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Social Inclusion Strategy

Overview

The Social Inclusion Strategy will help us to re-imagine the original purpose of setting up Warwick in 1965, to ‘increase access to higher education’. This strategy aspires to remove economic, social and cultural barriers that have prevented people from working, studying and succeeding at Warwick. Through greater diversity of thought and an inclusive culture we achieve excellence with purpose in education and research.

You can read the Social Inclusion Strategy in full below, or download a PDF of the Strategy. For more information about the strategy see the following additional documents:

 

Vision

The University of Warwick’s purpose, to achieve excellence with purpose in education and research is supported by four strategic priorities: Innovation, Inclusion, Regional Leadership, and Internationalisation. The Social Inclusion Strategy will help Warwick to re-imagine the original purpose of setting up the University in 1965, to ‘increase access to higher education’. Through this Strategy, the University aspires to remove economic, social and cultural barriers that have prevented people from working, studying and succeeding at Warwick, and to be recognised as best in class in its approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, for staff and students by 2030

Objectives

The social inclusion agenda at Warwick aims to make a real difference by nurturing the most diverse and inclusive citizens and leaders for today and tomorrow, and that through inclusive practice, Warwick can leverage the benefits of difference to help the University achieve its vision. Work will continue into identifying talent that has found itself excluded and under-represented in Higher Education. By removing barriers and changing the way things are done, Warwick can provide an inclusive experience of outstanding academic and professional growth at the University for both its students and staff.

At Warwick, diversity is about all members of its community. Warwick’s approach will go much further than the bounds of legislative practice, protected characteristics and the requirements of regulators. It is leadership at all levels of the University’s community that will be central to driving the structural changes required to see everyone living Warwick’s values and nurturing a culture that truly recognises, respects and fosters diversity.

Research and experience indicates that certain diversity characteristics result in greater challenges for some people in higher education. In particular, there are more challenges for people of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) origin; disabled people; and people who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This is manifested in numerous ways, but most obviously in access to higher education and academic attainment. Warwick’s approach will focus on ensuring it tackles these barriers and practices to specifically address these issues. The effects of intersectionality when considering diversity will be central to the analysis and actions subsequently undertaken.

Objective 1: Diversity

1. Increase the diversity of Warwick’s staff and students to maximise creativity and innovation of its talent.

Diversity of thought leads to innovation and creativity. Inherited and acquired diversity characteristics are indicators of diversity of thought. Representing different experiences and approaches, it brings fresh challenge to ways of thinking and doing things.

For Warwick, having diversity represented in its students and staff means that the University can achieve its vision of excellence in education and research. This can be measured through the protected characteristics and economic background of its staff and students and these indicators will continue to be a key focus of the University’s progress on increasing inclusion. Headway on closing the attainment gap for Warwick’s students, and in particular for those of specific BAME backgrounds, those with disabilities and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, will be key indicators of success. For staff, measures of career progression and pay equity will be primary indicators of real change across the academy and in professional services.

Diversity in Warwick’s Students

As a Russell Group University, Warwick recognises that traditional methods of recruiting students, coupled with reputation, have inadvertently resulted in a lack of diversity for certain groups of people. It is understood that this has created barriers and significant work is being undertaken to redress them. Warwick is proud of the progress that it has made in the increases in BAME student recruitment compared to its Russell Group peers. However, the University will continue to examine how best it can reach out to, engage with potential students, and work with them to ensure they are informed and supported through the application process. The regional ethnic diversity of communities makes this a priority for Warwick. On the University’s part, systems and processes are needed that ensure that it is identifying talent and making offers to entry based on criteria that truly recognises potential in all its diversity.

As a university, Warwick is constantly striving to improve how it does things to make its student experience among the best in the world. It is recognised that the University needs to understand how its teaching, learning and assessment approaches impacts on its students. As the student life cycle is reviewed, measures will be introduced that help to provide better indicators of which students are likely to face challenges in reaching their potential and make available options for timely and appropriate interventions.

Warwick has made great strides in improving the female experience, by working towards and achieving an institutional Silver Athena Swan award. However, to truly achieve gender equality for its students, Warwick will continue to identify and work on challenges as it works towards all academic departments achieving an Athena Swan award. Work will also be undertaken towards the Race Equality Charter to help improve the experience of BAME students and staff at the University.

The attainment gap is one of the most pressing challenges affecting particular groups of BAME students, those with disabilities and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Through co-creation with students and academics, Warwick is working towards inclusive teaching practices, curriculum and teaching spaces that provide reasonable adjustments. This will be done by:

  • Co-creation with affected groups.
  • Underpinning by research and learning from peers.
  • Systemic and structural change that goes beyond supporting affected groups separately.
  • Enhancement-driven monitoring (to make immediate and then structural change).

