STATEMENT OF EQUALITY OBJECTIVES

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1 STATEMENT OF EQUALITY OBJECTIVES -18 Introduction This document builds on the work carried out by the University of Bath to demonstrate our commitment to equality and diversity in all areas of our activities. Additional information is available on the University s Equality and Diversity website. Our achievable objectives have been developed in consultation with stakeholders and build on work already completed. This is the new Statement of Equality Objectives. As before progress in achieving the objectives will be monitored by the Equality Management Group, which meets three times a year. The Group reports to the Equality and Diversity Committee which is a joint committee of Council and Senate and which oversees the University s equality and diversity responsibilities. Assistance to those responsible for progressing each objective will be provided through the Office of the University Secretary. Equality Act The Equality Act became law in October, It replaced previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). The public sector duty contained in the Act covers eight of the protected characteristics. We demonstrate our understanding of the effect of our policies and practices on people with different protected characteristics by complying with the general duty. This is done through monitoring (and publishing the results) of the impact of our activities and functions and making adjustments to our actions where necessary. The general equality duty requires all public bodies including universities to have due regard to the need to:- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act; Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The Equality Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics. Taking steps to meet the needs of people with certain protected characteristics where these are different from the needs of other people. Encouraging people with certain protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low. Statement of intent The University of Bath is an internationally recognised provider of high quality teaching and learning, a centre of excellence for research as well as a focus for sports and other functions. We intend to provide these services to students, staff, visitors and others in a fair and equitable way. We do this through our robust policies, practices and procedures, and measure the impact of these. We monitor the recruitment, achievement and retention of staff and students. We provide our staff with relevant training so that they can deliver services to students, visitors Page 1 of 11

2 and others to the highest standards. We are mindful of our obligations to treat people fairly irrespective of their age, disability status, gender 1, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity status, race, religion/belief, sexual orientation and transgender status 2, which are the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act The Act provides us with a good foundation for our policies, practices and procedures and we fully abide by these principles. Equality principles Our equality principles are:- 1. To maintain an organisational culture and environment in which staff and students understand fairness, inclusive language, positive attitudes, and the value of equality and diversity, 2. To remove barriers which may be experienced by members of protected groups including tackling unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, 3. To foster good relations between staff, students, contractors, visitors and service users by promoting an inclusive work/study/leisure environment, 4. To assist staff and students to achieve their potential at work and in their learning through relevant policies, practices, equality analyses and monitoring. Our objectives and actions aim to ensure equality and diversity is fully incorporated into our core business, with a focus on the nine protected groups as central elements of our approach. We will monitor and make necessary amendments to plans to facilitate progress in achieving these equality and diversity outcomes. Guidance, support and training will be provided to members of staff to ensure that the University's commitment to equality is fully realised. As part of our commitment, online Diversity in the Workplace and Unconscious Bias training is mandatory for all managers and other appropriate staff. The Equality and Diversity website has more information on each protected characteristic at Protected Characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010 Age The University is committed to ensuring that staff, students and visitors are not unfairly discriminated against on the basis of age, to valuing the age diversity inherent in the nature of higher education and to promoting age equality. We recognise the positive contribution older workers can bring to the workplace. We also recognise that our employment practices can particularly affect older workers, for example through the provision of flexible and part-time work opportunities and flexible retirement policies. Disability We respect the dignity and individual autonomy of disabled people and their right to full and effective participation and inclusion in society, and see respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of the recognition of human diversity. We are committed to giving high priority to the recognition of disability equality; promoting disability equality principles and practices internally as well as to external partners and the local community; and recognising and valuing positively the disabled community. 1 In the Equality Act 2010 gender is referred to as sex. 2 In the Equality Act 2010 transgender status is referred to as gender reassignment. For both the above protected characteristics we have retained the terms in current use in most of our documentation. Page 2 of 11

