REGENT’S UNIVERSITY LONDON – EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
An engagement survey commissioned by Regent’s University London (RUL), identified the need for equality and diversity awareness training. With 540 staff and over 4000 mainly international students, RUL recognised the importance of being inclusive and culturally aware whilst promoting dignity at work, managing discord and working collaboratively to maximise the work environment whilst importantly, maintaining a collegiate approach.
Regent’s University engaged us to design, deliver and evaluate an innovative and challenging face to face equality and diversity programme for 80 managers and 460 staff. This was devised in the shape of a series of workshops to support respect, inclusivity, diversity and equality at Regent’s University London.
The areas of focus were:
- to ensure that all RUL staff understood the importance of being inclusive and culturally aware and fully demonstrate this
- to understand the legislation, duties and responsibilities in relation to students and staff
- to identify areas of good practice in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion and plan for any improvements
- to ensure managers are aware of their extra responsibilities in relation to recruitment and employee relations
We undertook a process of full familiarisation within the organisation with a number of visits to interview key personnel and staff about the issues they faced and their challenges. Based on the findings of our research, we designed and developed a bespoke programme of interactive workshops “Respect for All – Valuing Inclusivity at Our University” which highlighted specific areas such as feeling valued, understanding diversity, professional behaviour under pressure and maintaining a collegiate approach.
Key issues around equality and diversity were addressed, such as religion, belief, gender, sexual orientation, race, disability. In workshops devised solely for managers, we concentrated on topics such as improving motivation, promoting change, managing unacceptable language and creating effective communication procedures.
- We made recommendations on how to maintain the momentum of the programmes and highlighted further areas to be addressed.
- We suggested termly meetings convened with staff and managers to directly address areas covered in the training and to feed back issues that had arisen from it.
- We also suggested the implementation of sustainability workshops to further stimulate discussion on how to take forward the positive messages from the training.