Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

Diversity underpins the innovation and exchange of ideas at the heart of the University's mission.  We are committed to creating an inclusive learning and working environment where discrimination is not tolerated, where all members of the University community can reach their full potential and where we affect positive change within the University, our city and wider society. 

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy for 2021 - 2024 sets out our vision and priorities. It incorporates activities to promote equality across the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristics, our Athena and Race Equality Charter action plans and actions to address our pay gaps and degree attainment gaps. The EDI Strategy is aligned with the People and Culture pillar of the University's Birmingham 2030 Strategic Framework. The EDI Strategy themes are:

Creating an inclusive environment 

Developing a University community where everyone feels welcome, included and empowered to succeed.

The University is a large, complex and diverse institution. We want to create an environment in which every member of our community, of all backgrounds, identities and circumstances, feels valued, accepted, supported and empowered to succeed. In order to do this, we need to take action at organisational and individual levels.

At an organisational level, we will ensure that we have in place fair policies and practices which facilitate the progression and participation of all staff and students. During our consultation with students and staff, it was evidenced that feelings of inclusion are informed by day-to-day experiences and interactions with colleagues, managers, lecturers, supervisors and fellow students. In this sense, everyone has a role to play in creating inclusion: by treating others with dignity and respect; by encouraging participation by all and by being empowered and feeling supported to challenge exclusionary and discriminatory behaviour.

 We will undertake targeted activity to address the following issues:

  •  Helping individuals to develop self-awareness and to address bias
  • Increasing knowledge and awareness of practical actions that can be taken to create inclusive working and learning environments
  • Creating opportunities to share knowledge, experience and learning
  • Empowering everyone to speak up and challenge behaviour and situations that are exclusionary
  •  Increasing visibility of and communication about EDI across the institution
  •  Increasing transparency on progress against our objectives

Dismantling barriers

Addressing the structural barriers faced by groups within the University in order to create more equitable outcomes.

We aim to be a diverse institution that is representative of the wider society in which we operate. We recognise that some groups are under-represented at the University and that our staff population becomes less diverse as seniority increases. We want to be an aspirational institution where students and staff see themselves reflected at all levels of the University.

We recognise this as a structural problem and will actively avoid a ‘deficit model’ approach to under-representation. Where there is group-based disadvantage – for example, as evidenced by key markers such as recruitment, progression, retention, reward and attainment – we will take action to address those barriers in a targeted and systematic way. This will be by rethinking and redesigning processes, target setting and monitoring progress against those targets and addressing organisational development needs, in addition to providing targeted support for specific groups. 

We will undertake targeted activity to address the following issues:

  • The recruitment, progression and retention of staff from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups across the University
  • The degree awarding gap for students from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups
  • The recruitment, progression and retention of female academic staff at senior levels
  • The gender and ethnicity pay gaps, which reflect the uneven distribution of female and male staff and white and Black, Asian and other minority ethnic staff across the University
  • Accessibility and the lived experience of staff and students with a disability
  • The visibility of LGBTQ staff across the University
  • Staff disclosure rates in relation to disability status, gender identity, sexual orientation and religion or belief to better inform our evidence base

Integrating equality, diversity and inclusion

Integrating equality, diversity and inclusion: issues and impacts are considered and addressed across our activities 

Effectively integrating equality, diversity and inclusion across the University – and ensuring it is not just a centrally owned activity – has been identified as a key issue in our consultations. Feedback emphasised that this integration needs to take place across our activities and functions and at all levels of the organisation in order to be effective.

We will undertake the following targeted activity: 

  • Develop local responses to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Scheme themes, building on the current Equality Leads network and the considerable work already taking place within Colleges
  • Develop our processes and systems so that consideration of equality, diversity and inclusion informs the development and assessment of decision-making

Delivering our strategy

Creating an inclusive learning and working culture is the responsibility of all members of the University. It is demonstrated through individual actions and behaviours as well as by the integration of EDI into University services and activities. The University's EDI Strategy - and the activities stemming from it - provide a framework for that culture by identifying -  through quantitative  and qualitative evidence - the key issues that need institutional attention.

Read more about EDI governance and roles and responsibilities.  

Monitoring our progress

We have key success measures against which we measure the progress of out ED&I Strategy:

  • Our % of female Professors and grade 9 female academic staff
  • Our % of Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff at each grade in Professional Services and Academic roles
  • Our % of staff disclosing information on their protected characteristics
  • Our University Access and Participation Plan targets

Read more about our success measures, activities and staff and student populations.



Professional Services