITN News journalist Nina Nannar and a talk by Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice Provost (Education).
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