Initiatives and projects
We are committed to addressing our gender and ethnicity pay gaps.
We are rolling out a College-wide mentoring scheme which can help progress career development and address barriers. Mandatory training for all College staff via Imperial Essentials includes an equality, diversity, and inclusion online course. In 2021 the College introduced a new Pay Review framework that strengthens the governance around the processes, ensuring equity and consistent application of achievement pay review awards.
We have a commitment to improve recruitment of under-represented academic staff by increasing the ethnic diversity of appointment panels, especially for senior roles. We have implemented a gender de-coding tool which identifies hidden bias in language in recruitment materials, to avoid deterring women from applying for roles or promotion.
Please see below a comprehensive list of the College’s activity and initiatives in these areas.
Initiatives and actions on Gender and Ethnicity
- The College’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy Group is being developed into an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group, chaired by the Co-Associate Provosts (EDI). The Group, whose membership comprises representatives from across the College will invite experts, debate salient issues, and develop strategic and policy proposals in relation to equality, diversity and inclusivity matters that impact staff and students. The EDIAG will be supported by various sub-committees which report into it, including the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum, the Disability Action Committee, the Athena Swan and Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Teams, the Stonewall Action Committee, and other working groups that may be established for specific issues.
- The Imperial Together initiative, whereby the College Values underpin and reflect our behaviours and working environment, will be drawing to a close at the end of this year with a report on the progress of this initiative produced early in 2024. Going forward the People and Culture Committee will sponsor and champion activity which will continue to improve the culture at Imperial.
- The appointment of two Co-Associate Provosts (for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), reporting to the Provost.
- The new People and Culture Committee (PCC), a sub-committee of the University Management Board which is chaired by the President, has assumed executive responsibility for delivering the College’s EDI strategy.
- The College continues to run centrally-supported diversity networks – Imperial As One for BAME staff, Able@Imperial for disabled staff, Imperial 600 for LGBT staff, Imperial’s Parents Network and Carers Network.
- The College obtained a bronze Race Equality Charter (REC) in Autumn 2021 and is now focused on delivering its race equality action plan.
- A new anti-racist training module, Introduction to race equity, tailored to the College was made accessible to all staff and students in November 2022.
- The Beyond Ethnicity Conference for early career researchers from minority ethnic backgrounds, run annually since 2020, took place in November 2022 and ran again in September 2023.
- The PFDC-commissioned report “What Do Women Need to Succeed in Academia” was published in September 2022, with its recommendations being used to steer the College Athena Swan action plan and also inform the next College EDI Strategy.
- A 6-hour LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Mental Health course has been introduced for staff from the LGBTQ+ mental health charity, MindOut.
- Imperial 600 launched their new ally badges in June 2023.
- The College has steadily improved its position in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Ranking over the last several years, and achieved a top 100 employer rating in 2022, with preparations now in place for a new application to the 2024 ranking. Applications take place every other year to enable time for implementation of the Stonewall Action Plan.
- The College published its Mental Health Mental and Wellbeing Strategy in July 2023. The strategy aims to bring a renewed focus on good mental health and wellbeing; it sets the scene for the development of an action plan to ensure students and staff get the support and advice they need, when they need it.
- A new process for workplace adjustments has been developed in the context of the Work Location Framework.
- Disability briefings for staff and for managers were rolled out by the EDI Centre in October 2023.
- A Bullying and Harassment Policy and Procedure was created which was approved at the People and Culture Committee meeting in July 2023; it will be finalised and published following consultation with the staff unions. Alongside this, the College has recruited and trained 9 new Staff Harassment Support Contacts in 2022-23.
- The College has also continued with the embedding of Report and Support – with work now taking place to raise the profile, with the aim to increase reporting and from named, rather than anonymous individuals. The Report and Support data being is published online to share the number and nature of disclosures to show that reports are received, and action is taken.
- The College’s Values were developed via staff focus groups to improve our working culture and help build a positive environment. The Values and Behaviours enable the community to be clear about what is expected, recognise, and reward positive behaviour, and actively address poor conduct.
- Compliance training for all College staff via Imperial Essentials includes an equality, diversity, and inclusion online course.
- Events continue to take place to showcase equality and promote inclusion e.g. Women@Imperial, celebration of Black History Month, Disability History Month, Pride Month and LGBT+ History Month.
Recruitment and Progression
- All recruiting managers are required to be trained in fair recruitment and selection good practice. This includes equal pay issues, diversity, taking positive action and making pay-related decisions.
- All jobs new to the College, or those with significantly revised job descriptions, are evaluated by trained assessors using the internationally recognised Hay job evaluation system and we are currently in the process of training more HR staff to support this. This system ensures a sound and consistent judgement on the grading of individual jobs.
- An anonymised recruitment option is now available for hiring managers when appropriate.
- Review the language and material used in recruitment and use strategies to make it more attractive and inclusive to diverse and underrepresented groups.
- We have implemented a gender de-coding tool in recruitment to avoid deterring women from applying for roles or promotion due to hidden bias in language.
- Ensured that search agencies are briefed on the College’s requirement for them to identify the widest range of possible candidates.
- Implemented feedback surveys to review the applicant experience and record where possible the reasons candidates decline an offer of employment.
- Data provided to implement workforce planning, enabling departments to identify current or future problem areas and take action to address them.
