The School’s Equalities Committee recently revised the school’s EDI Action Plan. Here is a summary of key initiatives for 2021/2022.
Staff related initiatives
Initiatives for staff that the committee aims to develop and implement this year will include establishing an informal caring network for parents in EECS. It is hoped the network will create a more supportive and collegiate environment for all in the school; the committee would welcome suggestions from EECS staff on how the network could be valuable and useful to them so please do get in touch with Michaela McDonald with any thoughts you have on this so that your ideas can be considered in the development stages of this initiative.
We also hope to review the staff appraisals process and understand where improvements could be made here with input from a staff focus group. Our ongoing focus will continue to be on increasing the proportion of women that apply for academic positions through monitor the effectiveness of recently implemented, and future measures. Our sights are set on achieving an increase in the number of applications from women from 20% to 25% by Sept 2024.
Improving the quality of our data
Some important school level data is not currently captured. Accurate and meaningful data will be essential to inform our Action Plan objective and to support our EDI aims.
The committee’s data collection projects will include: implementing a system for collecting data for BAME and gender statistics for school and research group speakers, collecting more descriptive data regarding leaving reasons on Exit Interviews, and on working with the central data team to ensure that data is of appropriate granularity, specifically, identification and capture of the reason for PGR withdrawal.
Improving female student participation at EECS
Increasing the participation of women in EECS – both in our student population and our staff body – is a significant strand of the ECO Committee’s work.
The focus this year will be on implementing targeted student outreach activities such as ‘Girls into Tech’ events and on creating compelling and emotive marketing content showcasing research that has a real and positive impact on society and develop a world-centric narrative around tech, electronic engineering and computer science.
A review of the language used in communication to students before offer acceptance and ensure that communication with students is run through a gender bias checker will take place, as well as a focus group with young women involved in all our UG programmes to help determine what attracted them to EECS and specifically QMUL so that changes or improvements can be implemented.
The numbers of female students on our PGR programmes have been declining so we will be looking to understand the reasons behind this trend and develop a set of best inclusive practices for PGR admissions in consultation with CDT managers and students, which will follow similar guidelines as those used for academic posts.