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Equality and Diversity for Postgraduate Research Students Catrin Morgan, Equality & Diversity Manager Equality Unit, Governance & Compliance

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Presentation on theme: "Equality and Diversity for Postgraduate Research Students Catrin Morgan, Equality & Diversity Manager Equality Unit, Governance & Compliance"— Presentation transcript:

1 Equality and Diversity for Postgraduate Research Students Catrin Morgan, Equality & Diversity Manager Equality Unit, Governance & Compliance An introduction to equality and diversity Katya Hosking, Inclusive Curriculum Officer Learning & Teaching Support, Registry

2 Please note: This is an introduction to some key equality principles and legal requirements for postgraduate research students This presentation should take approximately 30 minutes to complete plus a 10 minute quiz For further information or feedback on equality and diversity please contact: Catrin Morgan, Equality and Diversity Manager, Tel: For further information on equality and diversity in relation to learning, teaching and assessment, please contact: Katya Hosking, Inclusive Curriculum Officer, Tel:

3 If you require a copy of this information in an alternative format, please contact Catrin Morgan:

4 Discussion Outline 1.Introduction to Equality and Diversity 2.Legal, Moral and Business Cases 3.The Equality Act Cardiff University’s Equality Policies & Culture 5.Discrimination 6.Stereotyping and Prejudice 7.Language of Diversity 8.Your Role as a PGR Student 9.Equality Quiz (10 questions) 4

5 1.Introduction to Equality & Diversity 5

6 What is Equal Opportunities and Diversity? Equal Opportunities: associated with the elimination of unlawful and unfair discrimination against particular groups. Equality = a state of being equal. Diversity: based upon the concept of recognizing, respecting and valuing difference. Equality protects us all… Diversity reflects us all… 6

7 “Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.” Tom Robbins American Novelist

8 2.Legal, moral and business case for diversity and equality 8

9 Our Culture Cardiff University aims to: –Develop and promote a culture of equality and diversity, and dignity, courtesy and respect throughout the University –Support all students and staff, including provision of relevant support relating to protected characteristics –Work to prevent forms of unlawful discrimination and deal with all forms of discrimination consistently and effectively –Ensure that all its equality and diversity policies and guidance influence and inform the culture of the University. 9

10 Why we need equality & diversity Legal Case: –The Equality Act 2010 provides protection and rights for people including students and staff in relation to discrimination (less favourable treatment), harassment and victimisation. –Human rights legislation provides a set of fundamental rights and freedoms that all individuals are entitled to based on core principles including dignity, equality and respect. –We all have rights and responsibilities in relation to the law on equality. 10

11 Why we need equality & diversity Business Case: – Attracting and retaining students and staff – Making full use of people’s talents & learning from a wide range of knowledge and experience – Improving performance and enabling people to perform to their full potential Ethical Case: – Treating people fairly – Creating an inclusive environment 11

12 “ One of the four main purposes of higher education is to play a major role in shaping a democratic, civilised, inclusive society.” Sir Ron Dearing The National committee of enquiry into higher education, 1997

13 Who does the law protect? ‘Protected Characteristics’ (PCs) Further information is available on our Protected Characteristics PosterProtected Characteristics Poster 13

14 Protected Characteristics The Equality Act 2010 provides rights and protections in relation to the following ‘Protected Characteristics’: –Age –Disability –Gender Reassignment –Marriage and Civil Partnership –Pregnancy and Maternity –Race –Religion and Belief –Sex (Gender) –Sexual Orientation Further information is available on our Protected Characteristics PosterProtected Characteristics Poster 14

15 “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.” Frances Wright Scottish Writer

16 What are some of the benefits for Students? Not to be disadvantaged or experience negative behaviour for a reason relating to your protected characteristic To study/live in an environment that allows you to ‘be yourself’ and be open about your identity and needs To have a more ‘global’ and diverse student experience that will help you to gain a wider range of knowledge and experience To better understand people’s needs in relation to subject matter, e.g. medical students understanding the needs of disabled patients, which can later be used in research or employment To be better prepared for employment (diversity & equality policies of an employer) To understand fairness and inclusivity in University practices To understand procedures for addressing harassment / bullying 16

