At Essex, we strive to be an inclusive community that celebrates diversity and challenges inequalities. With students from some 140 countries, and over 25% of our staff from outside the UK, we are an ethnically and culturally diverse community, made up of people with a range of abilities, ages and genders.
With such a diverse community, it is important for us to remain committed to:
While we all have a part to play in fulfilling these commitments, senior leaders at the University and members of the University Steering Group (USG) have a particular responsibility to act as inclusive role models and to connect our everyday decisions, judgements, behaviours and actions with our values. One of the ways in which they fulfil their responsibility is by acting as Inclusion Champions advocating for protected characteristics and beyond.
Each Inclusion Champion has committed to undertake a range of actions centred around three key areas: engaging with the community that they champion, increasing and sharing their knowledge, and providing visible leadership, allyship and advocacy for the groups they represent. You can find out more about the role of the champions on our Staff Directory:
In the last year, the Inclusion Champions have undertaken actions in a number of areas including:
Feedback we have received from the groups represented by the Inclusion Champions has shown that they’ve had a positive impact over the past year. Staff and students feel their concerns are being taken more seriously, that members of the University Steering Group have a better understanding of the issues being raised and about the lived experiences of marginalised groups, and that the allyship provided by the Inclusion Champions shows an active support that can be called upon when needed.
As the new academic year begins, the Inclusion Champions are excited to once again have new opportunities to connect with staff and students throughout the University, to continue listening and learning, and to continue advocating for the groups that they represent.
Director of Inclusion, People & Culture, University of Essex
Elaine is a chartered member of the CIPD and has worked as a senior HR professional for over 15 years in various sectors including Higher Education, Further Education and Local Government. As our Director of Inclusion, she works towards achieving positive cultural change and ensuring inclusive practice is embedded across the institution. Elaine believes in affecting positive change and champions Equality Diversity and Inclusion.