Equality & diversity
What is equality and diversity? How do we ensure equality and diversity within the Institute?
What is equality?
Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably, specific to their needs, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. Promoting equality should remove discrimination in all of the aforementioned areas. Bullying, harassment or victimization are also considered as equality and diversity issues.
What is diversity?
Diversity aims to recognise, respect and value people’s differences to contribute and realise their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture for all staff and students.
How do we ensure equality and diversity within the Institute?
Athena SWAN Team
The Athena SWAN (AS) Charter was established in 2005 and aims to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing careers of women in in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) subjects, rectifying various gender imbalances which are present in these areas. The Charter has recently expanded, trying to ensure equality for all educational and research professionals.
An Athena SWAN (AS) team was set up for the Edinburgh Medical School (which includes the Institute of Genetics and Cancer) with Professor Cathy Abbott (Institute of Genetics and Cancer) playing a vital role as one of the 2 original convenors. Dr Susan Farrington (Institute of Genetics and Cancer) has recently taken over from Cathy, after serving on the team from the beginning, and numerous members of the Institute continue to play key roles in the AS team.
The team has implemented a series of lunchtime fora, hosted by the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, which are both informative and a useful networking and support forum.
The team’s efforts have been recognised by an Athena SWAN Silver Award (April 2016).
Equality and Diversity Committee
The Western General Hospital Local Equality and Diversity Committee is made up of a group of staff from across the Western General Hospital site, including staff and students from the Institute.
The Committee is dedicated to promoting the ethos of respect and dignity across our workplaces where all staff and students feel included and valued, irrespective of background, and are able to perform to the best of their ability.
The Committee meets at least four times a year to increase awareness of equality and diversity issues across the campus and to promote interactions between staff and raise awareness of those with a diversity role. A representative from the AthenaSWAN committee attends our meetings to promote good practice and share initiatives between the teams.
One of the Committee members attends the University of Edinburgh’s LGBT network meeting and will now liaise between this local Equality and Diversity Committee and the wider LGBT staff network committee.
Current activities include:
- Promotion of unconscious bias online training to all staff and students
- Participation in the Royal Society’s #ScienceIsGlobal campaign to demonstrate the international nature of research groups in science
- Charity coffee morning, organised in partnership with the Institute of Genetics and Cancer Social Committee, to bring staff from across the Institute together over coffee and cake