17 Important to note: The University does not tolerate harassment and bullying including offensive language Open and constructive debate are central to academic life, and the University encourages the free exchange of ideas, materials and arguments. However, those exercising freedom of speech must not breach other laws, for example, those relating to harassment or incitement to hatred in the way ideas are delivered. Compliance with equality legislation and policies is the responsibility of all students and staff Students and staff have a responsibility to act in a manner that does not unlawfully discriminate (see definitions in later slides) In order to identify any support requirements, students should discuss their specific needs with the University 17

18 “The point is that living together graciously makes our lives richer, more secure and happier. Inequality makes life harder, meaner and nastier.” Sir Trevor Phillips Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)Equality and Human Rights Commission

19 3. The Equality Act 19

20 Equality Act 2010 The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) provides a harmonised approach to equality and diversity (brings all the ‘protected characteristics’ under 1 law) The Act has extra duties in place for ‘Public Bodies’ (e.g. universities, hospitals etc) that are extra duties to eliminate discrimination and promote equality for these organisations Note: not everything is covered under equality law e.g. socio-economic background, ‘fairness’ issues not relating to a protected characteristic etc. 20

21 Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it, and Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it. The ‘General’ Duties 21

22 ‘Specific’ Duties (Wales) We have a number of specific duties in place in Wales that aim to make sure that we are working effectively to meet the general duties. These duties include: 1.Developing and implementing a Strategic Equality Plan and Equality ObjectivesStrategic Equality Plan Equality Objectives 2. Engaging with people from different equality groups 22

23 3. Monitoring equality data 4.Looking at the way our policies and procedures impact on different groups 5. Carrying out equal pay audits to ensure equal pay for equal work between men and women 6. Annually report on progress and publishing this information. ‘Specific’ Duties (Wales) 23

24 4. Our Equality Policies & Culture 24

25 Equality Plan, Policies and Guidance

26 The University has developed a Strategic Equality Plan (SEP) The plan shows how we will comply with the law and outlines the University’s commitment to Equality and Diversity on the grounds of Age, Gender Reassignment, Marriage & Civil Partnership, Pregnancy & Maternity, Religion or Belief and Sexual Orientation Welsh Language was also included in our SEP to show our commitment (the university also has a Welsh Language Scheme for more detailed commitments) 26 Strategic Equality Plan

27 Six Equality Objectives OUR CULTURE: A culture based on dignity, courtesy and respect Objective 1: To embed equality and diversity through training, awareness and communication Objective 2: To improve the monitoring and disclosure of protected characteristics OUR STUDENTS & STAFF: An inspiring and enriching educational and working experience for students and staff Objective 3: To review, develop and implement supportive and inclusive policies, procedures, curriculum and physical environment Objective 4: To review and address under representation in recruitment, retention and progression/attainment of staff and students Objective 5: To review and address equality in staff pay and related structures OUR COMMUNITIES: Encouraging and supporting community cohesion Objective 6: To promote external collaboration, widening access and communication, foster good relations and carry out engagement both internally and externally 27

28 The Student Charter The University introduced its Student Charter in August 2012 and within it outlines the expectations of the University, Students' Union and Students for its dignified and principled community, which links directly to the information and legislation on equality and diversity provided in this package. The Charter defines a dignified and principled community as one where equality is promoted, diversity and inclusivity are valued and individuals are respected; behaviour is guided by codes of academic integrity, ethics and good conduct; everyone accepts their responsibilities to each other; and a community that treats the English and Welsh languages on a basis of equality. 28

29 The Student Charter At Cardiff you can expect the University and the Students’ Union to: - treat you with dignity, courtesy and respect at all times; - foster and promote equality and diversity, and publish information about our progress every year; -act promptly and effectively to address complaints of discrimination or harassment; -be committed to equality for the English and Welsh languages; -be committed to improving the accessibility of our curriculum, facilities and services, to meet the requirements of all potential users. 29

