The University of York was founded in 1963 on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all. Today, equality of opportunity and inclusivity remain fundamental to the vision and values of the University, as set out in the University Plan and supporting strategies.
The University's Equality and Diversity Office plays a key role in raising awareness about the full range of equality and diversity issues. The Office works with both staff and students, all of whom have a role in advancing equality and celebrating the diversity of the university community.
This page sets out how the University is working towards meeting the requirements of the Equality Duty and includes a summary of the work on the individual protected characteristics of Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief or Non-Belief, Sex, Sexual Orientation.
The University of York's approach to equality is informed by information gathered in a number of different ways; principle methods include via consultation, forums and surveys held with staff and students, feedback on services, equality progress reports, analysis of data on both staff and students and comparison with appropriate benchmarks, issues arising in committees, outcomes of complaints and the results of Equality Impact Assessments.
The information gathered is key in evidencing to the University where it needs to focus in order to continue to improve and develop its work on equality. Once appropriate action to address an equality concern is identified, actions are incorporated into appropriate plans/schemes (for example those accompanying the equality schemes on disability, gender and race and the Staff Survey) and progress against the action plans is monitored by the appropriate committee/office. The Equality and Diversity Committee and University Council play a key role in overseeing the University’s progress on equality.
University-wide initiatives on equality are supported by a range of developments at departmental level which is essential to ensuring that equality is embedded at all levels throughout the University. Examples include participation in the Athena SWAN and Juno awards by science departments, activities in support of promoting international awareness in the Chemistry department and training on the Equality Act in the department of Health Sciences.
The University's work on equality is underpinned by its policies, schemes and strategies in key areas:
Disability: The Disability Equality Scheme sets out the University's work to ensure that the needs of people with impairments are taken into account. It includes an Action Plan setting out detailed objectives to be achieved over 2009-2012 and data relating to staff and students.
Gender: The Gender Equality Scheme sets out how the University works towards achieving gender equality. It includes an Action Plan on gender equality for 2010-2013 and data relating to staff and students.
Race: The Race Equality Policy sets out the University's commitment to race equality. An Action Plan with specific objectives based on recommendations from the most recent Race Equality Consultation is currently under development.
Dignity at work and study: The University's commitment to the creation of an environment where harassment is unacceptable and where members of its community treat each other with dignity and respect is set out in the Code of Practice on Harassment and the web pages on the University's anti-harassment work.
Equality Policies: The University's equality policies: The Equality and Diversity in Employment Policy, The Equality and Diversity Policy for Students and the range of HR policies and services aim to promote positive attitudes to equality and diversity and ensure that staff and students are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.
Widening Participation: The University is committed to widening participation in higher education and is keen to see a socially and culturally diverse student population at York. The University's Access Agreement 2012-13 sets out this commitment.
Internationalisation: The University's Internationalisation Strategy outlines how the University aims to develop internationally. It includes the aim of embedding internationalisation at York.
Teaching and Learning: The University values the diversity of backgrounds and experiences that staff and students bring to the academic environment of the University and is committed to meeting the needs of a diverse and changing student body. The Learning and Teaching Strategy has an overarching ambition of achieving a 'consistent culture of quality' across the University, and a vision which is to provide the opportunity for all students to realise their full potential during their studies and in their later lives as leaders and role models in organisations and society.
Student recruitment and admissions: The University is committed to excellence in admissions and aims to provide a professional and fair service for applicants as set out in the Undergraduate Admissions Policy and Postgraduate Admissions Policy and Procedures
University Careers Service: The University's Employability Strategy aims to ensure that every student has a high quality, fulfilling student experience and is provided with support to develop their employability. Schemes are offered such as the York Award and Volunteering.
Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA): A summary of the University's procedure is available on the EQIA web page.
The University produces regular equality reports as listed below:
The Equality and Diversity Office: Annual Reports set out progress on annually agreed objectives. Progress on equality work across key functions of the University is also measured. Reports contain some student and staff data including incidences of harassment and bullying reported to the Equality and Diversity Office and details of equality and diversity training provided.
Disability Services: Annual Reports provide statistical data on students with impairments which includes types of disability and support offered.
Staff Survey: the results of the staff survey 2011 have been analysed by demographic group. Along with specific questions in relation to harassment these results are being incorporated into action plans which are being addressed both at University-wide and departmental level, co-ordinated by the Employee Engagement Steering Group.
National Student Survey: information on how students of the University rated their university experience is available on the Unistats web page.
Equal Pay Review: an equal pay review was undertaken by the University in 2010 which identified no significant pay gaps. For further information see Gender Equality Scheme Progress Report 2011-12 (page 17)
Athena Swan (Scientific Women's Academic Network): Detailed submission reports contain staff and student data on gender equality.
The University recognises that Equality Networks provide an excellent opportunity for peer networking, support and development as well as informing and influencing the University's work on equality. Two staff networks are currently supported:
Staff Race Equality Forum: The need for a Staff Race Equality Forum was identified through consultation with staff. It was launched in 2007 and continues to meet, providing the University with a mechanism for consultation with staff as well as opportunities for peer networking and support for BME staff.
Staff Sexual Orientation Forum - LGBTI Matters: This Forum was set up in 2008 to help inform and influence the University's work in relation to its gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex staff. It also provides opportunities for peer networking and support.
Harassment Advisers: a network of trained members of staff can provide confidential assistance to members of the University community concerned about harassment.
Mediation Service: the University's mediation service is open to all staff and provides an informal, confidential way of resolving conflict within the workplace.
A range of equality and diversity courses for staff are offered through Professional and Organisational Development (POD). Key messages on equality and diversity are incorporated in generic training courses, both online and face-to-face.
Introduction to the Equality Duty Equality and Human Rights Commission Guidance
How do we demonstrate due regard? Equality Challenge Unit Guidance
Updated by the Equality and Diversity Adviser