Diversity in our staff

Increasing diversity in all staff, including academic, professional and other support staff, particularly at senior levels, is essential to bring inclusion to the student experience, and to enhance Warwick’s reputation and brand as an inclusive employer. Reviewing recruitment and promotion processes to ensure unbiased decision-making and nurturing talent to establish a diverse talent pipeline are some of the actions that will support the University in its drive for a diverse workforce: a workforce whose diversity and inclusive leadership will be inspirational for Warwick’s students and the communities that it works with.

Equity in pay for all staff is one of the ways that high performance can be rewarded and diverse talent valued. Reduction, and ultimately elimination, of the gender and ethnic minority pay gap is a priority, which must be achieved. Through better understanding, the barriers to career progression and decision-making about reward and recognition, Warwick can work towards achieving this outcome. Improving diversity data will support the improvement of the pay gap for women and ethnic minorities and it will promote better understanding of how it affects other groups of staff, in particular those with specific protected characteristics.

Delivering the Strategy

The Social Inclusion Strategy will work inter-dependently with the following strategies: Research, Education, Widening Participation, Student Admissions, International, Regional, Research, Innovation, People, Government Affairs, and Communications.

Strategy progress and developments will be monitored and actioned by the Social Inclusion Committee and report to Council.

Outcomes

Immediate (years 1-3)

  • Increased awareness, understanding and engagement with social inclusion at a community and personal level​.
  • Leadership teams that model inclusive behaviours.
  • Regional presence and voice on inclusive practice and leadership.
  • A co-ordinated and strategic approach to widening participation, diversity, inclusion and equality​.
  • Reviewed and revised systems and processes for recruitment, retention and promotion of staff​.
  • Develop and implement positive action interventions to increase diversity at senior levels and develop diverse talent pipelines​.
  • Increased access to undergraduate courses through alternative routes.
  • Increased diversity in our students of UK origin​.
  • A robust reporting & response system for incidents of hate/violence supported by preventative interventions​.
  • Accountability for delivery of Social Inclusion Strategy​.

Intermediate (years 3-5)

  • Diverse talent pipelines creating next generation leaders​.
  • Increase in number of ethnic minority, disabled and LGBTQUIA+ employees at senior levels for professional services and academic staff.
  • Reduce gender, ethnicity and disability pay gap​.
  • An established reputation as an inclusive employer and provider of an inclusive student experience​.
  • Eliminate the black awarding gap (by 2025)​.

2030

A culture that is inclusive and supports its diverse community to be high performing, creative and innovative ​

  • A leading voice on the causes of exclusion and interventions that support sustainable economic and social inclusion.
  • A role model for inclusive leadership​.
  • A place where everyone is valued for their individuality and where everyone is respectful of others.
  • Eliminate gender, ethnicity and disability pay gap​.

Key Performance Indicators

Our objectives for Social Inclusion are to increase diversity of thought for greater innovation and creativity and to develop an inclusive culture. The KPIs detailed below have been identified to support these objectives.

We use the POLAR classification groups for widening participation. This is the proportion of young people in an area who participate in higher education. POLAR classifies areas into five groups - or quintiles - based on the proportion of young people who enter higher education aged 18-19 years old. Quintile one is the lowest rate of participation; quintile five is the highest rate of participation.

At Warwick, we’re committed to narrowing the gap in participation for students between the most represented quintile (POLAR Q5) and the least represented quintile (POLAR Q1) to 4:1 by 2025.

In 2019/20, our Q5:Q1 ratio was 6.8:1, narrowing by 2.1 compared to 2018/19. The Q5:Q1 ratio is higher at Warwick than the sector generally (2.4:1) and at Russell Group universities (4.8:1)(the Russell Group comprises 24 leading UK universities.) This indicates that we have a lower proportion of students from areas least represented in higher education.

You can find out further details about ourAccess and Participation Plan targets and yearly milestones on the Widening Participation website.

The Black awarding gap is the difference between the proportion of White UK-domiciled students who are awarded a first or upper second degree and the proportion of UK-domiciled Black students who are awarded degrees of the same class.

We’re committed to eliminating the awarding (degree outcomes) gap between Black and White students by 2025.

In 2019/20, our Black awarding gap was 6.7%, dropping 4.1 percentage points since 2017/18. Warwick is performing better than the higher education sector (the sector average in 2019/20 was 16%) and the Russell Group (9.4%) in this area.

Read more below about our work to identify and address other identified awarding gaps at Warwick, and our Inclusive Education Model on the Deans of Students website.

Women at professorial level

Increasing diversity in all staff groups, including academic, professional, and other support staff, particularly at senior levels, is essential to bring inclusion to the student experience, and to enhance Warwick’s reputation and brand as an inclusive employer.

We’re committed to reaching 50% women professors by 2030.

In 2020/21, 25.9% of our professors are women, increasing 4.1 percentage points since 2017/18.

