Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum
The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Forum is chaired by the Associate Provosts (EDI), Professor Lesley Cohen and Dr Wayne Mitchell. With members drawn from across the College community – staff and students – the Forum serves as a listening post to capture and discuss all manner of EDI issues. The Forum meets three times a year.
In early 2023 the EDI Forum was merged with the College's Athena Swan Committee. The Athena Committee had historically worked to support gender equality work and departments with their Charter applications. However, as most department Athena committees have evolved into EDI committees of some kind, the decision was made to bring the College Athena Committee into the EDI Forum.
If you would like to raise something for discussion, please contact the Chair or any member of the Forum (listed below).
Membership, Minutes and Terms of Reference
Chair, Associate Provosts (EDI), Professor Lesley Cohen and Dr Wayne Mitchell
Membership includes representatives from:
- Key central College EDI staff, including members of the EDI Centre
- Faculty EDI staff and leaders
- Trade unions
- Imperial College Union, including Liberation Officers
- Staff networks
- The EDI committees of each academic and PTO department*
A spreadsheet with the full membership is available to Imperial staff and students.
*Each department is expected to send one representative to meetings, but multiple contacts may be maintained on the list.
Terms of Reference
We recognise that access and treatment is not equal for everyone and that the College needs to be responsive to the differing needs of individuals – students and staff. The promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is the shared responsibility of all students and staff but is co-ordinated at an executive level by the People and Culture Committee, which is chaired by the President and includes the Associate Provost (EDI), who is chair of the EDI Forum.
The role of the EDI Forum, which draws its diverse membership from staff and students across the university, is to foster a truly inclusive culture at Imperial by being a visibly representative body that anyone working or studying at Imperial will feel able to approach. Using its shared expertise and experience, the Forum will identify problems and obstacles to progress, help to identify priorities, and provide feedback on the progress and effectiveness of EDI action plans. The remit of the Forum covers both staff and students. In discharging its duties, the Forum will always be mindful of the importance of raising awareness EDI issues at the College.
The Forum will make sure to dedicate sufficient time to supporting departmental Athena Swan work, since this is the only EDI benchmarking scheme currently in use for which applications are made at departmental level. While the Forum serves as an EDI focal point for staff and students, several other College-wide committees operate to address specific issues, often associated with other benchmarking schemes. These include the Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team, the Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team, the Stonewall Action Committee, and the Disability Action Committee.
- To be a visible focus for the whole Imperial community for raising and discussing of EDI matters which may demand action
- To help identify Imperial’s EDI priorities and objectives and review progress
- To encourage staff and student equality networks and to hear regularly from representatives on collective views
- To receive regular updates on activity from other relevant College committees (e.g., College Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team, REC Self-Assessment Team, the Disability Action Committee, EDI Advisory Group, People and Culture Committee)
- To propose the development and implementation of EDI initiatives and activities for staff, students and relevant local communities that will help us to meet our equality priorities and objectives
- To report to and receive reports from the EDI Strategy Group, to facilitate discussion, action and monitoring of progress on issues of particular significance
- To consider the impact of policies, procedures and processes, identify where we are falling short of meeting our targets or best practice standards and recommend relevant actions
- To provide a forum for discussion on all topics related to gender equality and Athena Swan and to report to the College level People and Culture Committee. More specifically:
- To provide support for all Athena Swan applications at Imperial, with the aim for all departments to hold awards (e.g. best practice at Imperial, feedback on Athena Swan applications)
- To receive regular reports from departments and faculties, in particular to be a forum where progress on departmental EDI targets are monitored
- To initiate and promote College-wide activities to promote gender equality
- To monitor and engage with developments in relation to Athena Swan at the national level
The EDI Forum will meet at least three times a year, ideally about a month in advance of the People and Culture Committee so that urgent matters can be relayed for executive action.
Meetings will include dedicated time for discussing matters relating to departmental Athena Swan applications.
Department EDI priorities
In alignment with the College Athena Swan and Race Equality Charter action plans, the College has asked through the EDI Forum for departments to set EDI priorities for the 2023-24 academic year. The aim is to help clarify the priority areas departments are working on locally.
More EDI priority documents will be added as departments confirm final versions.
Faculty of Engineering
- Department of Aeronautics 2023-24 EDI priorities (pdf)
- Department of Computing 2023-24 EDI priorities (pdf)
- Department of Earth Science and Engineering 2023-24 EDI priorities (pdf)
- Department of Mechanical Engineering 2023-24 EDI priorities (pdf)
Faculty of Medicine
- Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction 2023-24 EDI priorities (pdf)
- Department of Surgery and Cancer 2023-24 EDI priorities (pdf)
- School of Medicine 2023-24 EDI priorities (pdf)