New Director for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion appointed

The University has appointed to a new leadership role to help drive our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy.

Fiona joins the University at the end of August

Headshot of Fiona McClement, the new EDI Director.

Fiona McClement becomes our first Director for EDI at the end of this month. She will work with colleagues to create a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive environment for everyone at the University. 

Fiona joins following the launch of our new EDI strategy, which sets out our vision for how the University will advance equity, diversity and inclusion for our community, based on our core values of inclusion, integrity, compassion and collaboration. 

Fiona said: “With the launch of the new University EDI strategy, and the commitment and increased focus on tackling inequity, I’m really pleased to be joining this fantastic University. There’s a lot of good work already underway in EDI at Leeds, and such evident willingness and disposition to address structural and intersectional challenges. 

“We need to work together, with compassion, to co-create interventions that have a tangible, direct impact on the lived experiences and outcomes of our students and colleagues.” 

Driving institutional change 

Fiona’s experience as a leader in this field includes 11 years at University College London (UCL), where she was Director of EDI.  

Fiona worked with colleagues across the institution to catalyse EDI, leading to evident impact at UCL. Under Fiona’s leadership, UCL became the first University in the UK to hold both a Silver institutional Athena Swan award and Bronze Race Equality Charter award.    

Since leaving UCL, Fiona has worked at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Bradford, as well as supported higher education institutions across the UK and CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Switzerland to build inclusive cultures and prevent unacceptable behaviour.  

Working together to make a difference 

Fiona added: “I’m really looking forward to building on the existing hard work and contributions of the University of Leeds community, to meeting folk, getting stuck in, and to boost collective endeavours to really make a difference on EDI.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, said: “EDI is an essential component of our Strategy and of our vision of making a positive difference in the world. I’m thrilled to welcome Fiona to the University to help drive forward this crucial work.

“Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our University. I look forward to working with Fiona and our two EDI Deans, Professor Louise Bryant and Dr Kendi Guantai, to improve diversity and create a sustainable and inclusive environment that we can all be proud of.” 

Prior to joining UCL, Fiona worked as a Senior Research and Policy Officer for a community-controlled Indigenous organisation in Australia, and before this as a researcher for the South Australian Parliament.  

She also worked for the Centre for Racial Equality and Rights in Scotland, focusing on research and policy development, and at the Scottish Parliament, where she worked on social justice and equality issues. 

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