- Imperial has joined BB Stem Black British in STEM (BBSTEM) which aims to increase the representation of Black scientists in industry and in academia and inspire young Black people to pursue STEM subjects in university and beyond. Imperial also has a fully paid subscription to the BBSTEM Jobs and Opportunities Board which will allow the College to recruit more diverse talent.
- Proconsuls are Professors of the College who, having served as Consuls, provide additional support for the full range work of the Consuls as delegated by the Senior Consul. This includes, for example, assisting where required with Academic Promotions Panels.
- The Recruitment Hub have an online resource toolkit available to all staff involved in recruitment and selection which provides advice and practical tips on how to ensure they recruit in an inclusive manner. All hiring managers are sent a link to the toolkit as a reminder when they are shortlist candidates.
People and Organisational Development (previously Learning and Development)
- Providing tailored development (including but not limited to Academic Women’s Programme, Springboard development programme) to ensure that we have a pipeline of qualified and skilled women who feel confident and motivated to apply for promotion and be successful when applying for more senior roles.
- Leadership and management development programmes that stress the manager’s responsibility for equality, diversity and inclusion at all stages e.g. encouraging conversations about career development and ensuring access to development and opportunities, making recommendations for academic promotion and conducting Annual Review Conversations in line with the new process.
- College-wide provision of Unconscious Bias training for decision-makers, including those who make decisions on promotion.
- Positive action development provision provided regularly and for staff at all levels e.g. women-only courses and others such as IMPACT for staff from ethnic minorities, Calibre for disabled staff – all designed to increase skills and opportunities.
- Having College-wide coaching and mentoring schemes which can help progress career development and address barriers.
- Introducing the Career Moves Guide to create greater transparency about career development for Professional, Technical and Operational staff at Imperial and tips for all roles, including hiring managers.
- The College provides a scheme whereby staff who register for a part-time postgraduate degree at Imperial may be eligible for a reduction in their tuition fee through the tuition fee remission scheme.
- Micro-development sessions have been introduced to support managers and staff with different aspects of the working experience including managing hybrid working, career development and managing relationships
- Reverse mentoring scheme launched which involves a senior leader being mentored by a more junior colleague who - from a diversity and inclusion perspective - is different from them in some way and has a different experience of the organisation. This is to build empathy and understanding, leading to better, more inclusive decision making.
- Media academy – which was initiated by Imperial As One and supports development of media skills for BAME academics.
- The Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (PFDC) provide career planning advice and training to support people to apply for roles. They also hold regular mock interviews to aid colleagues to be able to prepare and perform confidently in their actual interviews.
- PFDC - Updated registration forms to capture gender identity, ethnicity, and disability information to evaluate whether the PFDC programme of support is reaching all ECRs.
- PFDC - Disclosing disabilities information sent to all new postdocs by the PFDC. The aim is to provide information and encourage postdocs to disclose disabilities to allow appropriate support to be put in place.
- BAME Early Careers Conference to be held on an annual basis.
- Elsie Widdowson Fellowships for academics returning from either maternity, adoption/surrogacy or shared parental leave so that they can concentrate on their research and their career breaks do not hold back their professional progression.
- The College recognises the demands of family life and is committed to supporting members of staff to obtain a good work-life balance by enhancing family-friendly pay for maternity, shared parental, adoption, surrogacy, and paternity/maternity support leave.
- In June 2021, the Provost’s Board agreed to enhance the terms for Shared Parental Leave to enable both parents to each receive up to a maximum of 16 weeks’ shared parental leave at full pay when they are both employed by the College.
- The College continues to support both parents and staff with other caring responsibilities to achieve a work-life balance. The Parents and Carers networks are available for staff in addition to a newly introduced PFDC Parents Network. Monthly parent sessions are run for colleagues to meet others in similar situations across the College whilst providing an opportunity to engage with the HR team.
- In light of this, the College has become members of Carers UK to provide a free platform of resources to staff who identify as carers. The College acknowledges the annual National Carers Week with dedicated sessions in place to provide further support to staff.
- The College continues to run two termly workshopsaimed at both parents and carers. The workshops look at both the practical and emotional aspects to enable staff to develop in their careers post parental leave and/or balancing their caring responsibilities, through effective planning and communication. They are all free to College staff to attend.
- The College has signed up to P&Ps fully supported online platform known as the Parental Leave Portal. This offers parents and managers access to tailored, self-directed learning to manage the parental transition.
- The College offer all staff access to the My Family Care membership which provides a range of services for parents and carers. Free guides and webinars are available online for registered members. They also offer expert childcare searches and emergency childcare at competitive rates, nationwide.
- Family savings are offered to all staff via the Perks at Work platform with a number of providers/retailers.
- Financial support is offered for carers to attend work-related events outside of College/College hours and/or during school holidays.
- Other provisions include charged school holiday cover plus a number of on-campus baby changing facilities and nursing rooms to support new parents.
- Annual pay review (previously known as Pay Relativity) for every member of staff informed by the provision of benchmark data with recommendations moderated centrally. The new Pay Review framework covers both Equity Pay and Achievement Pay reviews.
- An independent Remuneration Committee that makes decisions on remuneration for the College’s most senior staff
- The Total Remuneration Package has been designed to ensure salaries are regularly reviewed to accurately reflect role responsibilities, with achievement being a key part of this.
- Starting salary policy guidance designed to help Line Managers make sound appointment decisions when hiring a new member of staff. Ensuring salaries are consistent and equitable across groups of staff employed in similar jobs within the department/faculty/Support Services and College.