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Homepage / Race Equality Week – Staff Network, EmbRace

Race Equality Week – Staff Network, EmbRace


Race Equality Week (REW) 

We are participating in REW: 6-10 February, an annual UK-wide movement to address the barriers to race equality in the workplace. The theme for 2023 is #ItsEveryonesBusiness.  You can read more about our plans and find Naomi Benjamin, Acting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Manager, sharing information about our participation and why this is so important to us as an institution.

In a new blog for REW, Dr Gilu George reflects on her experiences, her career and the advantages of embedding inclusivity into organisational values and culture.

Learn more about the recent FTSE research report 

On Wednesday, staff members and our Executive team across the university were all invited to participate in a discussion around how we can all create a more inclusive workplace through REM’s ‘The Big Promise’ initiative.

I also hosted a lunchtime seminar presenting findings from a recent research report, written by a team from the Gender, Leadership, and Inclusion Research Centre (GLIC) and Delta Alpha Psi, a consultancy specialising in diversity, and sponsored by the Financial Reporting Council.

The research involved speaking with board executives and aspiring executives from a range of backgrounds at FTSE 350 organisations. It confirmed that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was a catalyst for new goals and statements of principle, but there are still questions over how the initial momentum from BLM will be maintained, and whether the commitment to measuring progress and accountability will continue to be matched by action.

Examination of annual reports showed a tendency to group diversity initiatives together, meaning initiatives are often not clearly linked to specific diversity objectives. There is the need for business leaders to continue to dismantle the structural barriers facing individuals from under-represented groups to drive through sustained change.

In this talk, I presented the recommendations of the report, and invited discussion about how the university might consider these as we collectively work towards making our culture even more inclusive for all employees and students, in line with our corporate plan.

Future plans for the EmbRace staff network

Since the launch of the EmbRace Network in June 2022, there has been a variety of activities including:

  • A talk by Nelson Abbey during Black History Month.
  • Blogs by network members including Dr Tosin Adedipe, Sital Shah and Chhaya Kerai-Jones.
  • Race Equality Training sessions.
  • Network members featuring in staff spotlights and our Cranfield corporate plan video.

We’re excited to host regular coffee mornings this year (new and existing members are always welcome). We aim to be the voice of Cranfield’s ethnic minority colleagues, so we welcome all Cranfield staff members to come along and share your experiences and ideas, comment on EDI initiatives and highlight areas where we need to change, grow, and develop.

We’re looking forward to continuing to work together in 2023, raising awareness and making Cranfield an ever more inclusive place for us all.

Dr Deirdre Anderson

Dr Deirdre Anderson

Written By: Zoe Nimmo

Reader in Organizational Behaviour and Occupational Psychology and Director, Gender, Leadership and Inclusion Research Centre (GLIC) Changing World of Work

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