Guest blog by Lucy Jones, Associate Professor in Sociolinguistics and Faculty Director of EDI (Arts)
In recent years, universities and research centres around the country have seen a huge increase in work towards equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). With initiatives like Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter now widely established, and conversations around transforming institutional culture commonplace, more and more people are engaging in EDI work. There’s a lot of good practice out there already and EDI practitioners have much to learn from each other, both in terms of evidence of inequalities in university settings and the initiatives that have been developed to tackle them. But, whilst this information is typically available, it’s also disparate and hard to find. That’s why we’ve developed the EDI Resource Bank: a new, open-access database which brings together materials to support EDI work in a range of HE settings.
The EDI Resource Bank hosts reports and initiatives that have been produced by institutions and organisations to support EDI in teaching and research. Through an intuitive, straightforward portal, users can quickly locate information which will help them in planning and developing their own work towards breaking down barriers and creating more inclusive practice. The EDI Resource Bank is designed so that anybody working in EDI can contribute to it: this might include guidance they’ve written for staff in their university on how to support students with protected characteristics, for example, or a report on inclusive hiring practices published by a research council that they’ve found useful. The aim is for the EDI Resource Bank to be used by EDI practitioners all over the UK, and for it to reflect the questions, concerns, and priorities of the EDI community itself. The University of Nottingham’s EDI Coordinator team will be moderating the Resource Bank, drawing on their expertise to ensure that submissions are appropriate before being shared more widely.
The EDI Resource Bank has been developed as part of the STEMM-CHANGE programme, an EPSRC-funded multi-disciplinary project at the University of Nottingham. The programme team have been working on several linked projects which aim to drive positive change in culture and practice in EDI across STEMM, with one key aim being to remove barriers to EDI by making good practice freely available.
The EDI Resource Bank is the result, though it goes far beyond STEMM to share resources relevant to work and study across all subjects and disciplines. It’s been developed by Dr Paul Holmes, a Research Fellow on the STEMM-CHANGE programme, in a project initiated by Dr Karen Salt (previously based in Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, now Deputy Director for Culture and Environment at UKRI) and led by Dr Lucy Jones (School of English).
Within the University of Nottingham, the EDI Resource Bank will also play a key role in supporting the work of the EDI Coordinator team who are developing an EDI Maturity Matrix: a reflective tool that enables users to identify areas for EDI growth in a way which is clear, tailored and supported.
The Maturity Matrix analyses users’ responses to generate links to relevant resources (housed within the EDI Resource Bank) that will help them evolve in a particular area of EDI. The Maturity Matrix is due to launch at the Diversity Festival in March.
We invite you to take a look at the EDI Resource Bank today, at www.edi-resourcebank.co.uk. Please also help us build the database even further by submitting resources that you’ve developed or would recommend to others working in EDI. If you have any questions, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
22 January 2021