Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013 EQUALITY. me, you, everyone

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1 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013 o EQUALITY me, you, everyone

2 Summary policy information Name: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy Purpose: To explain the University approach towards Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Approving body: Employment and Finance Committee Person responsible: Equality and Diversity Manager Consultation: All staff and students March/April Scope: This policy covers anyone who interacts with the University staff, students, partners, contractors and all other stakeholders Date of approval: November 2013 Proposed date of review: 2016 Transforming people and communities by delivering accessible, high-quality, higher education through partnership working with our students, our customers and our staff. University mission statement University Plan Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013

3 Contents 1. Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 4 2. Our legal obligations 5 3. Our responsibilities - what you can expect from us 6 4. Your responsibilities - what we expect from you 7 5. Equality and Diversity in practice 8 6. Measuring progress and improvement Useful Links 11 appendix 1 3 Definitions of protected characteristics 12 appendix 2 Glossary of terms 13 Staffordshire University

4 Our Commitment to Equality and Diversity 4 1. A message from the Vice Chancellor The achievement of the University Plan is paramount to our success as a university and the effective involvement of our staff and our students will be critical in accomplishing this. One of the values within the Plan is being people-focused and a key element of this is our approach to equality and diversity. We are committed to fostering an inclusive community which encourages students and staff to fulfil their potential and which values every individual for their unique contribution to the success of the University. Our aim is to foster an environment of openness in which everyone is valued equally and can participate with confidence. We recognise that the synergy of a diverse community will bring new ideas, exchanges and inter-relationships which will enrich the University environment for the benefit of all. This document explains how our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion underpins what we are trying to achieve through the University Plan and why it will be integral to our ultimate success. Being people focused for us means respecting and valuing everyone s contribution to our University community. We have a longstanding commitment to equality, diversity, social inclusion and mobility. We see these are central to our success in building an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Michael Gunn Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer University Plan Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013

5 2. Our Legal Obligations The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to ensure protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of various protected characteristics. This means that we cannot discriminate against students, staff or visitors or treat them less favourably because of their: age sex (gender) race disability religion or belief gender reassignment sexual orientation pregnancy or maternity marriage or civil partnership (Appendix 1 provides a definition of each of these protected characteristics.) 5 This legislation applies not only to the University as an organisation but also to anyone working or studying with us and any partners, contractors and stakeholders. The Equality Act requires all public organisations, including Universities to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty and two specific duties. The Public Sector Equality Duty or general duty requires us to: Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation Advance equality of opportunity between different groups Foster good relations between different groups The two specific duties require us to: Publish information to show compliance with the Equality Duty on an annual basis Publish Equality objectives at least every 4 years which are specific and measurable Section 5 details how we put all this into practice. Staffordshire University

6 3.Our responsibilities what you can expect from us 6 Working together to increase the engagement levels of our staff and to provide an inclusive and equitable working environment. University Plan Your University will: Recognise, respect and value your contribution to the University community. Retain its commitment to the values of equality, diversity, social inclusion and mobility. Take all reasonable steps to provide a vibrant, healthy, safe, accessible, inclusive, equitable and sustainable learning environment, free from harassment or discrimination of any kind. Student Charter 2012 At Staffordshire University we strive to ensure that all our students and staff are able to study or work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Although the Equality Act 2010 requires us to focus on the nine specific protected characteristics, at Staffordshire University, equality is much more than just abiding by the legislation we want to provide an environment that gives people the confidence to perform at their best. So whatever your background, nationality, cultural heritage, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief, colour, gender identity, skills and experiences we want you to feel completely confident that you can fulfil your potential. We recognise the full value of diversity and will provide equality of opportunity for all our students and staff by: Working pro-actively to promote good relations between all students and staff Taking effective action to prevent discrimination, bullying or harassment on any grounds Promoting equality of access to education, training and development Providing flexible learning and working opportunities to support differing aspirations and goals Promoting good practice in all activities such as recruitment, selection promotion and curriculum practices Listening to and learning from our students, staff and partners Promoting, managing and monitoring equality and diversity across the University and in particular focusing on the nine protected characteristics The University will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind and will investigate thoroughly any complaint from any member of staff or student who alleges this kind of behaviour. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013