3 Disability access remains a priority for the University and is taken into account in considering new buildings improvements and maintenance to existing buildings. An Access Audit is undertaken at intervals. The Assistive Technology Initiative provides specialist support software for both staff and students. Gender We encourage the diversity of our staff, students and visitors and aim to create an environment of respect and dignity where we provide all staff and students with the opportunity to realise their full potential at work, study or leisure. The University has committed to gender equality through initiatives such as Athena SWAN which covers all academic disciplines at this University led by the Equality Challenge Unit awards standards. We have demonstrated our commitment to gender equality through a number of staff, student and service user-focused projects. These will assist us to meet the general duty. We will continue to work towards gender equality goals in consultation with staff, students and other stakeholders. Marriage/Civil Partnership Employees will be treated fairly in relation to their marital and civil partnership status. This means that they will not be discriminated because of their marriage or civil partnership status. Under the Equality Act 2010 being married or in a civil partnership are not protected characteristics for providing services in higher education institutions. It only applies to existing or potential staff and does not apply to students. Pregnancy/Maternity There are well established staff maternity, paternity and parental leave policies. Female students are protected from discrimination because of their pregnancy or maternity. It is unlawful for universities to discriminate against applicants and existing students in relation to admissions; the provision of education; access to any benefit, facility or service; and disciplinary proceedings. It is not direct discrimination against a male student to offer a female student special treatment in connection with her pregnancy or childbirth. Student Services has devised guidance materials to support academic departments to make appropriate provision for pregnant students and those within a period of 26 weeks of giving birth. Nursing mothers who are students or employees can make use of specific areas on campus for breastfeeding or expressing milk. There are baby-changing facilities in a number of locations around campus. Race We are committed to ensuring that staff, students and visitors to the University are treated fairly. We strive to provide an environment where everyone feels valued and welcomed. We have demonstrated our commitment to racial equality through a number of initiatives to promote equality between people from different ethnic groups and raise awareness of good practice in employment, teaching and learning, leisure, and other services provided by this University. Under the Equality Act race means a person s colour, and/or; nationality (including citizenship), and/or; ethnic or national origin and a racial group is composed of people who have or share a colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins. A person has the protected characteristic of race if they belong to a particular racial group, such as British people. Racial groups can comprise two or more racial groups such as British Asians. Page 3 of 11

4 Religion/Belief The University of Bath welcomes staff, students and visitors who hold religious beliefs or none. We also maintain that no student or employee will be treated less favourably because of their religion and belief or no faith. Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition 3. Through the information received from an internal survey we have improved the choice of food available on campus so that various religious needs are catered for. Menus in on-campus eateries give dietary details which enable clients to see at-a-glance whether their chosen dish is suitable for their religious needs. Sexual Orientation We value all our staff and students equally, regardless of their sexual orientation. We aim to create an environment in which all staff and students, whatever their sexual orientation, feel equally welcome and valued, and in which discriminatory behaviour is not tolerated. Recruitment, promotion and retention of staff; admission, progression and attainment of students are based entirely on relevant criteria, which do not include sexual orientation. Trans(gender) status We support existing and prospective trans staff and students and have been developing practices to facilitate the individual in employment, study and whilst using our services and facilities. We know that an individual s transgender status is a personal, social, and sometimes medical, process by which a person's gender presentation (the way they appear to others) is changed. Our Statement of Trans Equality (a separate document on this website) sets out how we cater for the needs of non-binary staff and students. Anyone who proposes to, starts or has completed a process to change their gender (gender reassignment) is protected from discrimination under the Equality Act. 3 Equality and Human Rights Commission taken from the glossary of terms Page 4 of 11

5 Statement of Equality Objectives (SEO) - This document sets out the University strategic objectives for equality and diversity for this three year period from January. Some objectives are a progression of those set out in the period up to Others are new because the University seeks to continually reappraise how it can be most effective in its impact on equality, diversity and inclusion and the elimination of harassment and, discrimination. This SEO will be monitored on a quarterly basis by the Equality Management Group and results will be reported to the Equality and Diversity Committee. A summary of the progress made in this SEO will be included in an annual report which will be presented to University Council. The purpose of setting and publishing SMART objectives is to strengthen and demonstrate our stance on the general duty contained in the Equality Act These objectives focus on some of the equality-related challenges we face and provide transparent evidence of our aspirations and priorities. Number Objective Prot Charac Success Measure Action Progress Start date 1 Increase to 18% in the proportion of women professors, taking steps at all levels to attract, retain and promote able women academics Sex (Gender)/ Gender reassignment Increase to 18% in the proportion of women professors 1. Successfully pursue all Athena SWAN actions relevant to this objective 2. Further develop effective methods (primarily within academic departments) to improve gender equality in recruitment, retention and promotion. 3. Collect and analyse recruitment, promotion and turnover data on an annual basis to report to Deans to review departments efforts USAT Deans HoDs Deans HoDs Deans HR OPP Page 5 of 11