The proportion of women professors is lower at Warwick than in the sector generally. In 2019/20, the sector average was 27.9%, whereas that year Warwick had 23.8% women professors.

To help address this, we reviewed our academic promotions process to make it more accessible and inclusive. We amended the awarding criteria to give equal weighting to all aspects of academic roles; the process was opened out so that applicants no longer required a Head of Department recommendation, and we introduced a new interview framework driven by evidence-based scoring. These changes have led to a higher proportion of women and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic staff applying, and being successful, in gaining a promotion. Our promotions review was profiled as an example of good practice in the CBI ‘Bridge the gap’ guide on closing the ethnicity pay gap published in February 2020.


Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff at senior levels

We know that the use of ‘BAME’ as a term is increasingly contested, but this is the term we use at Warwick currently in lieu of a commonly-agreed alternative. We can reassure our community that when we conduct ethnicity data analysis we disaggregate below ‘BAME’ to ensure a fuller, and more accurate, picture of racial inequalities.

We’re committed to reaching 25% Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic professors and professional services staff at FA9 (our most senior level), with 5% to be Black, by 2030.

In 2020/21, 11.6% of our professors are Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic, increasing 1.6 percentage points since 2017/18. 0.5% are Black, increasing 0.1 percentage point since 2017/18.

In 2020/21, 10.6% of professional services staff at FA9 are Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic, increasing 1 percentage point since 2017/18, and 1.2% are Black, increasing from zero in 2017/18.

The proportion of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic professors at Warwick, and Black professors specifically, is comparable to the wider sector. In 2019/20, sector average for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic professors was 10.8%, and at Warwick that year it was 10.9%. For Black professors the sector average was 0.7% and at Warwick it was 0.5%.


Disabled staff at senior levels

We’re committed to reaching 18% disabled professors and professional services staff at FA9 by 2030.

In 2020/21, 2.6% of our professors are disabled, decreasing 0.9 percentage points since 2017/18.

In 2020/21, 2.4% of professional services staff at FA9 are disabled, representing no change since 2017/18.

The proportion of disabled professors at Warwick is lower at Warwick than in the wider sector. In 2019/20, the sector average was 3.2%, at Warwick the same year the figure was 2.7%.


LGBQUA+ Professional Services at senior levels

‘LGBQUA+’ here refers to collated data for staff who selected ‘Bisexual’, ‘Gay man’, ‘Gay woman/lesbian’, and ‘Other’ on the sexual orientation on staff equality monitoring forms. We’re aware many people are more familiar with the LGBTQUIA+ acronym. The ‘T’ for trans and ‘I’ for intersex in the acronym are removed here as gender identity and intersex data are collected and reported separately from sexual orientation data. We’re committed to trans inclusion.

We’re committed to reaching 2.7% LGBQUA+ professional services staff at FA9 by 2030. This target is based on Census figures. We recognise that this is likely to be an underestimation of the actual figure. As such, this target will be reviewed in consultation with the University’s Rainbow Taskforce.

In 2020/21, 1.6% of professional services staff are LGBQUA+, representing no change since 2017/18.

The pay gap is the difference in hourly pay between the total population of one group in the staff community and the total population of another. It’s calculated as the average difference between the mean hourly pay gap of each group. The median is the difference between the mid-point hourly pay rate of men and women. We use the mean and the median because they give us slightly different insights into the distribution of pay and bonus data. The mean can be affected by a few outliers, and the median is less affected and therefore doesn’t show a potentially skewed distribution.

You can read a full review of Warwick’s gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation pay gaps and the action we’re taking to close them in our 'Closing the Pay Gaps' reports. We report annually each March. We summarise here the targets and progress in this area as part of our Social Inclusion report.

 

Gender pay gap

We’re committed to eliminating the gender pay gap by 2030.

In 2020/21, the mean gender pay gap was 21.9%, decreasing 4.6 percentage points since 2016/17. The median gap was 23.3%, decreasing 0.1 percentage points since 2016/17.

The gender pay gap at Warwick is higher than in the wider sector: in 2019/20, the sector average mean gender pay gap was 15.7% and at Warwick 26.8%. The average median pay gap was 11.1% and at Warwick 23.3%.


Ethnicity pay gap

We’re committed to eliminating the ethnicity pay gap by 2030.

In 2020/21, the mean ethnicity pay gap was 10.8%, increasing 2.6 percentage points since 2019, and the median pay gap was 13.7%, increasing by 9.5 percentage points since 2019.

The ethnicity pay gap at Warwick is higher than in the sector generally. In the 2019/20, the sector average mean ethnicity pay gap was 1.4% and at Warwick 7.4%. The average median pay gap was 0% and at Warwick 5.7%.

Prior to the Strategy and KPIs being available the University published Equality Objective reports, to access previous reports please contact socialinclusionpa@warwick.ac.uk.