We’re incredibly excited to welcome you all to our conference site for ‘Beyond Six Characteristics: EDI for the Modern University’.
What is EDI?
EDI stands for ‘equality, diversity, and inclusivity’ and promotes all individuals and groups’ fair treatment. Legally, it encompasses the protected characteristics from the Equality Act 2010, including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.
For those of you who have a keen eye for numbers, you might have noticed that there are more than six protected groups protected under the Equality Act 2010. Current legislation protects nine groups, which in itself was an expansion from the seven characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2006, and so forth.
While ‘six protected charcatertistics’ is a common phrase when talking about EDI, government legislation and our collective understanding of what equality means continue to change with time.
Why have we set up this conference?
In the definition of EDI alone, it’s clear that things are changing when it comes to inclusivity and equality. However, have things changed enough? Within the university sector, arguably not as much as we might hope.
For example, according to reports from Advanced HE:
- 5.3% of staff working in HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) disclosed as disabled in 2018/19
- 10.3% of staff identified as BAME in 2019/20
- 57.2% of all students studying in UK higher education were female. Yet, 73.3% of professors were men in the 2020 survey.
Within the groups that comprise academic communities in the UK, it is clear that there is still plenty of work to be done. Plus, when we consider syllabi, library resources, and published material, there are potentially many areas of higher education that go unmonitored when it comes to EDI.
However, many groups and organisations in the UK and beyond are undertaking exciting projects and initiatives to tackle EDI issues in modern universities. We’ve set up this conference to celebrate those innovations and create an open, safe space to exchange ideas. We hope that in hosting such an event, we can discuss these critical issues so that universities may continue to push beyond government legislation and help create a more equal society.
Who can submit?
We encourage submissions from all levels of academia. So, whether you’re an undergraduate just starting out, a postgraduate student, or a full-time researcher, we’d love to hear your ideas. While our base is at Lancaster University, we’re happy to accept submissions from other institutions and organisations to encourage a cross-institutional and interdisciplinary dialogue.
To get involved in the conference, head over to our Call For Papers.