"It is courageous work, and I am proud to play a part in it" Introducing Lydia Bach

Published: 21 September 2022

Guest contributor Lydia Bach tells us about her role as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer in the College of Science and Engineering, and looks ahead with to a severe mental illness awareness-raising event that she is jointly planning with SHW colleagues

Guest contributor Lydia Bach tells us about her role as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer in the College of Science and Engineering, and looks ahead with to a severe mental illness awareness-raising event that she is jointly planning with SHW colleagues.

Photo of Lydia Bach standing on a beach

I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow in Marine and Freshwater Biology, which I loved. I think it was my peers, the engaged staff and the many experiences in the field (visiting Millport and the SCENE research centre) that made my undergraduate degree so memorable and meaningful.

I then moved to Queen’s University Belfast, where I did a PhD in marine ecology and where was able to join the Athena Swan self assessment team (SAT) of the School of Biological Sciences. This was an amazing opportunity to work on my two passions: understanding the human impacts on the environment and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. Working in an Athena SWAN Gold department gave me a lot of insights into what good practice is and how to continuously improve and move ahead. I moved back to Glasgow in 2018, working at the university as a postdoctoral researcher after a brief lecturing position covering a colleague’s maternity leave.

I feel that these experiences gave me insight into what it is like to be a student, teaching staff and researcher at the university, and what some barriers, challenges and issues can be. I am hoping to have more conversations across the spectrum of people/roles/paths to learn about people’s experiences and how we can support them better.

In 2020, I worked on a work/life balance project at Molecular, Cells and Systems Biology, which was funded by The Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. This year, I joined the College of Science and Engineering as their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer. In my role I am supporting the work of the Equality and Diversity Unit at the college and university, working towards our shared vision, supporting the EDI at our schools and facilitating projects and workshops.

I am looking forward to making links across the university and engaging with other schools and institutes. I appreciate having the opportunity to introduce myself and my role to School of Health and Wellbeing colleagues, and hope that we can exchange ideas and learn from one another in the future.

One project I am working on (with Jane Goodfellow and Andrew Gumley in SHW) focuses on severe mental illness. In this project, we are hoping to share stories from colleagues about their lived experiences of severe mental health illnesses. Hopefully, we will gain a little more understanding of what those experiences are and how we can support our colleagues. This will be a very challenging piece of work, because it requires our colleagues to be vulnerable and share some of their stories. We are going to take our time to support them by creating a safe space for them and allowing them to guide this project. It is courageous work, and I am proud to play a part in it.

If you would like to know more or have experiences of severe mental illness  to share, please do email Jane (Jane.Goodfellow@glasgow.ac.uk) or me (Lydia.bach@gla.ac.uk).

You can also contact me for:

  • Support and informal advice around equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Support linking equality, diversity and inclusion projects across MVLS and CoSE
  • Support with equality, diversity and inclusion projects and events at the College of Science and Engineering, including developing an effective evaluation plan to capture impact
  • Training and or engagement opportunities

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself.

Dr Lydia Bach 
Equality Diversity and Inclusion Officer
College of Science and Engineering
University of Glasgow


First published: 21 September 2022