30 The Student Charter The University and the Students’ Union expect you to: -behave appropriately, treating fellow students, staff and the local community with dignity, courtesy and respect at all times; -inform us if your own Cardiff experience is adversely affected by the behaviour of fellow students or staff -develop your understanding of professionalism and academic integrity at an early stage and apply this throughout your time here and beyond. The full Student Charter is available here

31 Some Facts / Information about Cardiff University Some Equality Information about Cardiff University’s staff and students can be found on our ‘Facts and Figures’ poster ‘Facts and Figures’ poster 31

32 5. Discrimination 32

33 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King

34 Direct discrimination (1) Direct discrimination is where someone is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic. Example: Two engineering postgraduates are equally qualified. The department offers a teaching assistantship to the man, and not the woman, because most of the faculty are men and they think the man will fit in better. Example: A university requires all disabled applicants to undergo a medical screening, but does not require this of non-disabled students. Example: A politics department does not offer a teaching assistantship to a Jewish postgraduate student because the tutorials take place on Friday evening and the Chair assumes that she will want to leave early on Friday to observe the Sabbath. 34

35 Direct discrimination (2) Direct discrimination also covers situations where someone is treated less favourably because they are perceived to have a protected characteristic or are associated with someone who does: Example: A placement coordinator thinks that a student teacher is gay, though in fact he is straight. She decides not to offer him a placement at a Catholic school because she doesn’t think the school will be a supportive place for a gay student. Example: The placement coordinator knows that the student teacher is straight, but decides not to offer him a placement at a Catholic school because the student has appeared in local press campaigning for gay rights, and therefore she doesn’t think the school will be supportive of him. 35

36 Indirect discrimination Indirect discrimination is where an apparently neutral rule or practice is applied to everyone, but it puts people who share a protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage. Example: A university does not allow dogs on the premises. This would put people with vision impairments who use guide dogs at a disadvantage. Example: A department requires applicants to have A- level grades of AAB achieved in a single sitting. Women with young children are more likely to be primary caregivers than men with young children, and therefore more likely to study part-time over several years. Therefore this requirement would put women with young children at a disadvantage. 36

37 Objective justification There is no justification defence for direct discrimination, except in a few circumstances in relation to age. Indirect discrimination can only be justified if –the rule or practice is adopted in order to pursue a legitimate goal; –the rule or practice is an appropriate means of achieving the goal, and –there is no other less discriminatory way to achieve the goal. This is called an objective justification. Example: No dogs are allowed in the School of Pharmacy’s clean manufacturing facility. This would not be unlawful discrimination against a guide dog user, because keeping the facility sterile is a legitimate goal, and excluding dogs is the only way to achieve it. 37

38 Disability Under the Equality Act, a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial, long term, adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day- to-day activities. People with these kinds of conditions are likely to be protected by the Act: –Vision and hearing impairments –Long-term or recurring mental health difficulties –Severe disfigurements –Specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia) –Physical conditions (e.g. cerebral palsy, arthritis) –Long-term medical conditions (e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis) They are still protected even if medication or treatment controls their condition or limits its effects. 38

39 Discrimination arising from disability Discrimination arising from disability is treating someone unfavourably because of something which arises from their disability (but not because of the disability itself). Example: A student has a medical condition which causes severe fatigue and he falls asleep in a lecture. The lecturer says he’s obviously not paying attention, and asks him to leave. This will only be unlawful if the lecturer knew about the student’s disability, or should have known about it. The lecturer can also defend herself by providing an objective justification for the treatment. 39

40 Disability: Reasonable Adjustments Universities must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that disabled people are not placed at a disadvantage as a result of disability. Example: A history lecturer gives students printed handouts in the lecture, and only provides an electronic version afterwards. It would be a reasonable adjustment to give the electronic copy to the blind student in advance, so that he has time to use text-to-speech software to read it before class. Example: A Deaf student who lip-reads needs to be able to watch people’s faces when they speak. It would be a reasonable adjustment for her tutor to arrange the seats in a circle and require students to speak one at a time. 40

