My week - 15 April - Everyone included, everyone involved

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Organisational Effectiveness, Professor Dawn Freshwater, writes a guest column about Equality and Inclusion.

Professor Dawn Freshwater

Regular readers of For Staff and previous ‘My Week’ columns, will know that the University has recently been involved in and recognised for a number of high-profile equality and diversity initiatives. Following our successes with Athena SWAN awards – of which there are, hopefully, more to come as both the Faculty of Engineering and School of Medicine are submitting for the Athena SWAN awards this month – we were also held up as an example of good practice by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in their assessment of how public authorities perform when meeting legal obligations to publish their equality data. Leeds was one of only two universities cited, which is a great achievement for us and one of which we can be very proud.

Many of you will know already that, in response to the Equality Act 2010 and the changing landscape of equality and diversity in higher education, the University has been undertaking a review of its Equality & Inclusion (E&I) strategy and revisiting its alignment with contemporary service needs for both students and staff. Of course, we want to meet our statutory obligations, but we aim to really excel in responding to our equality responsibilities, both as an employer and also by creating an inclusive teaching and research environment.

Over the past 12 months, through a consultative process, the new E&I strategy has been developed. We’re now moving into the next phase, and colleagues from the Equality and Diversity Service and the E&I strategy group will be facilitating a number of open sessions in order to share ideas and suggestions around next priorities and action plans. There is still time to sign up for one of these workshops on the following dates

Wednesday 17 April, 2-4pm
Thursday 18 April, 12-2pm
Wednesday 24 April, 2-4pm
Thursday 25 April, 12-2pm

All the workshops will take place in the EC Stoner training room (room 10.50). If you’re unable to attend one of sessions or want further information, you can leave your comments on the online feedback questionnaire or email suggestions to

I do hope that you will take part in the consultation; equality and inclusion is a vital part of our strategy and the future success of the institution.


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