City launches its Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion, placing EDI at the heart of its strategy.
City, University of London has launched its Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion (OIEI).
The Office will act as a catalyst for inclusive excellence and culture change at City, working across the University to foster an inclusive, fair and respectful environment for the whole community.
The Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion launches with a celebration
Over one hundred staff, Council members and Student Union representatives gathered on Wednesday 22 March in the Northampton Suite on campus to attend the launch event.
Dr Jessica Jones Nielsen, Assistant Vice-President for EDI at City, announced the Office’s five strategic priorities: ensure equity, increase diversity, enhance engagement, promote inclusion and value students.
Jessica then discussed how these strategic priorities will be implemented.
In the spirit of co-creation, the OIEI team will work closely with students and staff to create an equitable and inclusive University by hosting regular feedback sessions, workshops, focus groups, roadshows and events.
Doing so places the student experience at the heart of City’s EDI work by giving students the opportunity to spearhead EDI initiatives that directly impact them.
Continuing its work on meeting higher education standards such as the Athena Swan renewal, the Race Equality Charter award and the Stonewall Equalities Index, Jessica shared how the OIEI will work to broaden the intersectionality of its EDI standards by furthering City’s disability access and Faith and Belief.
The OIEI team will be appointing an EDI Data Manager who will set up a dedicated EDI Data Dashboard which will enable City to identify best practice and gain insights from Benchmarking, and this in turn, will create opportunities for alignment, replication and expansion of City’s EDI initiatives.
Following the announcement of the OIEI’s strategic priorities, staff were then invited to attend a World Café-style workshop, in which attendees were given the opportunity to share their thoughts on ways in which City could improve its inclusivity and equity.
Moving from table to table, staff learned about and discussed issues related to gender and LGBTQI+, race equity and intersectionality, inclusive and accessible communities, culturally inclusive curriculum, faith and religion, and culture and belonging.
The launch celebrations continued into the evening with a drinks reception on campus at Northampton Square’s Pavilion with live entertainment by reggae singer Aysha Loren.
Placing EDI at the heart of City’s strategy
Earlier this year, City launched its new corporate strategy, which placed equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at its heart, most notably through the People, Culture and Sustainability workstreams.
For Professor Sir Anthony Finkelstein, President at City, EDI is a topic that is close to his heart. Addressing staff at the launch, he said:
The OIEI team have already been hard at work implementing the new EDI strategy. The team’s work has been acknowledged by City’s recent Stonewall Workplace Equality Index Silver award, its Athena Swan Bronze renewal and its Race Equality Charter Bronze award.
The University has also improved to Disability Confidence Level 2, and these accreditations are indicative of the advancement and commitment to embedding EDI at City through an intersectional lens.
To ensure that EDI stays at the fore of City’s strategy, nine members of the senior leadership team has taken up the role of Senior Diversity Ambassador. Each leader is responsible for upholding and championing the needs of City’s diverse community at a senior level.