Inclusion is one of four strategic priorities that underpin Excellence with Purpose, the overarching University of Warwick Strategy, and we have ambitious plans and aspirations to work towards removing the economic, social and cultural barriers that may have previously prevented talented people from working, studying and realising their potential at Warwick.
We seek to create a community for staff, students and visitors, where differences of culture and identity are celebrated, where differences of opinion are welcomed and respected, and where prejudice and socially unacceptable behaviours of any kind are never tolerated.
The four themes of the Social Inclusion/Equality Objectives for 2020 - 2024 are:
- Increase the diversity of staff and students to maximise creativity and innovation;
- Develop a culture that supports our staff and students to achieve their potential;
- Become an internationally recognised leader in education;
- Develop an inclusive environment on campus.
At the heart of our approach will be a major drive to increase the diversity of our student and staff population, and to remove the barriers to studying and working at Warwick. This is particularly, but not only, for those from lower socio-economic groups, those who identify as LGBTQUA+, ethnic minority communities and disabled people, with an increased focus on intersectionality within these social groups.
Being fully committed to our Social Inclusion agenda, working with and on behalf of our LGBTQUA+ community is integral to our work and we aim to ensure that barriers are removed and all of our policies, processes and facilities are fully inclusive.
We want to empower staff, students and visitors to Warwick to realise their full potential and to ensure they can be their true selves, feeling safe and respected, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Warwick is a Stonewall Diversity Champion and submits annually to the UK Workplace Equality Index. Over the last three years, Warwick has risen 220 places in the index and in 2020 ranked 123 out of 500, demonstrating our continued commitment to the LGBTQUA+ community. Whilst this is an excellent achievement, we recognise there is still more to do to ensure we are fully inclusive.
To help progress LGBTQUA+ Equality at Warwick, the Rainbow Taskforce was set up to act as an advisory body and to make recommendations to the Social Inclusion Committee on LGBTQUA+ related matters. The Taskforce has three co-chairs – providing academic, professional services and student representation.
In addition to the Taskforce, a Stonewall Self-Assessment Team was established in 2020 to progress the action plan associated with feedback from our Stonewall submission. To support this work, a University-wide network has also been established to encourage departments to progress and embed LGBTQUA+ equality, by sharing best practice and working collaboratively to remove barriers.
Additionally, the above-mentioned groups work collaboratively and in consultation with the LGBTQUA+ Staff Network to inform our work. The University also has a LGBTQUA+ Supporters programme which works to empower all members of our community to create an open and inclusive environment for all staff, students and visitors to Warwick.
As the executive sponsor for LGBTQUA+, I wish to emphasise that we are fully committed to the promise that we will all work together to improve our processes/procedures, our cultures and our lines of communication, to bring about positive changes and to provide opportunities for our LGBTQUA+ community, to gain confidence and reach their full potential in a supportive and inclusive environment.
Professor Christine Ennew OBE