First post – what’s this all about?

Hello and welcome to the first post on the new Inclusion Matters blog. I’ve set it up because, as the relatively new Assistant Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), I wanted to have place to post regular but informal updates about the work that is going on at Imperial to promote the EDI agenda.

Since I started in October 2017 I been working on a number of issues around the College in collaboration with a great many people – staff and students. While I am managing – just about! – to stay on top of various strands of work, all at different stages of development, I realise that most of this activity isn’t terribly visible.

I hope you might have attended some of the events that we planned for Diverse@Imperial week at the end of January, and Women@Imperial week earlier this month. However, given the volume of information flows inevitable at a large organisation, you may well have missed the establishment of the new EDI Strategy Group, the new EDI Forum, and Imperial’s decision to sign up for the Race Equality Charter.

In future posts I can explain more about these and other initiatives that are under way. One of my most important tasks right now is to draft the College’s first ever Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. We will be discussing this at next week’s meeting of the EDI Forum before the document goes out for wider consultation.

I also hope to use this blog to provide snapshots of my weekly activities. We are currently in the last week of term so I am still teaching on the Science Communication course that I co-convene for final year students in the Dept. of Life Sciences (where I still spend 50% of my time). This week I have also attended the launch of the second cohort of Staff Supporters, and had my monthly meeting with the Provost. Today, along with members of the EDI Centre and Imperial 600 I’ve been discussing the feedback on our application to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, a programme that is helping us to value and support LGBT+ people at the College. Tomorrow morning, I get to talk to some new staff recruits, and later in the day will be attending the meeting of the Disability Action Committee.

So, like everyone else at Imperial, I’m pretty busy. But never too busy to stop and chat, or to respond to comments, emails or phone calls. Got something on your mind? Let’s talk. By making EDI activities more visible, I hope to create opportunities for more people to get involved. We all share in the responsibility for creating an inclusive and respectful environment at Imperial for working and studying. I know my job gives me particular duties, but ultimately the best I can do is to enable that joint endeavour.

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