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What is equality?
Equality is about creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Equality is the underlying principle which entitles everyone to freedom from unfair discrimination. The emphasis of good equalities practice is to provide an environment which encourages positive attitudes to difference and equal opportunities for all.
AUB's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion commitment
All members of the University’s community including staff, students, visitors and contractors have a responsibility to treat others fairly and respectfully regardless of the characteristics which may define their identity.
These include the legally protected characteristics which are: Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Marriage and Civil partnership, Pregnancy and maternity, Race, Religion or belief (including lack of belief), Sex and Sexual orientation.
The University has committed to provide a working and learning environment founded on dignity, respect and equity where discrimination of any kind is treated with the utmost seriousness.
- Foster a sense of belonging for all staff and students, regardless of background, and to eliminate any barriers which may inhibit this
- Create a strong community of advocates where all staff and students are confident to speak up if they believe others, or AUB itself, are falling short
- Endeavour to promote equity, providing according to need
- Encourage ‘big conversations’ about discrimination, especially (but not exclusively) linked to legally protected characteristics.
If you have queries or would like to get in touch, please contact our EDI team via email@example.com.
Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 sets out the general equality duty and places a legal requirement on the University to have due regard to the need to:
- 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.
- Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
In addition, the Equalities Act introduced three ‘specific duties’ concerning: publication of information; equalities objectives; and manner of publication.
The Public Sector Equality Duty places a requirement on all higher education institutions to publish information on an annual basis and to prepare and publish equality objectives to continually develop one or more of the aims set out in the general public sector equality duty.
The University’s overarching equality objective, which has been published externally, is:
Empowering all members of the AUB community to advance equality and diversity.
The University produces an annual report on EDI activity, which is received by Academic Board and the Board of Governors. From 2021/2, this report focuses on achievements against the new EDI Action Plan, reporting on progress, as well as confirming compliance with legal duties.
During 2020/21, the University developed a comprehensive action plan which brought together the actions it was already taken to support its EDI ambitions and additional activity which was planned to enhance practice. The plan includes some specific targets for the coming period.
The action plan is available for information.
The University has established an Equalities Committee, chaired by the University Secretary, to provide advice for the leadership team and Academic Board across all equalities issues and to oversee the implementation of the EDI Action Plan.
The Committee has a broad membership with members from both the academic community and professional services, and student representatives nominated by the Students’ Union. It is a strategic committee which reviews data, receives reports on activities and on national developments, and advises on areas for further investigation or action. The Committee terms of reference and constitution are available for download.
Protected characteristics (in the context of PSED) are defined as:
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- religion or belief – this includes lack of belief
- sex (male and female)
- sexual orientation.
It also applies to marriage and civil partnership, but only in respect of the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination.
AUB has adopted the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism, which would be referred to in the event of any complaint raised by a member of staff or student.
For further definitions of common equalities terms, the Equalities Committee has recently developed a Lexicon of equalities terms for ease of reference within the University.
For the specific duty AUB is required to:
- publish information to demonstrate compliance with the general duty annually
- publish data on the make up of the workforce
- publish one or more equality objectives covering a 4 year period.
You can find further information on the Equality Act on Gov.uk.
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