41 Victimisation and Harassment Harassment is unwanted conduct which violates someone’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It includes behaviour that an individual finds offensive, even if the behaviour is not directed at them. Harassment related to a protected characteristic is unlawful. Example: In a seminar, two students complain loudly that disabled students who have extra time in exams get an unfair advantage, and that they’re just stupid students making an excuse who don’t really deserve the degrees they are awarded. This creates a hostile and humiliating environment for a disabled student in the seminar group. Victimisation is treating people less favourably because they have tried to exercise their rights under the Equality Act, or because they have helped someone to exercise their rights. 41

42 Positive Action Positive action can mean treating people who share a protected characteristic more favourably, and it is only lawful if it involves taking proportionate steps to enable them to overcome disadvantage; meet their distinctive needs; or encourage or enable them to participate in an activity where they are currently underrepresented. Example: In order to encourage men to consider a career in nursing, a university organises a mentoring programme for teenage boys which includes work experience in hospitals. Note: unlike the other protected characteristics, disability is not symmetrical - treating someone more favourably because of their disability is not unlawful direct discrimination against a non-disabled person. 42

43 6. Stereotypes & Prejudice 43

44 Stereotypes & Prejudice Stereotyping: biased generalisation about a social group – making assumptions or assigning overgeneralised traits to a group Prejuduce: "a preconceived notion or idea that is based upon little or no fact" We often make assumptions about other people, about their abilities, skills and qualities without knowing much about them There is a tendency to see differences as weaknesses. 44

45 What we see: Appearance, gender, skin colour, age… What we don’t see: Values / Beliefs Experiences / history Sexual Orientation Religion / Faith Non-visible disabilities … 45

46 Dangers of Stereotyping Reinforces prejudices and negative perceptions of certain groups It can lead to exclusion and/or discrimination Making assumptions about an individual's needs can result in a failure to address peoples needs appropriately and effectively 46

47 “ All the people like us are We and everyone else is They. ” Rudyard Kipling, English Writer/Poet

48 1.Question your own pre-judgements, norms, habits and interaction with others 2.Commit yourself to open-mindedness and respect towards "others" 3.Never tolerate discrimination, exclusion, condescension or other biased behaviour 4.Do not treat people as you would like to be treated but rather as they want to be treated 5.Develop personal values to combat stereotyping and tackle discrimination in learning. Ways to avoid stereotyping 48

49 Negative attitudes Lack of understanding Poor (and inappropriate) ways of giving information/ poor communication No consultation processes Lack of opportunities in study and work Poor physical access Poor study environment Examples of Barriers to Inclusion 49

50 “I believe each human being has the potential to change, to transform one’s own attitude, no matter how difficult the situation.” Dalai Lama

51 7. Language of Diversity 51

52 Language Using positive language is important as negative language use can contribute to prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination and can cause offence to individuals Language meaning and usage can change over time and checking preferred terminology with individuals can assist to avoid causing offence It is important that concerns relating to terminology do not prevent open discussion about equality issues. A glossary of terms is included in Appendix G of the Strategic Equality Plan and there is useful guidance at open.ac.uk/equality-diversity/pics/d pdf

53 8.Your role as a Post Graduate Research Student 53

54 Equality and Diversity in Teaching (1) Don’t assume your students understand conventions about behaviour and participation: make your expectations explicit Use text or visual materials to supplement spoken delivery (and provide these materials in advance, if possible) Provide an explicit structure for sessions and activities, and use ‘signposts’ to that structure as you go Provide clear written instructions for small group work and laboratory work Write up difficult spellings, or provide a handout of abbreviations and technical or subject-specific terms

55 Equality and Diversity in Teaching (2) Make sure written content in slides or handouts is also spoken aloud Minimise copying from boards and flipcharts, and leave slides up long enough for slower readers/writers Face the students when speaking, and try to limit movement around the room Repeat questions/comments from students before responding If possible, arrange the seating so people can see each other when speaking, and that they speak one at a time Take mini-breaks, or change activity type

56 Clear print guidelines Use a sans serif font like Arial, Trebuchet or Verdana Use at least 12pt on printed text and 24pt in powerpoint slides Make sure text is left-aligned, not justified Break up long passages with headings or bullet points Use bold for emphasis rather than italics or underlining, and avoid use of ALL-CAPS for more than a few words Use a plain background for powerpoint slides and ensure good contrast with the text colour Keep materials in a simple electronic format, such as Word; this allows alternative formats to be produced quickly if necessary!

