Equality & Diversity Policy
1. Overall Vision
Our vision is for the University of Glasgow to be a successful, internationally recognised, prosperous University that fully utilises the creativity, innovation and talents of its people placing us at the leading edge of the sector and making us one of the best places to work, study and visit. We want to create a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and have a real choice to participate in and contribute to our activities and processes, without prejudice and discrimination. We are committed to a culture where respect and understanding is fostered and the diversity of people's backgrounds and circumstances will be positively valued.
Implementation of this Policy and the supporting Equality and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan will help us to achieve this vision. Having greater equality and diversity will bring many benefits to the University achieving greater efficiency and better performance from staff and will attract the best students. This vision will help us to more effectively address the needs of different groups in the University community.
The University community is made up of a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds and circumstances, which we value and regard as a great asset. However some groups experience discrimination and disadvantage that has a negative effect on their quality of life. Those most often affected are disabled people, women, young and older people, lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgendered people, people of faith or of no faith, black and minority ethnic people and part-time workers.
Legislation protects the rights of these groups to ensure that discrimination is prevented and that they are given equal access to employment, education and other services. We are committed to compliance with all current and relevant anti discrimination legislation including:
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (to be amended 2006)
- Equality Employment Sexual Orientation Regulations 2003
- Equality Employment Religion or Belief Regulations 2003
- Race Relations Amendment Act 2001
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (as amended) (to be further amended 2007)
- Age Discrimination Legislation (live December 2006)
- Part Time Employees Regulations 2000
By adopting this Policy the University accepts its responsibility to ensure that discrimination does not take place and that everyone in the University is treated fairly and equally. We have therefore made the commitment to create an inclusive environment where discrimination is challenged and equality is positively promoted.
The aim of this Policy is to:
i) Challenge discrimination, to promote and implement equality measures, to progress social justice and to strive to ensure that no one is disadvantaged
ii) Achieve equality of opportunity by removing any potential discrimination for:
- Disabled people
- Gay and bi-sexual men and women
- Transgendered and transsexual people
- Black and minority ethnic people
- People of faith and of no faith
- People in relation to their age
- Part-time workers
How we intend to do this:
- By creating an organisational structure to develop and support the implementation of equality and diversity measures
- By mainstreaming equality and diversity into our policy and planning processes
If we achieve this it will in effect:
- Meet all our responsibilities for equal opportunities in the relevant laws and codes of practice
- Tackle structures, behaviours and attitudes that might contribute to, or sustain, inequality and discrimination, including bullying and harassment
- Tackle the underrepresentation of excluded groups through positive promotion of wider participation
- Involve groups and individuals who feel that they experience inequality in informing policy development through effective consultation
- Help us to respond positively to the diverse needs and experiences of our University community
4. Defining Concepts - Approaches to Equality
4.1 Equality/ Equal Opportunities
The Scotland Act defines equal opportunities as "the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds, or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions, such as religious beliefs or political opinions."
It means providing relevant and appropriate access for the participation, development and advancement of all individuals and groups.
Diversity recognises the value of difference, which can provide an organisation with staff who possess a unique range of attributes and characteristics. These include diversity in age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief, marital status, political belief, socio economic background, colour, nationality and ethnic origin.
By understanding, recognising and involving diverse staff groups we can maximise our success as a leading University in our approach to, and treatment of all groups of employees and students.
The Equal Opportunities Commission defines mainstreaming as: "the integration of equal opportunities into all policy development, implementation, evaluation and review processes".
This means building equality into the everyday activities of the University and assessing what we do and the impact upon specific groups. Equality should not be addressed as an afterthought but should be considered from the outset when developing a policy or a practice.
5. Putting this Policy into Practice
We are committed to a programme of action to make this Policy fully effective. To support the implementation of this Policy we have produced an Equality and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan to mainstream equality and diversity into our main functions. The strategy focuses on five key themes for mainstreaming:
- Recruitment, admission and retention of under represented groups
The Equality Audit which we undertook in March 2005 recommended these five themes as priority areas for action. The audit findings can be found on the University's equality and diversity website.
A suite of policies which support the implementation of this policy covering the specific strands of equality are:
(For Staff and Students)
Religion and Belief Equality Policy
Sexual Orientation Policy
Race Equality Scheme
Dignity at Work and Study Policy
Part Time Working Policy
These documents can be found on the Equality and Diversity web page:
The Equality and Diversity Strategy Committee (EDSC) is a joint Committee of the University Court and Senate and is responsible for developing and delivering this Policy and reviewing its impact on University policy and practice. The Principal is the Convener of this Committee.
Associated Groups, which support the work of the EDSC are:
- The Race and Religion Equality Coordinating Group (convened by the Clerk of Senate)
- The Disability Provision Steering Group (convened by the Academic Secretary
- The Disability Equality Scheme Delivery Group (convened by the Academic Secretary)
- The Gender Action Project Steering Group (convened by the Vice Principal for Strategy and Advancement)
Additional short term working groups may be set up in response to other equality initiatives being developed at the University. All working groups are reviewed and may be subject to change in response to current legislative demands and the University's competing equality priorities.
Working groups are convened by our Equality Champions who are members of the senior management team. Equality Champions have been established to promote equality and diversity through leadership, giving equality and diversity a high profile in the University. There are six Champions covering each of the equality strands (race, disability, gender, age, religion or belief and sexual orientation).
All staff and students and anyone associated to the University (including visitors, contractors etc) have a responsibility to adhere to this Policy. The University will ensure that all staff and students are made aware of this Policy.
The ultimate responsibility for this Policy rests with the Principal and the University Court as the governing body.
The Director of Human Resources is responsible for implementing the Policy with respect to staff.
The Principal is responsible for implementing the Policy with respect to students.
7. Monitoring and Review
The University will monitor, assess and review the effectiveness of this Policy and the impact on all other relevant policies and practice. The EDSC will approve any revisions to the Policy.
8. What to do if something goes wrong
If you believe you have been treated in any way contrary to this Policy:
- For students, you can seek information and informal advice from the Student Representative Council:
- For staff, you can obtain advice and guidance from the Equality and Diversity Office:
- Confidential informal advice can also be sought from a Volunteer Harassment Adviser if it is a harassment issue:
9. Sources of Advice and Support on Equality Matters
Religion or Belief
Other useful sites:
The Equality Challenge Unit