July 14, 2017

Race Equality Charter Mark submission

I am pleased today, 14 July 2017, to submit the University of Warwick’s application for a Race Equality Charter Mark award.

At Warwick, we are dedicated to ensuring we are an inclusive institution, with fair and equal representation, progression, and opportunity for all through the continuing advancement of equality throughout our practices, policies, culture and plans. We do this both to attract and retain the most talented staff and students in a globally-competitive market, and to ensure our community and visitors’ experience of Warwick is fair, positive and equal. We seek to do this in a number of ways; in moves towardsbetter conditions for staff, we have adopted the Living Wage foundation rate of pay and have a 'no zero-hours contracts' policy; we are partners in Coventry’s bid to become UK City of Culture and celebrate, nurture and enhance the cultural diversity of our region’s arts and cultural organisations, neighbourhood communities, schools and businesses; we retain silver status in the Athena Swan Charter, with commitment to the further work we must do in this area across our disciplines, we are developing a Social Inclusion strategy as a core element of our newly formed Strategy and Policy group, and the coming months will see us launch new education and research strategies placing diversity and inclusion at the heart of our core mission in teaching and the creation of knowledge.

Over the last eighteen months, the issue of race has been openly debated within our community. I have listened closely to the views of our staff and students about their experiences. We have learned of the very real concerns and experiences members of our community have about racism. It is very clear to me that there is much more work for us to do. Making our first RECM submission is an important indicator of how far we have got, and how far we still have to go in our commitment to promote inclusion and make the unequivocal statement that we have zero tolerance for racism here at Warwick.

The action plan we have produced for the RECM gives proper focus to issues of race within this context. We have had input from all parts of our community – through the academy, professional services and Students’ Union to identify and commit to improvements across our processes, structures and culture and I thank them for their continuing commitment and support on the work to date and future developments.

There are three specific aspects to this plan that I would like to highlight:

  • We will undertake continued research to evidence and inform our approach;
  • Equality, diversity and respect will be incorporated in the training and performance objectives of our executive team and heads of department to ensure we understand and apply inclusive leadership practices at the highest levels of the University’s management;
  • We will develop proposals for race equality practices and anti-racism training for all our teaching staff, drawing on the existing good practice in some departments, to ensure inclusive curriculum and teaching methods become standard across our taught programmes.  

I am committed to monitoring the progress of our action plan with the support of a Race Equality Working Group, and to sharing this progress with our governing body and the broader community to ensure the agenda remains at the forefront of our institutional values.

Warwick’s RECM submission is just one part of a very large endeavour. But it is a critically important commitment that I am personally, and on behalf of the University, very pleased to make. I am sharing this letter publicly with the Warwick community, as a reiteration of that commitment.

For more information please see our RECM pages or contact raceequality@warwick.ac.uk

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