Equality and you
Equality is often discussed using the nine protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality Act 2010 brought together over 116 separate pieces of legislation. A significant piece of legislation, the Act simplified, consolidated and strengthened the law, providing a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. The Act covers the rights of all our staff and students, including prospective staff and students.
The Equality Act 2010 lists nine protected characteristics: age; disability; gender (sex); gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; and sexual orientation.
A disability is any condition which impairs a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day activity for twelve months or more.
Despite legislation, there are still issues with gender discrimination. Recently much attention has been focused on gender in STEMM.
Under the Equality Action 2010, race refers to an individual's colour, nationality, and/or ethnic origins.
Religion and Belief
Under the Equality Act 2010 this includes any religious or philosophical belief and includes a reference to a lack of belief.
This includes a people's sexual orientation towards persons of the same sex, persons of the opposite sex, or persons of either sex.
Imperial's Public Sector Duty
The Equality Act 2010 requires all public bodies to meet a General Duty. The Duty covers all protected groups (except Marriage and Civil Partnership) and Duty requires public bodies to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
- foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
The General Duty is supported by specific duties:
- publish equality objectives at least every four years
- publish information to demonstrate compliance with the equality duty, at least annually
In October 2018, Imperial published our new EDI Strategy, replacing our previously equality objectives.
Imperial monitors the personal information of staff, includuding protected characteristics, though ICIS (Imperial College Information System). It is important to collect these data to create a clear picture of the College workforce so we can identify if all staff are being treated fairly. You can find out more about this on our data monitoring page.