At Queen Mary University of London, our Mission is to become the most inclusive university of our kind anywhere by 2030. Our Strategy 2030 espouses our values and these are translated into practice through a comprehensive People, Culture (PCI) and Enabling Plan. In 2019, Queen Mary commissioned and completed an independent Inclusion Audit to understand the barriers and challenges faced by our ethnic minority communities.
In response to these findings, and as a stated goal under the PCI Enabling Plan, Queen Mary established the Race Equality Action Group (REAG) in 2020 comprising staff and students from across all levels of the University, to oversee and direct our work on promoting race equality.
REAG are leading the development of a Race Equality Strategy and Action Plan to further address identified issues, including developing innovative ways to capture qualitative data and understand the lived experiences of our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and student communities. Our approach is both values-led and evidence-based, in order to deliver the greatest impact.
We have been developing the quality, robustness and transparency of our data via PowerBI dashboards. These dashboards enable our organisation to monitor and measure BAME staff and student representation (across levels) and includes service user (student) data. These dashboards help us to identify and address areas for action.
The EDI Team publish race equality data in our Annual Report and produce a separate, voluntary Ethnicity Pay Gap Report on an annual basis, which is aligned to statutory Gender Pay Gap reporting.
71 per cent of Queen Mary’s home domiciled students are BAME; almost half are first in their family to participate in HE; a third are from East London (12 per cent from LBTH) – up from 26 per cent in 17/18; we are proud to attract our students and staff from local boroughs. Queen Mary is international, proudly so; we recruit our staff and students from around the globe with over 160 nationalities represented across our organisation, increasing the diversity of the local boroughs.
Inclusive is one of our five core strategic values and inclusion is part of our fabric and identity. Our values feature in our leadership and governance, informing our decisions around race equality and beyond.
Our People, Culture & Inclusion Enabling Plan is intersectional by default – addressing complex interactions and forms of disadvantage that staff, students and local people may experience.
Queen Mary have adopted the Race Equality Charter principles and build these into our core missions – Education and Research – and as an employer and anchor institution. We are committed to undertaking further analysis and tailoring interventions, with investment in a new post – EDI Manager – to lead our Race Equality Strategy from 2021.
In 2020, Senate the University’s body responsible for academic governance, adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism and have worked closely with our students and their representatives to tackle reports of antisemitic behaviour on campus and on-line.
In 2021, the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Sciences partnered with Google DeepMind to recruit a Post-Doctoral Fellow of Machine Learning to increase opportunities for Black researchers to engage with, and enjoy improved representation in, the academic discipline and industry. We will continue to design and develop tailored interventions in partnership with business, industry and not-for-profits to extend such future opportunities.
Queen Mary recognise that language around race is complex and rarely universal or uncontested. REAG and the EDI Team are finalising the University’s first Language & Terminology guide, with a view to recognising the nuances of language and coming to a consensus about what terms to use in which circumstances that largely meets the needs of our diverse communities.
As mentioned, Queen Mary’s Mission is to become the most inclusive university of our kind anywhere by 2030. To realise this ambition, in 2019 we established KPIs around race and gender equality. Our KPIs aim for greater, more equitable representation of BAME colleagues (particularly at middle and senior levels for staff) and the elimination of the student BAME attainment gap.
By 2030, we are committed to at least 40 per cent BAME representation in junior, middle and senior roles. BAME people are over-represented in our junior roles and under-represented in our most senior, currently.
We have designed a new leadership framework to help promote inclusive leadership and provide a fair and equitable model to facilitate succession planning, so that we can identify talent early and develop our future leaders, to enhance representation at all levels of the University’s structures and meet our targets for BAME representation.
Each School, Institute and Directorate at Queen Mary annually reports on their performance against these metrics to our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group chaired by the Vice Principal for People, Culture & Inclusion, who is a member of the University’s Senior Executive Team. Oversight of progress of the University’s EDI agenda, and performance against our institutional KPIs, resides with the University’s Council.
Queen Mary recognises our opportunity to influence the Borough through our buying and procurement power. In line with our values, we have procurement policies and procedures with which our contractors and partners need to comply. We regularly review and improve these policies to enhance our social responsibility
Contractors and partners are required to confirm their commitment in relation to equality issues, including Modern Slavery and Bullying & Harassment in order to work with Queen Mary. We are committed to continuous improvement in this space.
Awareness and communication
This Pledge will be promoted and communicated via our Race Equality Action Group (REAG), the Professional Services Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group (PSEDISG) and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group (EDISG).
We will also communicate progress on actions within the Pledge through regular communications to the wider University community.
- Our People, Culture and Inclusion Enabling Plan has a core workstream addressing race equality and key issues identified by staff surveys, in support of our commitment to inclusion and our 2030 Strategy.
- We will deliver our Education and Student Success Enabling Plan, with a major workstream on the development of an inclusive curriculum, with a particular focus on addressing the student ethnicity attainment gap at Queen Mary.
- We will design and deliver a programme of training and development to our staff to communicate our commitment to race equality and inclusion for all.
- We have an ongoing commitment to promote and sponsor women and BAME staff to attend the Aurora Leadership Programme, the Springboard Development Programme and the B-MEntor Mentoring Schemes.
We are exploring innovative strategies to address the talent pipeline to encourage more BAME students to progress from undergraduate to postgraduate studies, to enhance their career opportunities, either in academia, or in other sectors. We use many of our immensely successful BAME alumni to act as mentors to our students for this purpose and continue to grow our network of both national and international alumni to support this successful and valued activity.
By signing this pledge on behalf of my organisation, I pledge that we will address the issues identified, monitor our progress on an annual basis, and agree to be held accountable for the
delivery of our actions.
Organisation: Queen Marie University of London
Name and role: Sheila Gupta, Vice Principal – People, Culture and Inclusion