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 has an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy Group that is chaired by the Provost, and membership includes the deans of each faculty. The Group is supported by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum, whose members are drawn from across the College community and include staff and students. The Forum serves as a listening post to capture and discuss all manner of EDI issues, and to work on proposals for action that can be presented to the Strategy Group.
- The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy includes strategic actions in support of gender and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff. It includes an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to integrate into all management processes.
- The College is committing to creating a positive and inclusive culture for all members of our community through the Imperial Together initiative whereby the College Values underpin and reflect our behaviours and working environment.
- The College became a member of the Race Equality Charter in 2018. A working group was set up which aimed to identify cultural barriers facing BAME staff and students through a self-assessment process. The aim was to improve representation, progression, and success of BAME staff and students in addition to providing initiatives and solutions when challenging barriers to equality. A Race Equality Charter Action Plan has been created as a result of this work.
- The College successfully renewed its Silver Athena Swan award in July 2022, the first university to do so under the transformed Athena Swan Charter
- Implementing the comprehensive and College-wide Athena Institutional Silver Award Action Plan and the Athena-related activity that affects academic, research and support staff in all academic departments.
- The appointment of an Assistant Provost (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), reporting to the Provost.
- Provost’s and President’s Board members participated in training from a leading equality consultancy and are taking actions as a result, including strengthening a healthy workplace culture which encourages retention and progression of women
- Values Focus groups were introduced across the College in 2020 where staff reflect on what values the organisation should embed into its culture.
- The College’s Values had been developed via these 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.
- Centrally-supported diversity networks – Imperial As One for BAME staff, Able@Imperial for disabled staff and Imperial 600 for LGBT staff
- Events that showcase equality and promote inclusion e.g. Women@Imperial, celebration of Black History Month, Disability History Month
- College awards to celebrate those whose contributions have supported academic women
- The Management Trainee Scheme is being reviewed in order to better support internal staff progression in relation to gender and ethnicity.
- EDI Fellowship has been introduced to understand equality, diversity and inclusion issues affecting researchers in biomedicine.Managed Fellowship Opportunities | Research and Innovation | Imperial College London
- New induction for managers – includes managing for diversity inclusion and wellbeing. This adds to the local induction programme. This short, interactive session helps managers understand their role in managing people at the College, including managing for Equality, diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing in every aspect of the employee life cycle.
- Imperial’s President and Provost have commissioned a Group to examine the history of the College through its links to the British Empire, and to report on the present understanding and reception of the College’s legacy and heritage in the context of its present-day mission, which is ‘to achieve enduring excellence in research and education in science, engineering, medicine and business for the benefit of society’. Recommendations will be developed, and consideration given to experience of minoritised groups at College.
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.
- 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. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/human-resources/recruitment-and-promotions/recruitment/professional-teaching-and-research-staff-appointments/
- 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 StemBlack 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.
People and Organisational Development (previously Learning and Development)
- Providing personalised development (including but not limited to the Academic Women’s Programme, Springboard development programme) to ensure that we have a pipeline of qualified and skilled women who can be promoted or 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. access to training and opportunities, recommendations for promotion, conducting Personal Review and Development Plan meetings
- Providing personal career planning advice and mock interviews to aid progression
- 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
- Rolling out a College-wide mentoring scheme 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 parties, 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-coaching sessions have been introduced to support managers with the return to campus and managing hybrid working.
- 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. Imperial’s Reverse Mentoring scheme returns following successful pilot | Imperial News | Imperial College London
- Media academy – which was initiated by Imperial As One and supports development of media skills for BAME academics.
- 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 sessions are run for both parents and carers to network with other colleagues 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 three termly parent workshops which look at both the practical and emotional aspects to enable staff to develop in their careers post parental leave, through effective planning and communication. They are all free to College staff to attend.
- 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.