6 Number Objective Prot Charac Success Measure Action Progress Start date and take relevant action. 2 Secure the University s reaccreditation for Athena SWAN (at least bronze level) in and support all STEMM departments to achieve and maintain awards by, secure at least Sex (Gender)/ Gender reassignment The university-wide award reaccredited. All STEMM and AHSSBL 4 departments apply for or work towards applying for awards by. 4. Assess the effectiveness of actions taken and improve performance if there is no change 18 months into this action plan. 5. Research into barriers to women Readers being promoted to Professors - including the use of focus groups. 1. Encourage all STEMM and AHSSBL academic departments to embed the ECU Gender Charter principles. 2. Assist departments to achieve awards VCG Deans HoDs 4 Arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), Page 6 of 11

7 Number Objective Prot Charac Success Measure Action Progress Start date one departmental silver award, improving the outcomes for women academics 3 Achieve a year-onyear reduction in the attainment gap for BAME students Race (Ethnicity) BAME student attainment improves and compares favourably with students from other ethnic groups. 3. Support academic departments to maintain their action plans following successful outcome of their submission. 1. Successfully pursue all actions identified by the Degree Attainment Group. 2. Regularly review what actions will achieve objectives Degree Attainment Group Degree Attainment Group 4 Improve provision for disabled students by way of enhanced physical access and more inclusive teaching practices Disability More disabled students report that they have benefitted from better accessibility on University premises. Year-on-year increase in academic staff completing online inclusive practices training programme. 1. Conduct an access audit and recommend where improvements to physical access should be made. 2. Agreement, funding and implementation of recommended actions. 3. Ensure appropriate communication of accessibility and measure improvement in awareness. Access Audit Working Group Access Audit Working Group Estates Estates Page 7 of 11

8 Number Objective Prot Charac Success Measure Action Progress Start date 5 Address and reduce the incidents at the University of harassment and bullying among students Disability/Sex (Gender)/ Race/ Gender Reassignment/ Sexual orientation 1. Methods to deal with reporting and incidents agreed and made. 2. Students report greater awareness of zero tolerance of such incidents. 3. Repeat of SU survey reflecting reduced incidents. 4. Ensure a more inclusive experience for students. Identify and share good practice in inclusive education. Promote and secure good take-up of online inclusive practices training. 1. Work with the SU and University departments to address incidents and improve communication on this issue Inclusive Curriculum Working Group SU 4. Revised Dignity and Respect policy and procedures implemented 2. Review the Dignity and Respect policy, consult and communicate the updated policy and associated procedures. Oct 2015 May Dignity and Respect WG Page 8 of 11

9 Number Objective Prot Charac Success Measure Action Progress Start date 6 Deliver the targets in the Access agreement to increase the proportion of home students from lower Socio-Economic Classifications (SECs) and Low Participation Neighbourhoods. 7 Secure enhanced equality and diversity engagement across departments. Age/ Disability/ Race/ Sex/Gender Reassignment Age/ Disability/ Gender reassignment Pregnancy and maternity/ Race/ Religion or belief/ Sex/ Sexual orientation Year-on-year improvement in results towards achievement of targets. Increased attendance by those who do not normally attend equality and diversity events. 1. Action detailed in the WPO action plan 2. Review achievements and adjust actions if required 3. Report results of achievements on an annual basis to EDC 1. Monitor attendance to ascertain unique attendance (new attendees at each event). Aim for 10% increase of these year-on-year. 2. Identify and communicate events to attract a wider attendance. 3. Equality and Diversity Network used as an effective way of raising level of understanding of equality and diversity in departments. 4. Use social media to communicate with those under Secure additional engagement with Oct 2015 WPO WPO WPO 50 th anniversary team EDN Chair Page 9 of 11

10 Number Objective Prot Charac Success Measure Action Progress Start date those of other faiths sensitively 8 Ensuring that the equality impact 5 is assessed and acted on, in the most significant policies and practices, on all protected groups. Age/ Disability/ Gender reassignment/ Pregnancy and maternity/ Race/ Religion or belief Sex/ Sexual orientation Equality impact included and acted on in all relevant policies, procedures and practice papers and other relevant documents 1. Include a section in covering papers to demonstrate awareness of equality impact in policies being reviewed. 2. Complete the EA programmeaugmented where significant and new practices arise. 3. Continue to complete EAs where considered appropriate each year 4. Publish completed/approved EAs on the web 2015 HoDs Abbreviations: USAT Athena SWAN University self-assessment team OPP Office of Policy and Planning VCG Vice-Chancellor s Group Office of the University Secretary SU Students Union 5 Known as Equality Analysis (EA) at this institution. Page 10 of 11

11 WPO EDN EDC ECU Widening Participation Office Equality and Diversity Network Equality and Diversity Committee Equality Challenge Unit Page 11 of 11

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