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Diversity and inclusion – University of Reading

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  • Enabling staff and students to fulfil their potential

Diversity and inclusion

The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development aims to create a supportive, fair and inclusive working environment for the benefit of all its staff, students, partners and visitors.

Working and studying environments that support people to feel free to be themselves, while respecting others, and embrace diversity are more successful and innovative. We seek to enable all staff and students to fulfil their potential and to foster a working environment that protects their physical and mental wellbeing.

We recognise that we cannot achieve our vision without benefiting from the talents of all. We also recognise that in all areas there are equality and inclusion issues for people with certain protected characteristics under the Equality Act (race, disability, age, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, gender, sexual orientation, religion/belief, carers, pregnancy and maternity), as well as unprotected characteristics (for example, socio-economic class and issues related to body shape or size). Furthermore we realise that addressing unequal gender representation and related concerns about career development and progression in our academic disciplines are priorities.

The School continues to work; actively to improve wellbeing, equality and diversity. We promote flexible working and good working practices, mentoring and coaching, mandatory unconscious bias training for those involved in recruitment, extensive support for promotions, and professional behaviour.

For further information on Equality and Diversity in the school please contact Jake Bishop or Eleanor Fisher.


The School's mission is to support a diverse community of staff and students, and to ensure that every member is able to reach their full potential. We are committed to providing an inclusive environment that enables all staff and students to succeed independently of protected and unprotected characteristics (Equality Act 2010).

We are also dedicated to improving the working environment to safeguard physical and mental wellbeing. To help deliver this, the School's Diversity and Inclusion Committee meets once a term to shape and action  the School's agenda on these topics. We have representatives from all groups of staff and students. In order to provide strategic leadership on inclusivity and diversity issues, and to inform future priorities for action, the Committee is informed by data collection instruments used at the University (for example, the annual student and staff surveys) and by reporting from all School committees. This informs our priorities for action, and ensures that these priorities are embedded in School policy and practice, and align with the University equality, diversity and wellbeing policies and objectives.

As a school, we have recently been successful in gaining an Athena SWAN Bronze charter mark. The Athena SWAN Charter promotes gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. It focuses specifically on the advancement of women's careers across higher education in all academic fields; this includes women working as academics and researchers as well as those working in professional and support roles. The charter also promotes and recognises work that supports trans staff and students. We developed an Action Plan for 2019-2023 to address issues identified in the process of preparing our application, it is available here.


  • Head of School - Simon Mortimer
  • School Director of Teaching and Learning - Becky Jerrome
  • School Director of Academic Tutoring - Nick Beard
  • Academic Staff Representative - Ian Givens
  • Academic Staff Representative - Deepa Senapathi
  • Academic Staff Representative - Jake Bishop (Chair)
  • Researcher Representative - Lumbani Mwafulirwa
  • Researcher Representative - Samuel Poskitt
  • Researcher Representative - Becky Morgan
  • Researcher Representative - Harley Pope
  • Human Resource Representative - Ellie Sowten
  • Director of Graduate Institute of International Development, Agriculture and Economics - Sarah Cardey
  • Technical Staff Representative - Caroline Hadley
  • Administrative Representative - Emma Broomfield
  • Undergraduate Representative - TBC
  • Postgraduate Representative - Celsa Mondlane Macandza

Terms of Reference

i) To interpret, operationalise and feedback on the University Diversity and Inclusion Plan within the School

ii) To monitor key diversity and inclusion data related to the School

iii) To guide and inform the Head of School and Senior Management Board in relation to diversity and inclusion within the School

iv) To consider and pursue accreditation via appropriate professional bodies

v) To ensure actions are completed in relation to the diversity and inclusion agenda.

Useful Links

University-wide diversity pages


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