Inclusivity Award - a celebration of collaboration and collegiality
Our Director of Human Resources and Communications, Tracy Wray, was presented with a prestigious award for inclusive leadership at the Yorkshire & North East Institute of Directors awards ceremony last week.
On accepting the award, Tracy said: "Receiving this award is a significant endorsement of the commitment and engagement of so many colleagues across the University. I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the ongoing hard work and dedication of our staff in striving to create an inclusive workplace where colleagues and students are supported to bring their whole self to work and be comfortable about their identity, heritage and background".
"Our University has been working hard to lead the way on diversity and inclusion campaigns for several years. I am very proud that we have now been recognised as a beacon of best practice and deemed as 'one to watch' for other organisations seeking to create an inclusive environment."
Our University has a long-standing commitment to the principles and benefits of diversity. The Power of Difference is our strong and coherent narrative for diversity and inclusion at the University, which aims to build diverse teams. It is the University’s firm belief that bringing together people with the relative skills, strengths and identities will enrich and deliver greater impact in our research and teaching, enhance the student experience and make a positive impact on our institution.
Aligning with University guiding principles - excellence, diversity, engagement, collegiality - our inclusivity initiatives and frameworks are part of the our 2016-2021 Power of People strategy and include:
Our University values international students and we are passionate about making sure their contribution is recognised. Launched in 2013, #WeAreInternational has led the way as an inclusive national marketing campaign to encourage students/staff to study/work in the UK. Driven by social media, the campaign influences the debate by celebrating the contributions of international students to the UK, and promoting the benefits of their inclusion.
Designing in diversity, designing out bias in recruitment
Our innovative candidate-centric talent attraction approach is focused on actively building diverse teams. Our vision is to build a University community that attracts, engages and develops talented individuals from many different backgrounds, with the aim of ensuring that we create a truly inclusive environment.
Our allies programme encourages staff to visibly and actively progress LGBT+ equality and inclusion, to support both staff and students. Open to all colleagues regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, over 25% of our 8,000 staff are already signed up as supporters. We know that people actively look for inclusive employers - in this way, Open@TUoS supports our business imperative to create an inclusive university that attracts and retains the best talent.
Our commitment to Apprenticeships reflects our values as an inclusive and diverse employer that understands the availability of apprenticeships to all ages, sectors and levels, and the value they offer our organisation. Our apprenticeships range from intermediate level through to master’s degree, and cover a variety of subjects from accounting to engineering.
Inclusive ED&I strategy and governance structure
Our Equality Diversity & Inclusion Committee has been restructured to broaden representation and include our staff network Chairs alongside our Faculty Committee ED&I Chairs. A workload allocation has recently been agreed for these roles to enable members to shape how ED&I is progressed across the University and engender a sense of shared ownership and accountability across all protected characteristics.
A range of development activity is available to help staff learn more about equality, diversity and inclusion and understand the shared expectations and responsibilities needed to maintain an inclusive culture. A selection of e-learning courses are available on MOLE including Transgender Awareness, Unconscious Bias and Disability Confident.
Transgender Guiding Principles
As part of our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and compliance with the Equality Act (2010), the University aims to ensure that all staff (including transgender people, staff associated with transgender people and people perceived to be transgender) are treated with dignity and respect and will not tolerate any discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation during recruitment and their employment. As a result, we have developed a number of Transgender Guiding Principles.
‘Juice is for everyone’ : the University’s health and wellbeing programme blends a range of physical and wellbeing activities for all levels and abilities. Juice additionally recognises the importance of positive mental health and offers activities such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga and pilates which give colleagues the opportunity to be in the present moment and help manage their mental wellbeing. The dedicated staff webpages for Mental Wellbeing launched this year to encourage and create and open culture and conversation around mental health.