Why does Imperial need a strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)?
The short answer is: because we want to ensure our future success as a university.
We want to tap into pools of talent that have been neglected for too long, and to increase the quality, relevance and world-changing impact of our research and education. We believe that the health and well-being of the organisation and the people who work and study here will be enhanced by developing a culture that values everyone.
Our strategy brings a new focus and coherence to our current efforts to promote equality, diversity and inclusion at Imperial. It expresses our desire to be more proactive, and more courageous in our efforts to be truly inclusive, by supporting individuals and by reforming structures and practices that maintain inequality and discrimination. It explains why we aim to position EDI at the centre of everything that we do and outlines our priorities and the practical steps that we will take to achieve our aims.
Our aims can be summarised as follows:
- We will integrate equality, diversity and inclusion into all management processes
- We will integrate equality, diversity and inclusion into the student experience
- We will take positive action to improve the opportunities and experiences of under- represented groups, especially women, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, LGBTQ+ and disabled staff and students
- We will reduce the incidence of bullying and harassment
- We will gather and publish data to monitor our progress
- We will collaborate internally and externally to develop good practice
- We will communicate and be open to dialogue and challenge on our work on equality, diversity and inclusion
To succeed, it is vital that the responsibility for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is shared by everyone in our community. EDI is not an optional extra, or a job that falls only to managers or to committees. Our strategy is therefore also a call to arms, to everyone at Imperial – staff and students – who believes that the dignity and individuality of every other person here should be respected and cherished.
We are resolved to be clear-sighted about the challenges ahead. We know that we operate in a society that is distorted by deep structural inequities, but we will not use this as an excuse for failure or inaction. Wherever possible we will seek to fulfil our mission as a university to be an agent of positive influence and change. We will sometimes find ourselves facing difficult choices because our resources are finite and we cannot immediately do everything that our aspirations demand. At such times, we will return to the principles articulated in this strategy as the starting point for discussions of how to do better.