Update Your Equality Data

Why does the University need my equality information?

How do I update my data?

What difference will sharing my data make?

What will happen to my data?

When can I share my data?

How has data been used to progress equality?

Examples of disclosing disability information in practice

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Why does the University need my equality information?


To be the strongest University we can be, we need to attract, grow and engage with talented people from many different backgrounds, heritages and lifestyles, and support and develop them to reach their full potential. Our University is one where openness is not only possible, but is welcomed as a central part of who we are as an institution.

We believe that diversity can deliver greater impact in our research and teaching and enhances the experience of our students. To help us achieve this goal we need to build diverse teams, and embed equality, diversity and inclusion values and practices in all we do.

How do I update my data?


It takes less than 5 minutes to update your Equality Data.

  • First, you need to be connected via VPN to the University.
  • Login to MUSE via the link at the top of the University webpages, using your regular University username and password

  • Click on the My Services tab and then myJob / myTeam / e-Recruitment

  • Under “Personal Profile”, click "My Equality Data"

  • Complete the fields listed

  • Make sure you click "Save" at the bottom or top left

Your line manager and HR will not be made aware of your disclosure data if you update this on myTeam, nor prompt discussions with yourself regarding any specific needs you may have.

What difference will sharing my data make?

The University currently has gaps in its equality data. Prior to the introduction of the myJob system in 2007, the University did not have a simple process for collecting equality data, and did not collect sexual orientation or gender reassignment until 2010. Therefore, many members of staff have never been asked to provide this information.

Sharing your equality data is beneficial for a number of reasons:

1. It is helpful for the University as it:

  • Allows us to build up a more accurate picture of our staff profile in terms of equality data, highlighting areas of under-representation from which we can develop actions - for example, using the data to establish a range of support for staff such as Staff Networks
  • Helps us assess the impact of proposed policies and initiatives on different staff groups, using Equality Impact Assessments to support decision making
  • Helps us understand, identify and remove barriers to ensure our services meet the needs of all staff

2. We all want to work in an environment where difference is valued and respected:

  • Effective use of the data is a strong signal to staff and potential job applicants that the University is committed to equality and to supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce. In turn, this contributes to the raising of our profile as an inclusive University, which has a positive impact on attracting staff and students regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage & civil partnership, and pregnancy & maternity.
  • For staff with a disability, disclosing this to your line manager, in addition to confidentially via myJob, can have a positive effect on your working relationship.

Founder, and former Chair - Staff & Disability Network, Mark Morley says: "I have found it beneficial declaring my disability to my Line Manager and my Department. It has improved my working life not having to 'hide' a part of who I am, and I feel more secure in myself. As the former Chair of the S&DN I also understand that declaring has to be a personal decision that has to be right for you as an individual."

3. The University is also bound by legal obligations:

Equality is underpinned by a mandatory legal framework. The Equality Act 2010 requires all public authorities to fulfil the requirements set out by the Act in the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). Under the PSED, the University is required to gather staff data across all protected characteristics.

It is also compulsory for the University to meet the reporting requirements of organisations such as HESA - Higher Education Statistics Agency. The University provides HESA with equality information as this is necessary for monitoring equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

What will happen to my data?

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The University takes the security and integrity of all the personal data it holds very seriously, and your data will be handled with the utmost confidentiality. All information disclosed by staff is stored on the staff system and can only be accessed by yourself or selected/trained staff within Human Resources.

All data provided is used only for statistical analysis and to help identify areas of under-representation, and develop actions to address this. Individual names are excluded to protect anonymity, and numbers are only reported where this wouldn’t put individual privacy at risk.

The handling of your personal data is controlled by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 and associated legislation. GDPR requires us to comply with a number of principles regarding privacy and disclosure when handling equality data (i.e. 'special categories of data'), including ensuring such data are processed, stored and used for limited purposes, and always in accordance with Article 9 of the GDPR. The GDPR includes measures to ensure that information is processed fairly and seeks to protect individuals' rights to confidentiality.

