Race equality report: section a, update on EOD strategy and progress against key objectives since Autumn 2003

As part of its commitment to equality and diversity, in November 2002 Brookes appointed an Equal Opportunity and Diversity Co-ordinator within the HR Directorate. Since that time, steps have been taken to build on the work of the former Equal Opportunities Action Group and to develop a comprehensive equality strategy for the University. Consistent with the spirit of the RR(A)A, the central aim of the strategy is to ensure an integrated approach to equality and to promote diversity across all aspects of the work of the University.

In order to ensure a shared ownership of the equality and diversity agenda in general, and racial equality in particular, the University has appointed equal opportunity & diversity co-ordinators (EODCs) within each of the Schools and Directorates. The central role of these co-ordinators is to assist Deans and Directors in the delivery of equality within their own School/Directorate and to ensure that equality becomes fully embedded into the University’s policies, procedures and practices. These posts are funded as part of the HR strategy to ensure that adequate time is allocated to the local implementation of the University’s equal opportunities agenda.

A clear framework for embedding EOD across the University has therefore been established over the past year, and corporate responsibility for the EOD agenda has been vested in the Governors’ Employment Committee and the Executive board. The appointment of School/Directorate based EODCs has lead on to the development of School/Directorate based action plans that are tailored to the specific circumstances of each of the Schools and Directorates.

These structures are designed to ensure that there are clear mechanisms for taking forward the University’s policies on a continuous basis over the next few years and for ensuring accountability for such progress across the wider University community.

Table one gives details of the five target areas that have been identified for actions on equality and diversity. Table two details the action taken or planned to meet those objectives.

Table one: Target areas for Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) actions

  1. Equality and Diversity to be successfully integrated into the University’s policies, strategies and practices.
  2. Equal Opportunities and Diversity (EOD) status to be evaluated at School/Directorate level and the results of this process to be used to develop school/directorate based EOD action plans.
  3. The profile of Brookes as a University which supports and promotes diversity to be enhanced on the basis of existing and developing good practice.
  4. A core staff development programme to be implemented to increase awareness and understanding of equal opportunities and diversity issues.
  5. Where under-represented groups are identified, plans will be made to address the sources of under-representation effectively.

Table two: Action taken in order to meet these objectives

  1. Equality and Diversity to be successfully integrated into the University’s policies, strategies and practices - Ensuring that race equality/EOD elements feature in school/directorate policies

    The EOD co-ordinator has drawn up an index of relevant policies and a timetable for review and monitoring has been developed.

  2. Equal Opportunities and Diversity (EOD) to be evaluated at School/Directorate level and the results of this process to be used to develop School/Directorate based EOD action plan
    1. The appointment of School/Directorate based EOD Co-ordinators (EODCs)

      Appointments have been made for all Schools and Directorates.

    2. The development of School/Directorate based EOD action plans (in conjunction with the School/Directorate based EODCs)

      School/Directorate based action plans have been produced. EOD profile data is now available on a disaggregated basis for each School/Directorate.

    3. On-going review/monitoring and implementation at school/directorate level

      Substantial work on the University’s HR information system has already taken place. Work to further develop the EOD aspect of the HR information system and Student database is continuing.

    4. Providing an annual account of EOD activities and measuring progress against targets for the Board, own school/directorate and the EOD network

      Planned at School/Directorate level for the end of 2003/2004 academic year as a result of the actions of 2i, ii & iii above.

  3. The profile of Brookes as a University which supports and promotes diversity to be enhanced
    1. Use of external media (articles in Diversity Today) and internal publications (Onstream, Brookes link) has increased awareness of areas of good practice at Brookes

      The University has also reviewed and modified its prospectus and reviewed and altered its use of images and case studies to ensure greater representation across all the areas of workforce and student diversity.

      Commenced January 2003 and ongoing

    2. EODCs to participate in EOD network which will review EOD issues that have cross school/directorate application

      Network is active.

    3. EOD website established with useful resources/links

      May 2003 and ongoing

  4. A core staff development programme to increase awareness and understanding of equal opportunities and diversity to be implemented

    EOD has been incorporated into core elements in the principal staff development programmes such as Team Leaders training, Introduction Day etc. Compulsory Recruitment and Selection training has been completely overhauled and updated to more fully focus on EOD issues, and the revised programmes commenced in September 2003.

    A wider programme of EOD staff development has taken place during 2004 and will continue to be developed during 2004/05.

  5. Where under-represented groups are found to exist, (as a result of actions in 2iii above), plans to be made into the most effective way of addressing the under-representation

    The employment structure analysis indicated significant under-representation of ethnic minorities in most occupational groups. Initial actions being taken focus on increasing the number of applications from ethnic minority candidates for locally advertised posts through out-reach activities in the Oxford area.

This report is divided into the following sections

  1. Update on EOD strategy and progress against key objectives
  2. Monitoring results
  3. Update on the University’s race equality policy and objectives as set out within the race equality action plan
  4. Summary
Equal opportunities and diversity