The Equality Act 2010 places all public bodies under an active duty to promote equality and requires them to set themselves objectives, which they believe they ought to meet in order to fulfil the aims of the Public Sector Equality Duty. This suite of equality objectives for 2019 to 2023, reflects Bath’s strategic priorities in relation to recruitment, progression and equality of opportunity for both staff and students and have multiple partners involved in the delivery across the whole university.

The five objectives identify our priorities for action regarding equality, diversity and inclusion over 2019-2023. It should be noted that the underlying tasks, identified in the action plan for delivering the overall objectives, are not hard targets, but indications we will use to drive progress. Members of the University Executive Board and community have taken a lead role in the delivery of these objectives, but there is likely to be some fluidity to the individual tasks during the period of the plan as research leads to a deeper understanding of the challenges; to allow creative solutions to evolve, and to enable the tasks to evolve to achieve the overall objective if proposed ideas are not achieving the desired results.

The University of Bath recognises that our diversity fuels our creativity and innovation. Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion drives us forward every day. Everyone is welcome at the University of Bath; we are continuously working to create an inclusive community. As part of this we commit to action in the following areas over the next three years.

Equality objectives 2019 to 2023

  • Increase the proportion of women in senior roles and take positive action to address gender imbalances and the gender pay gap
  • Improve the recruitment of staff and students from under-represented groups in order to better reflect the society in which we operate. Where gaps in outcomes or opportunities for progression are identified, the University will seek to address these
  • Create and maintain a living and working environment that supports the health and wellbeing of all staff and students
  • Foster a culture of inclusion and belonging through a programme of raising awareness and training
  • Create a supportive environment for our LGBT+ community

In addition to these overarching equality objectives, the University will commit to the following vehicles to help achieve the equality objectives:

  • apply successfully for an institutional Silver Athena SWAN award in 2021
  • explore the benefits of an institutional Bronze Race Equality Charter award

Latest update on our progress:

  • University successfully applied for an institutional Athena Swan Silver award in September 2021
  • Increased the proportion of women in senior roles by 2% and continued to increase the proportion of female professors from 16.4% to 22.1% since 2017
  • Athena Swan survey indicated that 80%M and 72%F agreed or strongly agreed with a statement that University promoted an inclusive working environment
  • Trained over 380 staff on creating a culture of inclusion
  • Seen a significant increase of applications, securing offers and accepting students from postcodes that evidence low participation in higher education (defined by the POLAR 4 dataset or high levels of socio-economic deprivation (defined using IMD datasets). This has seen our student demographic shift in the right direction
  • University has appointed a Head of Race Equality Taskforce, who has launched the taskforce and its advisory groups in 2021
  • University has become a member of Race Equality Charter in 2021
  • University has worked towards external recognition of our LGBT+ inclusion and long term objectives, including exploring benefits of an Inclusive Workplace Index program for LGBT+ inclusion.

Previous update from 2020:

We can report significant progress against the Statement of Equality Objectives 2019-2023.

Our achievements over the last two years include a 9% increase in those identifying as women in senior professional service roles, from 58 (41%) to 75 (50%) including an additional two members of the University Executive Board. The newly formed Gender Pay Gap Working Group has made recommendations on how we can continue to diversify the gender profile of senior staff.

The number of our departmental Athena SWAN awards has increased to 16, with an increase from 2 to 6 silver awards, making us one of the most highly awarded HEIs in the country regarding the Gender Equality Charter Mark. This strong performance at the department level will add significant value to our submission for an institutional Silver Award in 2021.

We acknowledge continued work is required to improve the recruitment of students from under-represented groups and we remain committed to achieving this. We have worked to increase the proportion of BAME students studying with us. We are continuing to develop our activities to encourage greater student participation from lower socio-economic groups and will be reporting the outcomes from this in future years.

Further enhancements to the living and working environments include the development of new staff networks, the creation and delivery of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training, working with our staff and students to support various educational events and activities, such as Black History and LGBT+ History months, and consultancy on issues around inclusivity, as well as EDI training for Bath-based charities.

Work on #NeverOk has continued and has been supported through the development of new University regulations, enhanced Report and Support and a more streamlined disciplinary process.

A race equality task force is currently being set up to help address racial inequalities and will explore the benefits of an institutional Bronze Race Equality Charter award.

We have recently appointed an Executive Chair of our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee who sits on our Executive Board.