Jennifer Hastings, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at King’s has been working on the university’s EDI annual report. The report explores King’s progress over the last 12 months and looks ahead to the next steps on the journey to creating a truly inclusive university. In this blog Jennifer explores the key takeaways from this years report.
I am excited to share King’s Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) annual report 2020-21. King’s has a legal duty to comply with both the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty that sits within the act. This report fulfils our responsibility to publish our equality objectives and demonstrate our compliance.
I joined King’s as its EDI Manager during the summer and compiling this report was a great introduction to what has been happening across the College, from our progress towards key performance indicators (KPIs) to the work taking place in faculties. I hope you’re able to read the report in its entirety however I have picked out some key highlights and shared below.
EDI at King’s
We are grateful to open the report with forewords from Evelyn Welch (Senior Vice-President Service, People & Planning) and Zahra Syed (KCLSU President). Evelyn is our senior sponsor for Athena Swan and has EDI in her new remit. Zahra is one of the elected representatives for KCL students and so her input is integral to King’s work on inclusion. Sarah Guerra, King’s Director of EDI brings the report to a close with reflections on the year and what is needed moving forward.
The report includes an outline of our strategic aims and progress towards the EDI key performance indicators (KPIs) used in Council’s balanced scorecard, shared below. You will see that progress has been made, however we know there is more work to be done to meet all of our targets.
Data is an important part of our decision-making process and provides an evidence base for all King’s EDI activity. At the end of the report you can see the key data for our KPIs, workforce demographics and student demographics (including comparisons to our benchmarks). You can find this data on PowerBI, except the data on trans status and sexual orientation, which was obtained from People, Data & Analytics.
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation at all levels, for Academic and Professional Services staff
|Year||King’s Target %||% BME staff at King’s||% BME staff at London Universities|
This in an improvement on last year’s figures and we exceeded our targets.
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Female representation at all levels, for Academic and Professional Services staff
|Year||King’s Target||% BME female staff at King’s||% BME female staff at London Universities|
This is an improvement on last year’s figures and we have exceeded our target for professional services staff (but not academic).
Gender representation in senior levels, for Academic and Professional Services staff
|Year||King’s Target||% senior female staff at King’s||% senior female staff at Russell group Universities|
This is an improvement on last year’s figures but we did not meet our targets.
Progress Towards our Strategy
The Annual Report outlines the progress made in each area of our strategy.
Governance and Accountability
There are two EDI governing bodies; the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee (EDIC) and the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Forum (EDIF). There are also groups that focus on particular areas of work, such as the Athena Swan Delivery Team. EDIC and EDIF have provided direction to a number of EDI matters, such as King’s pandemic response and our disability inclusion work.
King’s EDI function provides a King’s-wide service, operating directly within seven faculties through the EDI Projects & Partnerships team as well as having practitioners deployed in our largest operational areas.
King’s developed three new policies last year; Religion & Belief, Menopause and Menstruation, which are all available in King’s governance zone. The EDI function provided new guidance on Equality Analysis (EA) so that King’s staff can systematically analyse the effects of policies, practices, projects or services on different groups in its community.
King’s continued our commitment to tackling bullying and harassment by updating the Anonymous Disclosure Form, which now includes an option to disclose microaggressions, delivering Active Bystander training and supporting a newly formed Research Task & Finish group for Bullying and Harassment.
Learning and development is an important part of King’s EDI offer and delivering this online enabled us to reach more people. A total of 1185 members of staff attended a centrally organised Diversity Matters session and over 300 attended a Trans Matters session (including King’s Senior Leadership Team).
Beyond training, we have supported staff development through various initiatives. 20 King’s staff attended Stellar HE, 42 were matched in our Mutual Mentoring scheme and 133 were welcomed onto our More than Mentoring scheme. scheme.
The importance of digital accessibility has only increased in recent years. Last year, around £154,000 was spent on captioning teaching materials and 129 people enrolled onto our Digital Accessibility baseline course.