57 Equality and Diversity in Research Research often provides an excellent opportunity to consider the individual experiences and needs of different groups as a specific issue or within the context of the wider research When carrying out research, individuals taking part may have specific requirements e.g. reasonable adjustments When looking to engage with specific groups e.g. groups with a specific disability, advice should be sought on ensuring research activities are accessible

58 Equality and Diversity in Research When carrying out equality monitoring as part of your research you should be mindful of using appropriate questions, and mindful of data protection obligations relating to sensitive personal data (for advice contact Cardiff University’s Governance and Compliance Division)Governance and Compliance Division

59 Equality does matter….. Consider what equality means to you; Treat everyone with Fairness and aim to be non-judgemental and respectful; Work together, share ownership and responsibility for implementing equality. 59

60 9. Equality Quiz 60 Keep count of the questions you get right

61 Question 1 “Equal Opportunities” is about treating everyone the same? A:True B:False 61

62 Question 1 “Equal Opportunities” is about treating everyone the same? A:True B:False Equal Opportunities is about treating everyone according to their specific needs and requirements. For example some disabled students will require ‘reasonable adjustments’ to provide equal access (a ‘level playing field’). 62

63 Question 2 How many protected characteristics are there? A: 12 B: 9 C: 6 63

64 Question 2 How many protected characteristics are there? A:12 B: 9 C: 6 There are 9 protected characteristics. They are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion & belief, sex, sexual orientation. 64

65 Question 3 A student feels they need additional time to complete their exams because of their disability. How would you advise them? A: They are not entitled to this as this would not be fair for other students B: They should ask for this (via Disability and Dyslexia Service) as a ‘reasonable adjustment’ C: They shouldn’t tell the University that they are disabled 65

66 Question 3 A student feels they need additional time to complete their exams because of their disability. How would you advise them? B: They should ask for this (via Disability and Dyslexia Service) as a ‘reasonable adjustment’ Students can ask for reasonable adjustments to meet their needs in relation to disability. This may include additional time in exams. 66

67 Question 4 A student has changed their gender identity from male to female and would like to use the women’s toilets. Are they entitled to do this? A: No – they must use the male toilets B: No – they should use the accessible (‘disabled’) toilet C: Yes – they can use the women’s toilets 67

68 Question 4 A student has changed their gender identity from male to female and would like to use the women’s toilets. Are they entitled to do this? C: Yes – they can use the women’s toilets From the time they present as a woman (e.g. dress like a woman, refer to themselves as female etc) a student can use the women’s toilets, changing rooms etc. Students don’t have to undergo medical procedures (e.g. operations, hormone treatments) to be recognised in their new gender. Only disabled students should use the accessible ‘disabled’ toilets and non-disabled people should not be instructed to use these as gender neutral toilets. 68

69 Question 5 A student tells you that they are being ‘bullied’ by another student via social media sites. Can they ask the University to take any action? A: No, this is an external matter B: Yes, this would come under the University’s Dignity at Work and Study policy C: Yes, but only if it relates to a protected characteristic 69

70 Question 5 A student tells you that they are being ‘bullied’ by another student via social media sites. Can they ask the University to take any action B: Yes, this would come under the University’s Dignity at Work and Study Policy The University’s Dignity at Work and Study Policy applies to all behaviour that could amount to harassment and bullying. If the behaviour is in relation to a protected characteristic e.g. using sexist or racist language this may be ‘harassment’. However, ‘Bullying’ does not have to be in relation to a PC. If the behaviour amounts to a criminal offence e.g. ‘stalking’ this may also be addressed externally. 70

