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Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges

Equalitylink February 2018


Welcome February 2018

Equalitylink is Equality Challenge Unit’s monthly round-up of equality and diversity news, resources and a summary of ECU’s work with the sector.

Equality update

Shining a light on the gender pay gap

Ahead of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, ECU’s Ellen Pugh, Policy Programme Manager and Freya Douglas, former Scotland Programme Manager blog on the the gender pay gap in higher education institutions for Womanthology.

100 years since women won the vote

The Fawcett Society published research on the representation of women in politics, to mark the centenary of some women gaining the right to vote in the UK.

Our work

Research Insight: The experiences of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual staff in UK HE

In ECU’s first Research Insight, Dr Kevin Guyan uses qualitative data from staff who disclosed as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in the 2016 Athena Survey of Science, Engineering and Technology (ASSET) report to examine LGB staff experiences in UK HE.

Intersectional approaches to equality and diversity briefing

This briefing covers institution-wide work to raise awareness of intersectionality; a cross strand approach to staff inclusivity networks; dedicated work targeted at professional and support staff student led curriculum initiatives and intersectional research. It also highlights some common themes in the case studies submitted to us, specifically cross-institutional collaboration, and addressing discipline and industry specific equality challenges.

Get involved

2018 Religion and Belief guidance

In advance of publishing our new guidance on Religion and Belief in Higher Education, ECU is conducting a survey to get a better understanding of how the sector currently engages with issues and data around religion and belief issues. This survey is a starting point to help evaluate how well our guidance is received by the sector, its overall impact and how we can provide additional and ongoing support. To participate in this consultation, please complete this 10-minute survey.

Volunteer as a panellist for Athena SWAN

Those interested in participating in the April 2018 award round need to register by Friday 2 March. For more information please visit ECU’s website.

International Women’s Day 2018

#PressforProgress is this year’s campaign theme for International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March. Let us know what you’re planning, and how your activities support your strategic approaches to gender equality, using #PressforProgress on Twitter.

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and we are planning to highlight #womeninhe on social media. Let us know who you think we should mention @EqualityinHE.

ECU’s Scotland Conference 2018 – save the date!

ECU is holding its biennial Scotland conference on Wednesday 25 April 2018 in Glasgow, at the Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel, focussing on the themes of innovation, change and impact. For details visit the ECU website.

Resources and support

Training and Learning

We’ve launched a new page on our website with details on training and learning programmes ECU offers. These can be tailored to suit your institution/organisation’s needs.

Shared Parental Leave

The Government has launched a new campaign on Shared Parental Leave. ECU will be releasing guidance on this in the near future.

The gender pay gap in the UK: children and experience in work

The Institute for Fiscal Studies published a working paper looking at the gender pay gap in relation to years of accumulated work experience and how career paths change following the arrival of a child.

Highest ever number of students starting postgrad courses at UK HE providers

HESA has released open data on students studying at UK higher education institutions (HEIs) in 2016/17.

2018 cycle applicant figures

UCAS has received data on application to UK HEIs up to the 15 January deadline. The release includes information broken down by age, sex, ethnic group and POLAR/SIMD quintiles.

Employers in the dark ages over recruitment of pregnant women and new mothers

British employers are ‘living in the dark ages’ and have worrying attitudes towards unlawful behaviour when it comes to recruiting women, new statistics from the Equality and Human Rights Commission reveal.

Delivering through diversity

Latest research from McKinsey reinforces the link between diversity and company financial performance and suggests how organisations can craft better inclusion strategies for a competitive edge.


Introduction to Race Equality Charter (REC)

An introduction to the Race Equality Charter (REC) workshop will take place on Tuesday 22 May 2018 at Birmingham Library. This workshop is designed for institutions who are new to REC. For more information visit our website.

LFHE BME Leadership in Higher Education Summit 2018

This summit, being held on Wednesday 16 May in London, is an opportunity to engage leaders to stimulate real change and progress race equality in higher education. Book a place now.

Athena SWAN Research Institute workshop

Hosted by the Institute of Cancer Research on Monday 26 March 2018 in London. The aim of this research institute-specific workshop is to allow members to share good practice and receive practical advice on how to improve gender equality in the workplace.

If you would like to be featured in the next issue of Equalitylink, please email details to ECU’s communications team.