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Your personal record: Why we’re asking new questions about cultural heritage and socio-economic background

The University collects a range of diversity monitoring data for staff, these data are important for us to be able to understand the diversity of our staff, evaluate our progress against strategic objectives and KPIs, and meet our statutory reporting obligations. Read more on why we ask for this information here.

We’ve added some new questions on cultural heritage and socio-economic background which will support our work to remove economic, social and cultural barriers that have prevented people from working, studying and succeeding at Warwick (as outlined in our Social Inclusion Strategy).

Below you’ll find more information about the new additions, and you can see all the diversity monitoring questions we ask here. You can respond to these questions – and review all your personal information to ensure it is up to date – on SuccessFactors. All questions include a ‘prefer not to say’ response option.


Cultural heritage

By cultural heritage group, we mean a group of people whose members are unified by a shared history and a cultural tradition, with communities defining their identity through a combination of ancestral heritage and religious affiliation (irrespective of religious practice or observance).

The request for this question came from our community; a group of staff brought an issue to our Race Equality Taskforce highlighting that there has historically been no way for people to identify themselves as ethnically or culturally Jewish (especially for those who do not identify as Jewish when answering the religion or belief question). Further discussion and consultation on this indicated this would also be useful for other groups too, leading to the creation of this new question on cultural heritage. Having two distinct questions would allow someone to, for example, indicate Jewish or Sikh as their cultural heritage and ‘No religion’ for religion or belief.

This question was included in our recent Culture Survey, responses demonstrate that collecting cultural heritage separately from religion is valuable. For example, the number of respondents indicating their cultural heritage as Jewish is almost double that for religion.


Socio-economic background

The University’s Education Strategy makes clear that widening participation and social mobility are core to the University’s mission and we aspire to be a beacon of excellence in the sector. In addition, Warwick is a signatory to the Social Mobility Pledge, a coalition of organisations putting social mobility at the heart of their purpose

We currently ask our student’s questions about their socio-economic background to support our Widening Participation work. In order to also monitor socio-economic diversity and promote social mobility for our staff we must be able to get a measure of our staff’s socio-economic backgrounds. As the Social Mobility Foundation explain, “the workplace is as important as the classroom in creating social mobility”.

The questions asked are based on best practice guidance provided by the Social Mobility Commission. These questions are based on consultation with dozens of academic experts, think tanks, charities, and employers.


If you have any questions

For more information about why we’re asking these new diversity monitoring questions, or about our wider inclusion work, contact the Social Inclusion team at .

You can find guidance on how to update your personal information on SuccessFactors here. If you have any problems, contact your HR Business Partner.


Please update your record

All staff are encouraged to regularly review all of their personal information and ensure it is up to date – you can update your record on SuccessFactors following the guidance here.

The new questions will be available from 1 March 2023, please do update your record after this date to check all of your diversity monitoring information is correct.

Why am I seeing "OPTION NO LONGER AVAILABLE – Please select an alternative"?

From 1 February 2023, you will see some small changes to the diversity monitoring questions on SuccessFactors.

HESA have recently amended some of their mandatory reporting questions. There are some instances in which a previous response option no longer exists. For example, instead of selecting ‘two or more disabilities’ (and not being able to specify what those are) you are now able to simply pick more than one response option.

For any questions in which you’ve selected a response option which no longer exists, you will see this message (‘OPTION NO LONGER AVAILABLE – Please select an alternative’). In that case, we ask that you please select a response from the new response options.

We apologise for the inconvenience. Where possible we have mapped your responses to the new options. For example, the old format had two response options ‘Gay man’ and ‘Gay woman/Lesbian’ – anyone who has ticked either of those options will now be showing the new ‘Gay or Lesbian’ response. However, for some response options it was not possible to do this (as in the disability example above) and your manual update is needed.

You can find more information about these changes to diversity monitoring questions here.