We will take positive action to improve the opportunities and experiences of under-represented groups
The College already engages with a variety of schemes that are designed to promote equal opportunities for staff and students with particular protected characteristics. These include:
- Athena SWAN (gender equality)
- the Race Equality Charter (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people)
- the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (LGBTQ+ people)
- and the Disability Confident scheme (disabled people)
They are useful tools because they provide an external benchmark for the impact of internal initiatives. However, they are all form-based and risk being perceived as bureaucratic box- ticking exercises. Since they focus on specific subsets of people, they may also fragment efforts to be inclusive. In making use of these schemes we need to ensure we do not unduly burden the under-represented groups they are designed to help.
We should also keep in mind that they are only worthwhile insofar as they enable real and positive impacts on the experiences of staff and students. There is also strategic value in adopting a joined-up approach to these benchmark tools, since initiatives to address the needs of one group may well have positive impacts on others, as well as wider positive effects of helping to instil a culture of respect and inclusion at Imperial.