Subscriber stories: York St John University
Marije Davidson, Equality and Diversity Adviser, tells us what encouraged York St John University to subscribe to ECU
‘The approachability of ECU staff and their expertise has been helpful for me’
What encouraged your institution to subscribe to ECU?
ECU is a rich and authoritative source of information, advice and research that helps us at York St John to progress our equality and diversity agenda. Having it all in one place, makes it easy to access.
What are the main equality and diversity challenges you have in the year ahead that ECU will be able to support you with?
For York St John, responding to the changes to Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA) and financial support; addressing gender imbalance in academic leadership. We also work to increase the diversity of our students and staff, and enabling them to reach their full potential.
What are you most excited about in your equality and diversity work? Current and in the future?
The work we are doing to promote an inclusive culture through university, for students and staff. This is not just about putting robust policies and systems in place, but also about changing hearts and minds, and increasing the visibility and voice of diverse groups.
Where does equality and diversity sit within your university’s strategy?
Equality and diversity is embedded within our values and, through equality objectives, in the university’s strategy.
What piece of ECU work has been most helpful to you?
It’s difficult to choose a single piece! The approachability of ECU staff and their expertise. Most recently I was pleased with the publication of their report on competence standards and reasonable adjustments which is a very tricky area, and which should help us better deal with the issues that arise.
What is your personal highlight of working with equality and diversity at your institution?
The on going enthusiasm of colleagues and students! Even though I’m the only person with a role dedicated to equality and diversity, there is a real sense of shared ownership. And, perhaps a bit dry, but after I’d developed a new equality analysis approach, when people started using it and giving positive feedback, I felt like the university had passed a tipping point. That was very satisfying – even though there’s still a lot to do before equality analysis becomes truly part and parcel of our work!