7 4.Your responsibilities what we expect from you As a student you will recognise that you are part of a learning community and respect those around you by treating others with tolerance, dignity and respect, either in person or virtually. Student Charter 2012 We all have a responsibility to ensure that, as a minimum, we meet our legal duties in terms of equality. However we have specific expectations in terms of: Our Staff we expect all our staff (whether managing staff, teaching, supporting, advising, challenging or developing students) to be ambassadors for the university and to ensure that in all their dealings with other colleagues, students and visitors they behave professionally and in a way that encourages inclusion and promotes equality. Our Executive Team and Senior Managers we expect our senior managers to lead by example and live the values outlined in the University Plan. As guardians of the culture of the University it is key to our success that our leaders and managers are seen to provide an exemplary model of good practice in eliminating discrimination, bullying and harassment and advancing equality and promoting good relations. Staffordshire University promotes the following workplace values: Respect and support for the rights and dignity of all individuals Open and constructive debate that respects the views of others A collaborative and co-operative approach based on mutual trust Recognising and valuing diversity in the workplace as a strength on which to build Code of conduct 2002 Our Governors - we expect our Governors to challenge our approach to equality to ensure that it is robust and to behave at all times in a way that reflects our values. A key role is also to champion and promote an inclusive environment and ensure that progress is being made against our equality objectives. Our Students we expect our students to be considerate of others during their time at the University. Fellow students, staff and visitors should be be valued and treated with respect as outlined in the Student Charter and the Student Behaviour Policy. A key part of the student experience is to collaborate with a diverse range of people. This will provide invaluable understanding of others culture, background, outlook and experiences in readiness for the world of work. Our Visitors, Partners, Contractors and other External Stakeholders we expect everyone who works with us or engages with our community to behave in a way that reflects the values and ethos outlined in this document. Our legal responsibilities for equality cover everyone who interacts with us and we expect the highest standards of behaviour from all our stakeholders. As a minimum we expect everyone to: Behave in a way that promotes a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone Treat each other with dignity and respect at all times 7 Staffordshire University

8 5. Equality and Diversity in practice There are a number of ways in which we ensure that equality and diversity underpin our day to day activities including the following: Having a number of Policies that describe in detail the expectations outlined on the previous page: University Plan , Student Charter, Student Regulations, Student Behaviour Policy, Staff Code of Conduct, Staff Bullying and Harassment Policy. Developing University Equality Objectives. Our equality objectives demonstrate our commitment to achieving significant positive change over the coming four years. We expect the achievement of these objectives to result in meaningful improvements for all staff and students. In addition to these benefits, the development and publication of these objectives helps us to fulfil our obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty. The University welcomes diversity and believes that every person has a right to work in an environment which encourages harmonious relationships. The University is committed to preventing harassment and bullying... Bullying and Harassment Policy 2008 Developing Equality Action Plans for each Faculty or Service. These plans embed equality and diversity at a departmental level and ensure that every area of the University contributes effectively to progressing equality. 8 Carrying out an Equality Analysis as part of our everyday business. This approach should improve the way we make decisions and improve the service that we provide to our customers. It will also help us to meet our legal duties by showing that we have paid due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty when developing and implementing changes to strategy, policy and practice. Including equality as an item on the agenda for every Executive Team meeting and every Service or Faculty Management Team meeting to ensure that equality issues are considered as a matter of routine. Monitoring equality as part of the Quarterly Business Review process to ensure that progress is being made against identified actions. Having a comprehensive Equality and Diversity web site with resources for staff and students including information on protected characteristics, the inclusive curriculum, equality analysis, training and events Populating our Equality Forum with articles, reports and data to provide staff with information and updates as well as an opportunity to discuss the latest developments. Celebrating our diverse community and commemorating important equality events through a range of activities such as our diversity fashion show, the annual Holocaust Memorial lecture, the annual International Womens Day lecture and activities to raise awareness during Black History Month, Disability History Month and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History Month. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013

