Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
Foreword from the President
"As a Union, we stand to represent the interests of all students, regardless of their demographic. Equality, diversity and inclusion sit within our core values as a Union of Students; therefore, this policy stands to solidify our commitment to the inclusion of all students within our strategic plan (2017-2022). Students sit at the heart of everything we do; in championing student voice, celebrating diversity and pushing for greater equality. This policy outlines our ambition of creating a vibrant student community which is accepting, diverse and thus, inclusive of all. The Union strives to surpass all our legal obligations and we want to go above and beyond to foster a community where our students and staff feel confident and proud to be themselves. In all derivatives and avenues of the Union, we will ensure our practices and activities across our organisation are inclusive, so every student feels a sense of belonging and equal access to all the development opportunities in which we offer."
This strategy and action plan sets out how the Union of Students, University of Derby will meet the equality duties, as set out in the Equality Act 2010, by placing the student at the heart of everything we do. The Union will achieve this via consultation, involvement and effective engagement with Union employees, our members, stakeholders and the wider community to deliver services, activities and events that are inclusive to all.
The ED&I strategy identifies the priorities and actions of the Union with an intention to move beyond legal compliance to demonstrate our commitment to equality and diversity and establish best practice in all the areas delivered by the Union.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission define equality in the following terms:
"Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents and believing that no one should have poorer life chances because of where, what or whom they were born, what they believe, or whether they have a disability."
The Union’s aim is to reflect this ethos by embedding this in our everyday practice, inclusive of
- Our activities and opportunities
- The way we treat Union staff, students and stakeholders
- Our venues
Under the Equality Act 2010, the Union is committed to a policy of equal opportunities and equality in employment, not only for legal requirements, which necessitate compliance, but more importantly, the provision of equal opportunities is fundamental to the way in which we function as a business. The promotion of an effective policy fits naturally into the business environment, how we deal with our customers and our internal procedures for employees.
The Equality Act 2010 brings together and re-enforces aspects of previous legislation. The same ‘groups’ are covered but are now known as ‘protected characteristics’:
- gender reassignment
- Marriage or civil partnership (in employment only)
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
For further information please refer to our Equal Opportunities, Equality and Dignity at the Union policy, within our statutory polices.
Vision and Priorities
Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the core of the Union of Students’ for our members and employees. This strategy demonstrates our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusive practice, by establishing a structure for achieving our equality and diversity responsibilities.
Underpinning the Union’s ED&I strategy is our Union Strategic Plan 2017–2020, to achieve our goals we identified five strategic themes:
- Building a vibrant student community
- Developing people through transformative opportunities
- Championing clear and effective student voice
- Delivering flexible support and guidance
- Create data driven, positive outcomes
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy for 2018–2022
The Union identifies Equality as one of the fundamental enablers to ensure the effective delivery of the themes identified in the Union's Strategic Plan. The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy outlines our commitment to playing our part in the development of a fairer society where diversity is respected, valued, and celebrated, and where people do not face discrimination, prejudice, and oppression but can flourish anf fulfil their potential. The EDI Strategic Principles, Priorities, and Actions outline how the Union will promote equality and diversity in all areas of the Union to ensure inclusive processes, practices and cultures.
Celebrate the strength of diversity and achieve recognition for our inclusive practice
- Increase the impact and range of events and activities held across all campuses designed to promote ED&I
- Identify all quality marks and awards suitable for the Union to work towards over the next three years
- Identify local organisations and charities for potential partnership working
Build a safe community for students and staff to express themselves freely
- Demonstrate that the Union has a zero tolerance of all forms of harassment and bullying
- Communicate what ED&I means and share the impact our work has for our members
- Work with the University to improve the Transgender Policy
- Facilitate termly student-staff wellbeing forums
- Support and empower the part-time liberation officers
- Develop a strong and visible system for reporting and acting upon discrimination and hate incidents
Embed inclusive practicies across the Union
- Develop an ED&I Steering Group that will embed and support equality, diversity, and inclusibn across all areas of the Union
- Carry out an audit of each Union department to assess accessibility and inclusivity
- Celebrate key dates for different cultures through social media
- Maintain a calendar of cultural celebration events and share with employees
- Develop inclusive recruitment processes
Implementation and Review
The Support and Inclusion manager will be responsible for leading the Union to achieve the actions detailed in the Action Plan.
The HR manager will be responsible for specific equality issues in relation to staff and employment.
The Union Equality and Diversity Chair and Support & Inclusion Manger co-chair the ED&I committee. It’s members include the HR manager, Part Time Elected Officers, and Equality Champions representing each of the Union departments. The committee will review the ED&I action plan at the bi-monthly meetings to identify the progress of the actions and work collectively to achieve the ED&I mission statement. These meetings will ensure the Union focuses on the priorities and that there is regular scrutiny of the ED&I strategy.