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Creating an inclusive culture

Learn how you can build a more inclusive environment, strengthening leaderships, collaborations, and performance.

Useful tools

Inclusion is the core of achieving innovation, good decision making, and performance. Gently changing behaviours for a more inclusive department and the university is vital in creating a community that mitigates bias, opens eyes to differing points of view, and is able to leverage the diversity of perceptive and knowledge available to us.

The consultancy and enabling tools created by the EDI team aim to strengthen our culture, leadership, collaborations, and performance as a result of a more inclusive environment with a sense of belonging for all.

You can use these tools in the following way:


This film of our staff and students demonstrates what it means to be inclusive to our community and is a good tool to use during inductions.


Download an ED&I Induction booklet to find out more about what we do to create an inclusive environment at Bath.


An ally is someone who speaks up and advocates for members of underrepresented groups. Allyship means using your privilege to advocate for others and promote equity. It also means doing the work of questioning your own biases. (Everyone has them!)

Individuals from designated groups should not have to shoulder the burden of educating everyone on inclusive behaviours. Allies support them by stepping up and doing their part to shift behaviours and attitudes. It is especially important in circles where allies have influence, like their workplace.

Allyship at work often involves educating others. For instance, allies encourage their peers to correct their language or behaviours. They could counter microaggressions they observe. Depending on your position, you might have different opportunities to be an ally. You could encourage an individual to put their name forward for a role or project. You might consider being a mentor. You might even use your voice to ensure others are heard by reinforcing what they are saying in meetings or crediting their ideas.

Being an ally is more about how you can be of service to others. The graphic below shows how we can call out inappropriate behaviours at the University.

You can also learn more from our webpage on how to be an anti-racist ally.

Inclusive Language

Our language is continuously evolving. ​ We understand that trying to get to grips with the meaning of key phrases in equality legislation and what is currently the most appropriate language to use can be confusing. ​ To aid your understanding and for consistency across departments, EDI has produced a glossary of key terms which support this guide to inclusive language, to ensure that everyone is working to the same understanding and definitions. ​ Please note: These are not fixed and they will change over time to reflect changes in the language we use. EDI language is particularly transient, so please remain aware and self-educate.

Language Hints and Tips

Tips on the language of race:

  • Consider which racial or ethnic groups you're talking about and ensure the terms you're using accurately reflect them

  • Avoid using umbrella terms like BAME or BME unnecessarily and remember they do not refer to a singular homogenous ethnic group. It is better to use terms such as 'People from/with Ethnically Diverse Backgrounds' or 'People of Colour' if a generic term is unavoidable

  • Always explain acronyms in full in any writing, particularly at first use, and avoid pronouncing or writing as words, for example, ‘Bame'

  • Seek more detailed data and insights wherever possible so you can better recognise, understand and reflect the experiences of different minoritised ethnic groups

  • Accept and acknowledge that ethnicity is an integral part of a person’s identity and treat it as such; avoid describing a person’s identity as ‘BAME’ unless absolutely necessary. HE sector now recommends that if we do need to use group definitions, we ensure we explain it well, by stating clearly what we refer by 'BAME' - Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. At Bath, BAME includes: Black or Black British - Caribbean, Black or Black British - African, Other Black background, Asian or Asian British - Indian, Asian or Asian British - Pakistani, Asian or Asian British - Bangladeshi, Chinese, Other Asian background, Mixed - White and Black Caribbean, Mixed - White and Black African, Mixed - White and Asian, Other mixed background, Arab, Other ethnic background. When using BAME term, it's important to also reiterate that we recognize the diversity of individual, collective and social identities and lived experiences, and we recognize that BAME is an imperfect term. It's also useful to note that there is a sector wide exercise that is looking into this, you can find out more and explore alternatives here.

  • Think carefully about whether it's relevant to refer to someone’s racial or ethnic identity, for example, news stories sometimes refer to a minoritised individual’s ethnicity when it's not relevant and they would not do so if speaking about a White person

  • Respect people’s preferences and allow options to self-describe when asking survey questions. In the right context and when ethnicity is relevant, it can be ok to clarify how people describe their identity, but first, question why you need to know and avoid making racially minoritized individuals feel like outsiders by asking questions like “where are you from?”

  • Continue to educate yourself, listen and learn as language continually evolves

  • Own and learn from your mistakes, apologise if you get the terminology wrong and cause offense

Tips on the language of gender:

  • When addressing marginalised/underrepresented genders, be explicit and say something like "this opportunity is for people of underrepresented gender identities, this includes women, non-binary, gender-fluid, gender non-conforming and transgender..."

  • Try to get into the habit of using ‘they/them’ until you know someone’s pronouns, for example: “There is someone here to see you. I will ask them to take a seat”

  • Pronouns may be detailed underneath their email signature if you have received an email from them, alternatively, they may also be available on their LinkedIn or other social media profiles. If you're unsure, discreetly ask people what their pronouns are, for example: “Sorry, I didn’t catch your pronouns”

  • Include personal pronouns in your email signature lines, in letter correspondence, and your LinkedIn (and other social media) profile(s)

  • Update your university and Teams/Zoom profiles with personal pronouns once you know them

  • The University is working towards your pronouns being included on your library name badge

Inclusion posters

ED&I team created and put together a collection of posters for you to download. You can print and hang them on the door or add to your desktop as a background or find other creative ways to visibly promote equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Domestic violence and abuse

University support and national services for domestic violence and abuse can be found here. Find out more about the support offered by the University for staff and students, as well as national helplines and services that are available.

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