9 Supporting initiatives such as Stonewall Diversity Champions, Athena Swan, the Frank Buttle Trust and Disabled Go to promote equality and benchmark our progress. Developing and delivering training. There are training opportunities available for staff and students on a wide range of equality issues, such as discrimination, cross-cultural communication, various aspects of disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, transgender, age, gender and race. Establishing consultation groups such as the Disabled Staff Forum and the Disabled Student Engagement Group so that any disabled staff or student can contribute to improving the way we support disabled people across the University. Having a range of student societies/groups that provide support for individuals, raise awareness of issues and organise events. More information about these group can be found on the Students Union website www. staffsunion.com. These groups include: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender society, African Caribbean society, Chinese society, Mature Students society, Liberation Forums (Disability, BME, Womens, LGBT). Providing a range of Support Services for students such as Counselling, Chaplaincy, Nurseries, Information Services, International Office, Careers, Finance, Disabled Student Support, Staffordshire Regional Access Centre. 9 Staffordshire University

10 6. Measuring our progress and making improvements Monitoring our progress is now embedded as part of our business cycle and we expect that this approach will mean that we achieve the objectives that we have set and also identify future actions to enable continuous improvement. Some of the ways in which we will do this include: Measuring progress against our Faculty/Service action plans every three months as part of the Quarterly Business Review process. Providing an Annual Report to Governors which will summarise progress against our University Equality Objectives and our equality key performance indicators. Monitoring trends from the equality statistics that we publish annually. 10 Assessing the success of our training and events by asking for regular feedback from participants. Evaluating our progress by undertaking regular equality environment audits with staff and students. Identifying and setting actions to address any equality issues highlighted in staff and student surveys. Identifying future actions as we monitor and evaluate our progress. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013

11 7. USEFUL LINKS Equality and Diversity webpage Equality Forum http//blogs.staffs.ac.uk/equalityforum Equality Challenge Unit Equality and Human Rights Commission 11 Staffordshire University

12 Appendix 1: Definitions of protected characteristics Age Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or range of ages (e.g year olds). Disability A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Gender reassignment The process of transitioning from one gender to another. Marriage and civil partnership Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as civil partnerships. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters. 12 Pregnancy and maternity Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. Race Refers to the protected characteristic of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins. Religion and belief 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. Sex A man or a woman. Sexual orientation Whether a person s sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013

13 Appendix 2 Glossary of Terms Due to the nature of each of the protected characteristics it means that discrimination can take many forms as detailed below. Direct Discrimination Direct Discrimination consists of treating a person less favourably than others on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion & belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage & civil partnerships & pregnancy and maternity. Discrimination by Perception A person treated less favourably or harassed/victimised based on a perception that the affected has one of the protected characteristics and is targeted because of this. Discrimination by Association Associative discrimination is behaviour motivated against an individual because of their association with someone who has a protected characteristic. Indirect Discrimination Indirect discrimination is a condition or requirement that applies to all, but in practice; has a detrimental effect upon a group of individuals means that a smaller proportion of people of a particular protected group can comply than the proportion of other persons; and cannot be fully justified. 13 Discrimination Arising from Disability Someone is treated unfavourably because of something connected to their disability and there is no good reason for doing this. It is also disability discrimination if someone does not make adjustments to allow disabled people to access a service or carry out a job. For example, providing an information leaflet in Braille. This is called the duty to make reasonable adjustments. Harassment Harassment takes many forms. It is the unwelcome physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or humiliating environment for the recipient. The definition of harassment according to the act is described as follows:- violating a person s dignity creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person. Victimisation Victimisation consists of taking actions against a person or treating him/her less favourably for asserting his/her rights or because he/she has taken action in support of the rights of people in the groups. To treat them unfairly: to single somebody out unfairly for punishment or ill treatment. Staffordshire University

14 EQUALITY o me, you, everyone For further information please contact: The Equality and Diversity Team /5847 Room 101 Flaxman Building College Road Stoke on Trent ST4 2DE Equality issues have been taken into account during the development of this policy and all protected characteristics have been considered as part of the Equality Analysis undertaken. M4884 PW 2013

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