Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Promoting equality and diversity

In line with University practice, the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures has a People and Equalities Director, Prof Celeste-Marie Bernier.

The role of the People and Equalities Director is to promote the equality, diversity, and widening participation activity within the School.

Prof Celeste-Marie Bernier

Personal Chair in English Literature

  • English Literature
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



50 George Square

Post Code

What does equality and diversity mean to the University?

“The University of Edinburgh is committed to creating an environment where diversity is valued and celebrated and where everyone can develop to their full potential regardless of any personal characteristic such as: gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religious or philosophical belief, age, socio-economic background, trade union membership, family circumstances or other irrelevant distinction.

“The University has a legal and moral responsibility to recognise these differences and to ensure that students and staff are treated with equity and fairness and that their individuality is respected and acknowledged in terms of programme or service planning and delivery.

“The University has always sought to go further than the minimum legal requirements in embracing diversity and in creating an inclusive culture and welcoming environment. To this end the University is committed to identifying and removing any unfair discrimination facing under-represented groups, through our policies, practices and procedures. The role of People and Equalities Director is crucial to achieving this aim. The role of People and Equalities Director will be recognised as part of the ’general contribution‘ for promotion purposes.”

The role of the People and Equalities Director

  • To support the mainstreaming and integration of equality and diversity (E&D) awareness into the day-to-day activities of their School/Service.
  • To provide assistance and advice to Head of School/Service to promote E&D across the School/Service to both staff and students.
  • To ensure their School/Service is aware of best practice developments in E&D and of changes to relevant legislation.
  • To set local diversity objectives on an annual basis in conjunction with the Head of School/Service.

Tasks associated with the role are to:

  • act as the first point of contact and source of local advice on E&D issues and legislation in the wide sense indicated in the first paragraph above;
  • cascade news of changes to policy and procedures, best practice and developments in E&D to colleagues and students within their School/Service;
  • collect feedback from staff and students on E&D issues for discussion at College/Support Group E&D Committees;
  • support and promote consultation with staff and students on E&D initiatives;
  • annually produce local Diversity School/Service objectives supported by a local action plan, in conjunction with the E&D Manager and in conjunction with the Head of School;
  • meet at least half-yearly with Head of School/Service to review the School’s/ Service’s progress against objectives;
  • support their School/Service in developing local monitoring procedures and to report via College E&D Committee;
  • assess School/Service E&D training needs and to work with the E&D Manager to suggest local training and development solutions.

Full details of the University’s policy and procedures within this area can be found on the Human Resources site.