King’s has five equality-based staff networks: Access King’s (disability inclusion), Elevate (gender equality), NEST (parents’ and carers’ network), Proudly King’s (LGBTQ+ inclusion) and the Race Equality Network. These networks worked exceptionally hard to deliver lockdown-friendly activities, from the REN Show to Proudly Pod. Over 100 people attended Elevate’s new event series (“In Collaboration with…”) and around170 people attended a Q&A session with Evelyn Welch and Steve Large on managing caring responsibilities, organised by NEST. Access King’s fed into the Ways of Working project by analysing the Flexible Working Survey data and are contributing to the development of a Neurodiversity Awareness E-Learning module for staff.
Our approach to gender equality is guided by the Athena Swan accreditation and the UN’s Sustainability Goals. Our work is not limited to London; last year we received a £25,000 grant to collaborate with Indian higher education institutions to introduce a gender equality framework that takes into account its Indian context.
We are in the process of implementing our race Equality Action Plan (REAP). Many areas of King’s have developed a tailored approach to tackling racism, showing that King’s commitment to being proactively anti-racist is embedded throughout the university.
Part of the EDI function’s purpose is to equip others with the resources needed to create an inclusive environment. We have updated our Trans Matters guidance and worked with various services to improve the process for trans staff and students to update their personal details. We have also launched a Disability Inclusion Hub Sharepoint.
Evaluation and Recognition
External recognition provides helpful frameworks, as well as additional accountability. We are proud to hold a bronze Race Equality Charter award and a silver Athena Swan award. We are a Stonewall Diversity Champions member and submitted our Workplace Equality Index entry in October 2021.
Addressing Differential Student Outcomes
This strategic objective is delivered in partnership across a number of areas including the Student Outcomes Team and is a significant feature of King’s Race Equality Action Plan. The Students and Education Directorate awarded £96,386 of the Race Equity & Inclusive Education Fund (REIEF) across 16 different projects. Student Outcomes appointed 18 new Inclusive Education Student Partners and helped facilitate 12 Conversations About Race sessions.
EDI Progress across King’s
EDI is everyone’s responsibility and so it has been heartening to see how embedded efforts are within faculties, directorates and the connectivity of our amazing staff networks. Below are some examples of the achievements across the faculties:
- The Faculty of Arts & Humanities introduced a new module on ‘Investigating the Colonial past of King’s College London’
- King’s Business School explored its Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic attainment gap through the work of their Inclusive Education Partners
- The Faculty of Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences developed a staff-facing training series called ‘Culture Change’, which included being an active bystander, the Equality Act, Equality Analysis and Microaggressions
- The Dickson Poon School of Law launched a bullying and harassment working group
- The Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine delivered a series of Promotions workshops (and, since 2018, has seen a 11% increase in female professors)
- The Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences held online celebrations for Women in Science week
- The Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care held race equality events for staff and students, which generated actions for the EDI Committee and faculty leadership
- The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience launched their Year of Learning, which encouraged people to demonstrate their engagement with race equality and share their learning. 71 people signed up
- The Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy launched its EDI strategic plan. Over 100 people attended their launch event
When I first started putting together the annual report, I underestimated how long it needed to be. It was only as I progressed that I realised how much space was needed to do everyone’s work justice. And these areas of work are only expanding. As new initiatives make their way into our ‘business as usual’ offer, we become more and more ambitious. For this increase in work to be sustainable, we need to embed it into existing practice and not view it as an ‘add on’. It’s therefore imperative that everyone sees EDI as their responsibility. Whilst the EDI team can provide expertise and leadership, we need ownership at every level of the organisation for lasting, impactful change. We saw this approach in action through the range of contributors to the annual report. I’d like to thank our contributors for their words, as well as their actions over the past year.
I hope that you find it an insightful and inspiring read. If you have any questions about the report, please contact Jennifer.email@example.com.