For further information about how we handle your personal information, please read the University's policies and procedures.

When can I share my data?

There are a number of routes for you to discuss your personal circumstances, and any needs you may have, with your line manager if you wish to:

  • SRDS
  • promotion or progression
  • sickness absence interview
  • disability leave request
  • request for flexible leave
  • request for reasonable adjustments

How has data been used to progress equality?

  1. Action to increase equality data over the past year has included Heads of Department, Athena SWAN Champions and our LGBT+ Senior Champion writing out to staff encouraging colleagues to update their data. As a result, sexual orientation disclosures in particular have increased from 18% in January 2014 to 48% in February 2016.

  2. An increase in disclosure of sexual orientation and gender identity was important information in the creation of our LGBT+ allies programme in 2016, Open@TUOS, which helps all staff create an open and inclusive environment for LGBT+ colleagues and students. This has had a significant impact on our LGBT+ colleagues and contributed to our standing as a Stonewall Top 100 organisation.

  3. Through analysis of disclosed data on ethnicity, the ED&IC identified a similar pattern in progression for BAME academics as exists for female academics. This data helped us, working with BAME and ED&IC colleagues, to consider actions to address this, such as setting up a BAME staff network.

  4. Disclosing a disability personally to your line manager will prompt a discussion about what workplace support and reasonable adjustments can be put in place to enable you to continue doing your job. Even if you do not require any reasonable adjustments at this time, it is useful to raise it with your manager, to open up a channel for ongoing dialogue and communication, so if any support is needed in the future, you can work positively together on this.
    Filling in your equality information on myJob will not alert your manager to your disability.

  5. As an employer, the University is committed to attracting, growing and engaging with talented people from diverse backgrounds at every level. We think it is extremely important that people feel able to bring their whole selves to work, and aim to create an inclusive, supportive and welcoming environment where people feel able to be open, leading to a more positive working experience.

Examples of disclosing disability information in practice

Example 1: A member of staff updates myJob to disclose they have a disability

This information cannot be seen by an individual’s line manager, and there is no notification that the record has been changed to line managers or HR. This information is only used as part of anonymous reporting.

Example 2: A member of staff discloses a disability to their line manager

A line manager should have a conversation about any current or potential impact of the individual’s disability that they need to (or might need to) know about, in order to accommodate any reasonable adjustments. The line manager may also seek advice from Human Resources at this point. In terms of recording the information, the only recording of disability a line manager can do is to record any sickness absence (via myTeam) that is related to an individual’s disability. 

The line manager should also suggest that the member of staff updates the information on myJob, to help with the overall University disclosure data, making it clear that the data recorded via myJob will only ever be used anonymously. The line manager cannot do this themselves.

If the individual has been referred to Occupational Health, reports will be returned to the person who referred them (usually the line manager, but HR can refer as well), and anyone named as authorised to receive it (the manager will normally name the HR Adviser). Any reports received by HR will be attached to the individual’s staff record and coded as a confidential record only.

Example 3: A member of staff discloses a disability to Human Resources

If an individual discloses a disability to HR, a conversation would take place to establish whether there are any risks, issues or concerns that need to be addressed. The HR colleague would make a judgement on whether to inform the individual’s manager, and would only do so where necessary. For instance, if it is felt there is something the manager needs to know, (so they can understand the issues, consider reasonable adjustments, and the University can exercise their duty of care, etc.), it will be explained to the member of staff that their manager will be informed confidentially. In this case, only the minimal amount of information will be shared as necessary. If it is felt that the manager does not need to know, the individual will be encouraged to be open with their manager, however the ultimate decision lies with the individual.

The individual will be encouraged to update their personal data in myJob. A file note will be made that the individual has disclosed a disability to their employer, in case it needs to be referred to in future, but this would not be stored on uBASE.

For further information on monitoring and disclosure, please see our Frequently Asked Questions

To find out more about our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion work, contact the HR team at hrequality@sheffield.ac.uk

The University of Sheffield is committed to achieving excellence through inclusion.