Students Staff
University of Essex

August 29, 2017

Trans equality from a Queer Studies perspective

Filed under: Gender equality — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 10:37 am

Come and join the next meeting of the LGBT+ Allies network on Tuesday 5 September from 13:00 – 14:00 in Room 4SA.6.17, when Victoria Beckwith, Project Officer (Tackling Sexual Violence) will be giving a presentation on ‘Trans equality from a Queer Studies perspective’.

Please go to HR Organiser to book your place.



Stonewall’s Leadership Programme and Stonewall’s Young Leadership Programme

Filed under: Gender equality — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 10:35 am

‘The deadline for applications for funding for Stonewall’s Leadership Programme and Stonewall’s Young Leadership Programme has been extended to Friday 1 September at 5 pm.  Please follow this link for more information on the course, the criteria and the application form, together with the guidance notes.  

The University is committed to promoting staff engagement in developing knowledge, expertise, and skills irrespective of role and career stage, so please take advantage of this great development opportunity and apply as soon as possible.’



July 10, 2017

Race Equality Charter

Filed under: Equality and Diversity — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 11:07 am

In May 2017 the University joined the Equality Challenge Unit’s Race Equality Charter (REC), demonstrating our commitment to improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education. In working towards this aim, we have accepted the five guiding principles of the REC which are:

  • Racial inequalities are a significant issue within higher education. Racial inequalities are not necessarily overt, isolated incidents. Racism is an everyday facet of UK society and racial inequalities manifest themselves in everyday situations, processes and behaviours.
  • UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
  • In developing solutions to racial inequalities, it is important that they are aimed at achieving long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individual.
  • Black and minority ethnic staff and students are not a homogenous group. People from different ethnic backgrounds have different experiences of and outcomes from/within higher education, and that complexity needs to be considered in analysing data and developing actions.
  • All individuals have multiple identities and the intersection of those identities should be considered wherever possible.
Professor Graham Underwood, Executive Dean (Science and Health) and the University’s Race Diversity Champion

Professor Graham Underwood, Executive Dean (Science and Health) and the University’s Race Diversity Champion

 

Professor Graham Underwood, the University’s Race Diversity Champion had the following to say regarding our new charter membership:

“I’m delighted that the University has committed to improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students through joining the Equality Challenge Unit’s Race Equality Charter. The Charter provides us with a framework to identify where racial inequalities exist within the University and to develop solutions that are aimed at achieving long-term institutional culture change.

As a University committed to inclusivity and to providing an environment in which all staff and students are accepted without exception, the principles of the Race Equality Charter align with our values and upholding them is vital in supporting the delivery of institutional excellence in education and research, our two central strategic objectives”.      

As part of our Charter membership we have also pledged:

  • to undertake a comprehensive self-assessment of race equality across the institution
  • to develop solutions to the issues identified through our self-assessment
  • to apply for a REC award within three years

For more information about what the University of Essex is doing to promote equality please visit the Equality and Diversity webpage or contact diversity@essex.ac.uk,



June 13, 2017

Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 12:30 pm

As part of the University’s commitment to increasing the diversity of staff at senior levels, the University has funded two places on the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme designed to support black and minority ethnic (BAME) staff transition into leadership roles. The programme is aimed at early career BAME academics and professional services staff, up to and below senior lecturer level (or equivalent).

This year Ai Gooch and Kojo Koram were selected to attend the Diversifying leadership programme. Below is Ai’s experiences of the event and how it has impacted her.

ai gooch

Subject Librarian for Business and Law

‘’I am a Subject Librarian for Business and Law. I applied for this programme because I am fairly new in my position and I wanted to know more about leadership in the context of UK higher education. The programme has been intensive, but rewarding. The course combines a theoretical framework of leadership and practical exercises to develop skills. For example, we looked at leadership theories through different timelines and across the world to raise awareness of the variety in the concepts of leadership. I also discovered various concepts and approaches related to leadership – sponsorship, for example, is something I had never heard of but I now have two sponsors, who have been a fantastic encouragement to me. Practical exercises, on the other hand, provide opportunities to do things without worrying about failure and to receive feedback. Such examples include ‘elevator pitch’ and ‘active learning sets’. Another positive thing about the programme is to have an opportunity to work with BME staff from other institutions and share experiences. It is really encouraging to meet people who struggle and succeed in similar circumstances. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to progress.’’

 

For more information on the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Diversifying Leadership programme and other development programmes please email Organisational Development at ldev@essex.ac.uk

 

 



April 19, 2017

Celebrating International Woman’s Day 2017

Filed under: Athena SWAN,Gender equality — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 10:57 am

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8th March. Thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. This year, Essex Women’s Network organised a number of events centred around the theme of Health and Wellbeing in order to mark this special occasion.

To start the day, Psychotherapist Vanessa Murphy ran an experiential mindfulness session, exploring ways in which the simple practices of mindful breathing and meditation could help us respond, rather than react, too stressful and difficult situations.