71 Question 6 What is our Strategic Equality Plan for? A:A document that outlines the University’s commitment to equality and Diversity and to the Equality Act 2010 B: An aspirational document that is not required under any legislation C:A document about treating some groups more favourably 71

72 Question 6 What is our Strategic Equality Plan for? A:A document that outlines the University’s commitment to equality and Diversity and to the Equality Act 2010 B: An aspirational document that is not required under any legislation C:A document about treating some groups more favourably 72

73 Question 7 A student keeps using the term ‘that’s so gay’ meaning ‘that’s so stupid’. When he is confronted about this he says it’s only a joke and he is not homophobic. Is this acceptable? A: Yes – it is only used as a joke B: No – this could be perceived as a form of harassment/bullying C: It is only harassment/bullying if the person complaining is gay 73

74 Question 7 A student keeps using the term ‘that’s so gay’ meaning ‘that’s so stupid’. When he is confronted about this he says it’s only a joke and he is not homophobic. Is this acceptable? B: No – this could be perceived as a form of harassment/bullying For someone to make a complaint of harassment it is the effect of the behaviour and not the intention of the perpetrator that is important. Harassment is behaviour that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. 74

75 Question 8 Engineering want to encourage more women to study with them as women are underrepresented on the courses. What can they do? A: Have a positive action campaign including targeting open day sessions for women, holding workshops for girls at schools (widening access) B: Nothing - they would have to treat men and women equally C: Offer places to all women that apply regardless of their entry qualifications 75

76 Question 8 Engineering want to encourage more women to study with them as women are underrepresented on the courses. What can they do? A: Have a positive action campaign including targeting open day sessions for women, holding workshops for girls at schools (widening access) A positive action campaign in this situation is likely to be justifiable as there is underrepresentation of women studying engineering. Offering places regardless of qualification however is unlikely to be considered as a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’ and will be discriminatory for men. 76

77 Question 9 A student complains that all of their lectures are held in the evening when it is difficult to arrange childcare. The information available when applying for the course had not advertised the course as having evening lectures. Can anything be done about this? A: No – the student has to make an effort to attend all lectures B:Yes – the student should discuss their needs with the University and where reasonably practicable the University should look to offer an alternative C: Yes – the student has a right to have the time changed as this would be sex discrimination 77

78 Question 9 A student complains that all of their lectures are held in the evening when it is difficult to arrange childcare. The information available when applying for the course had not advertised the course as having evening lectures. Can anything be done about this? B: Yes - The student should discuss their needs with the University (via their personal tutor) and where reasonably practicable the University should look to offer an alternative The practice of holding all lectures in the evening may be indirect discrimination if this cannot be justified as proportionate and legitimate. The University should consider offering alternative times if this is possible. (Note: the legal requirement to implement ‘reasonable adjustments’ only applies to disability and is a stronger requirement than considering alternative arrangements for other groups) 78

79 Question 10 A student attending social activities complains that the activities are all based around alcohol and this is problematic for their religious belief. What can they do? A: They should talk to the Students’ Union (or organiser of the activity) to discuss their concerns B: They should refrain from attending these activities and socialise with students with similar beliefs 79

80 Question 10 A student attending social activities complains that the activities are all based around alcohol and this is problematic for their religious belief. What can they do? A: They should talk to the Students’ Union (or organiser of the activity) to discuss their concerns The University and Students’ Union have a duty not to discriminate directly or indirectly, to consider the needs of students and to promoting good relations between students with different protected characteristics. Activities should not indirectly exclude certain groups from participating and a range of activities including some alcohol-free activities should be provided. 80

81 How did you do….. If you answered less than 6 questions correctly you may want to re-read the slides to ensure that you have understood the information provided or contact the Equality Unit for clarification of any information included in the slides 81

82 For more information or feedback on this module, please contact Catrin Morgan: Tel:


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