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Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

The University of Northampton is committed to providing a vibrant, ethical and sustainable work, study and living environment that values equality, diversity and inclusion.

This commitment, along with our legal and moral obligations, provides an inclusive environment for staff, students and the public who may be affected by our activities.

Together @ UON – Our Commitment to Equality and Inclusion

​Together @ UON confirms our commitment to equality and inclusion, underpinned by our belief in taking action. We are dedicated to creating an environment that celebrates equality and harnesses the power of diversity.

Together @ UON demonstrates our pledge to our staff, students and partners to nurture and develop an environment where equality and inclusion can thrive whilst we Transform Lives and Inspire Change.

Declaration from Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor.

I am proud to be Vice Chancellor of an institution that values and promotes equality and inclusion. I pledge my support to both staff and students to ensure under my leadership, that the University of Northampton continues to work together to create a fair and inclusive environment where all individuals can excel.

Together@UoN we will;

1. Create an inclusive and supportive environment that is safe, cohesive, free from fear and discrimination whilst enabling open discussion by:​

  1. Adopting a zero-tolerance approach to all forms hate including bullying and harassment, discrimination and violence.  We will work proactively with individuals who may need support because of race, ethnicity or nationality; religion; mental or physical impairment or disability; sexuality; trans-status; sex; pregnancy or maternity; or age.
  2. Embedding equality in everything we do, including in our learning and teaching, research and staff development, ensuring that we value the experiences of all, including those from minority ethnic backgrounds.
  3. Ensuring all our activities, policies and procedures, are inclusive and relevant to our diverse community.

2. Actively support all our students and staff in way that is respectful of their privacy and dignity by:​

  1. Staff and students from all levels of the organisation and all disciplines working together to create, implement and monitor clear actions achieve our key priorities
  2. Ensure our students and staff receive the support needed to excel in everything they do;
  3. Strengthening our support for Mental Health First Aid by investing in further training and creating an environment where students and staff feel comfortable talking about Mental Health issues;
  4. Building on our Disability Confidence recognition to ensure all colleagues, regardless of mental or physical impairment or disability, feel supported and confident that we will work with them to remove barriers;
  5. Through all out professional student support services, ensure students receive the support needed to excel in their academic studies;

3.Being pro-active in tackling all inequalities by:

  1. Staff and students from all levels of the organisation and all disciplines working together to create, implement and monitor clear actions
  2. Involving students in the recruitment of student facing roles to encourage a diverse and representative workforce.
  3.  Bringing together the work of the Student Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum and the Staff Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum to analyse and respond to key equality data and drive forward the equality and inclusion agenda.
  4. Encourage and promote the work of networks established to support staff and students with protected characteristics.
  • In September 2019 the University extended our commitment to the Disability Confident Scheme by signing up to level 2 and becoming a Disability Confident employer.

    Previously known as the Two Ticks scheme, this is a voluntary scheme and involves self-assessment against statements relating to recruiting, retaining and developing disabled people and developing our people. Not only does this help disabled people and those with long term health conditions have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations but it enables the University to access the valuable skills which disabled people can bring to the University.

    To find out more about the Disability Confident Scheme visit:  https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/

  • ​Building on our Changemaker Values, where social impact and inclusion are key, the University has made a commitment to adhere to the five principles articulated in the Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter (REC). This provides a framework to identify and reflect on how to address the institutional and cultural barriers faced by UON staff from ethnic minorities*.

    The five guiding principles are;

    1. We recognise that 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.
    2. We recognise that we cannot reach our full potential unless we benefit from the talents of the whole population and until staff from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
    3. In developing solutions to racial inequalities, we will aim to achieve long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individual.
    4. We recognise that minority ethnic staff 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.
    5. All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities will be considered wherever possible.​

    Leadership at U​​ON​

    • As the University Management Team, we will both be, and develop, inclusive UON leaders who;
    • Take a zero-tolerance against perpetrators of racial discrimination Advocate race equality and fully embrace and champion initiatives on race that make inclusion a priority.
    • Develop trust and openness, to create safe spaces for dialogue that explores differences, to achieve mutual understanding and respect
    • Adapt behaviour to work with other individuals and cultures
    • Promote talent, regardless of background recognising that everyone has equal access to the same opportunities
    • Drive results, make things happen, be held to account and avoid empty organisational statements​

    What will this look like at UON?​

    We will explicitly capture our intentions in the Staff Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Priorities 2020-2025 and supporting rolling action plan.

    ​Actions will include;

    1. Continuing to work with our ethnic minority staff and the Global Ethnic Majority Staff Network to eradicate racial inequality and to promote an inclusive and responsive environment
    2. Developing and embedding a new Key Behaviour – Enabling Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
    3. Prioritise addressing the ethnic minority Pay Gap
    4. Changing our staff development to include;
        • Developing and providing staff development specifically for ethic minority staff with a view to improving career advancement
        • Increasing engagement of ethnic minority staff with existing staff development opportunities
        • Raising awareness and improving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion practice for all staff through additional awareness training, along with continued and expanded results-focused deployment of unconscious bias training​
    5. Providing space to challenge our own assumptions and experiences and strive to understand the hurt and challenge that ethnic minority colleagues may have been through and go through, as employees or from suffering racism in other forms of everyday life.
    6. Recognising the negative impact on mental health of colleagues who have been affected by discrimination, hear their lived experiences and provide support.
    7. Maintaining a genuine stand against racial discrimination, reviewing HR policies and practices to ensure they are truly inclusive and consider the complexity of microaggressions and support to change poor management practices.
    8. Ensuring that all actions are evidence based and determined by data, addressing any evidence of disproportionate representation of ethnic minority staff in disciplinary, grievance, sickness and performance management processes to resolve potential causes.
    9. Using the Race Equality Charter to inform and challenge actions and outcomes, measure success and at an appropriate time, make a formal application to become a member of Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter.​

    * We recognised that BAME or BME are often used but are not perfect, We do not want language to distract from action.

A copy of the University’s Equality and Inclusion Policy and the Equality Analysis Guidance and Gender Pay Report 2020 is available to download along with the Staff Guidance for Sexual Harassment, Misconduct and Sexual Violence and Student Guidance for Sexual Harassment, Misconduct and Sexual Violence.

The equality and diversity activity is managed through key committees and implemented via formal policies, guidance and plans. The responsibility of equality and diversity extends beyond the University to also include subsidiary companies and collaborative partnerships.

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