This was followed by an open discussion facilitated by Susie Morgan (Director of Human Resources) and Dr Valerie Gladwell (Senior Lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science) on the topic of health, wellbeing and maintaining a work-life balance.

We were also happily joined by Dr Caroline Marfleet, a Consultant in Family Planning and Reproductive Health at Colchester General Hospital, who provided information on the menopause. This was well attended by students and members of staff in Colchester and also in Southend, as the session was available via a live video broadcast. The session covered information such as the stages of the menopause, the symptoms and long-term impacts that may occur, how these symptoms can be reduced by using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the potential side effects that HRT may cause. Dr Marfleet also answered questions from attendees both regarding the menopause and wider fertility topics.  If you would also like the slides used by Dr Marfleet during this session, please email Jamais Webb-Small at jwebbs@essex.ac.uk.

Alongside these sessions, there were also a number of events that were held throughout the day. Free NHS checks were conducted by ACE Lifestyle, and Emma New provided wellness profiles that included the measurement of fat percentage, muscle mass, bone density and water percentage. In addition to this, a number of stalls were also held on square 3. Some were run by organisations centred around the theme of health and wellbeing (such as Health in Mind, Mid and North Essex Mind, Robin Cancer Trust and Occupational Health) whilst others instead showcased the facilities that the University has to support staff and students (Parent’s Group and the Women’s Network), and to improve the University’s environment to allow for equality of all genders both within academic departments and professional services (Athena SWAN). The Women’s Network organised a free lunch of soup and bread through Hospitality Essex, with a collection pot for monetary contributions to be donated to Colchester and Tendering Women’s Refuge. A total of £77.36 was raised!

In addition to this, both members of the Colchester Soroptimists and the Students’ Union LGBT* and Friends Society also ran stalls in order to fundraise for their organisations and provide information about what their respective groups are about, the aims that they have, and the type of events that they hold for their members.

However, the highlight of the day for many was the Motivational, Empowering and Inspirational (M.E.I) Women’s award. Sixty members of staff and students across the University, who identify as women, were nominated by their peers, students, friends and colleagues to be recognised for their inspirational achievements and their empowering attitudes that motivate and encourage others to be the best that they can be.

The awards were opened by the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) and the Diversity Champion of Gender (including gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, Professor Aletta Norval. This year, the awards were attended by the Chancellor of the University, Shami Chakrabarti, who provided a short speech exemplifying the importance of recognising and celebrating the achievements of others both inside and outside of the University.  Shami humorously referred to the occasion as a ‘reverse Twitter’ as, in an era where online ‘trolling’, harassment and abuse are something that is experienced by many,  students and staff across all three of the University’s campuses nominated others anonymously for uplifting and remarkable reasons. Shami strongly stated that it is important to hold events like this, as the incredible impact that individuals have on others around them can often be forgotten or deemed as insignificant when faced with criticism, derogative comments and self-doubt.

Shami then commenced with presenting each nominee with their award by reading the reasons behind their nomination and inviting them down to collect their certificate.

The awards were extremely well attended, and enjoyed by all. One attendee said that it was “lovely to attend a ceremony based around honouring people for what they do to help others rather than purely on personal achievement.”

Some images from the day’s events can be found here.



June 23, 2016

Did you know that today is the third National Women In Engineering Day?

Filed under: Athena SWAN — Tags: , , , — Therese Pagel @ 9:00 am

Did you know that only 15.8% of engineering and technology undergraduates in the UK are female? This is much less compared to India where over 30% of engineering students are women on engineering courses. Furthermore, only 9% of the engineering workforce in the UK is female and only 6% of registered engineers and technicians (i.e. CEng, IEng, EngTech) are women.

The University of Essex’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering is taking positive steps to promote gender equality in this field and is applying for the Athena SWAN Bronze Department Award this November. To promote this the School has created a website which informs about woman in the CSEE department and showcases female role models of the faculty.


For further information please see:
Women in Science website of Essex’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
National Women In Engineering Day’s homepage



October 1, 2015

Another Athena SWAN success

We are pleased to announce that the School of Health and Human Sciences has today received a prestigious Bronze Athena SWAN award that recognises commitment to tackling gender inequality in higher education. In an ever changing higher education landscape, participating in gaining an award is a significant undertaking, and we congratulate HHS for their demonstrable commitment to tackling gender inequality. HHS joins the School of Biological Sciences leading the way in departments who are creating diverse and inclusive learning and working environments. AS_RGB_Bronze-Award

Professor Aletta Norval, The University’s Gender Equality Champion said:

“We are extremely proud that HHS has received a Bronze Athena Swan award. The Athena Swan award exists to recognise work undertaken to address gender inequality, particularly in relation to representation, the progression of students into academia, the journey through career milestones and staff working environments. The award is testament to HHS’s commitment to the promotion of gender equality and the ongoing work in the Department and in the University to ensure an open and fair working environment.”