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Equality and Diversity for Students

Equality and Diversity for Students

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Equality and Diversity for Students

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  1. An introduction to equality and diversity Equality and Diversity for Students Catrin Morgan, Equality & Diversity Manager Equality Unit Governance and Compliance Division Email:, Tel: 02920 87023

  2. Please note: 2 • This is an introduction to some key equality principles and legal requirements for 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, Email:, Tel: 02920 870230

  3. If you require a copy of this information in an alternative format, please contact Catrin Morgan:, 02920 870230 3

  4. Discussion Outline 4 • Introduction to Equality and Diversity • Legal, Moral and Business Cases • The Equality Act 2010 • Cardiff University’s Equality Culture • Discrimination • Stereotyping and Prejudice • Language of Diversity • Equality Quiz (10 questions)

  5. 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

  8. 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) 13

  14. Protected Characteristics Age This refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 50 year old) or range of ages (e.g. 18 to 30 year old). Age includes treating someone less favourably for reasons relating to their age (whether young or old). Disability A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. 14

  15. Protected Characteristics Gender ReassignmentThe process of transitioning from one gender to another. Gender Identity refers the way an individual identifies with their own gender, e.g. as being either a man or a woman, or in some cases being neither, which can be different from biological sex. Marriage and Civil Partnership Marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'.  Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters. 15

  16. Protected Characteristics Pregnancy and Maternity Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth and legal protection is for 26 weeks after giving birth. This includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. Race Race refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins. 16

  17. Protected Characteristics Religion and Belief Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious convictions and beliefs including philosophical belief and lack of belief. Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live, for it to be included in the definition. Sex (Gender) A man or a woman. Treating a man or woman less favourably for reasons relating to their sex. Sexual Orientation A person's sexual attraction towards their own sex, the opposite sex or more than one sex (e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual, hetrosexual, etc) 17

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

  19. 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 19

  20. Important to note: • The University does not tolerate harassment and bullying including offensive language • Freedom of speech and curriculum exemption allows for lawful, legitimate criticism, or debate for academic purposes of issues, ideas and materials. However those exercising freedom of speech must not breach other laws for example relating to harassment and 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 20

  21. “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

  22. 3. The Equality Act 22

  23. 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 ‘General’ and ‘Specific’ 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. 23

  24. The ‘General’ Duties • 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. 24

  25. ‘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 Objectives 2. Engaging with people from different equality groups 25

  26. ‘Specific’ Duties (Wales) 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. 26

  27. 4. Our Equality Policies & Culture 27

  28. Equality Plan, Policies and Guidance

  29. Cardiff’s E&D Policy • Cardiff University is committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality and diversity in all of its practices and activities, and aims to establish an inclusive culture free from discrimination and based upon the values of dignity, courtesy and respect. 29

  30. Strategic Equality Plan • 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) 30

  31. 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 Objective2: To improve the monitoring and disclosure of protected characteristics OUR STUDENTS & STAFF: An inspiring and enriching educational and working experience for students and staff Objective3: To review, develop and implement supportive and inclusive policies, procedures, curriculum and physical environment Objective4: To review and address under representation in recruitment, retention and progression/attainment of staff and students Objective5: To review and address equality in staff pay and related structures OUR COMMUNITIES: Encouraging and supporting community cohesion Objective6: To promote external collaboration, widening access and communication, foster good relations and carry out engagement both internally and externally 31

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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 -

  35. Our Roles and Responsibilities Role of Students and Staff • To actively encourage non-discriminatory practices and to report any incidences of behaviour that fail to comply with equality policies • To support the aims of the University’s equality and diversity policies • To be aware of and undertake (in the case of staff) appropriate equality and diversity training 35

  36. Some Facts / Information about Cardiff University • Some Equality Informationabout Cardiff University’s staff and students can be found on our ‘Facts and Figures’ poster 36

  37. 5. Discrimination 37

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

  39. Types of Discrimination Direct Discrimination: where someone is treated less favourably than another person because of their protected characteristic (PC) e.g. refusing to allow a disabled person to attend an open day because of their disability. Indirect Discrimination: where arule or provision is applied to everyone but it disadvantages people with a PC e.g. a University offers free library membership to all spouses but does not extend this to civil partners. Indirect discrimination applies unless this can be justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim e.g. a requirement for students to perform certain tasks with their arms/face uncovered may be justifiable if there is a genuine health and safety reason, despite this putting some Muslim students at a disadvantage. 39

  40. Types of Discrimination • Discrimination by perception: direct discrimination against someone because the others think they possess a particular PC • e.g. thinks that someone has a particular belief, or has changed their gender identity – even where this is not true • Discrimination by Association: direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who has a PC • e.g.someone who isrelated to/cares for a disabled person or a friend of someone who is gay Note: Discrimination by perception and association do not apply to the protected characteristics of Pregnancy & Maternity or Marriage & CivilPartnership 40

  41. Types of Discrimination 41 Harassment: unwanted conduct (relating to a PC) that violates people’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. This includes behaviour that an individual finds offensive even if the behaviour is not directed at them (see the University’s Dignity at Work and Study Policy) Victimisation: treating people less favourably because of action they have taken in connection with discrimination including they have given evidence in a discrimination case.

  42. Disability – Additional Protection • There is a positive duty under the Equality Act to put in place all ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people to access employment, education, services etc. This includesremoval of physical or other barriers and the provision of additional support where it is needed. • It is lawful to put reasonable adjustments in place for disabled people even if this results in ‘more favourable’ treatment. • It is unlawful to treat a disabled person less favourably for a reason linked to his/her disability e.g. An employee with arthritis is dismissed because his/her typing is too slow. This is called ‘discrimination arising from a disability’. Note: The University will not be required to make any ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the application of a competence standard (an academic, medical, or other standard determining whether or not a person has a particular level of competence or ability) 42

  43. Positive Action • It may be lawful to put positive action in place where certain groups are underrepresented in employment or services e.g. setting up an open day aimed at men to encourage more men to study nursing. • However, positive discrimination is not lawful e.g. offering places to men on the basis of their sex/gender (who are not the best candidates). 43

  44. 6. Stereotypes & Prejudice 44

  45. 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. 45

  46. What we see: • Appearance, gender, skin colour, age… • What we don’t see: • Values / Beliefs • Experiences / history • Sexual Orientation • Religion / Faith • Non-visible disabilities … 46

  47. 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. 47

  48. “All the people like us are We and everyone else is They.” Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936 48

  49. Ways to avoid stereotyping • Question your own pre-judgements, norms, habits and interaction with others • Commit yourself to open-mindedness and respect towards "others" • Never tolerate discrimination, exclusion, condescension or other biased behaviour • Do not treat people as you would like to be treated but rather as they want to be treated • Develop personal values to combat stereotyping and tackle discrimination in learning. 49

  50. Examples of Barriers to Inclusion 50 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