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Our commitment to diversity

Embracing diversity and inclusion is critical to the success of the University of Reading.

We want to be the place where everyone can fulfil their full potential. And we believe that supporting diversity and inclusion leads to an ability to attract and retain high-quality staff and students, as well as higher achievements in students from a broader range of backgrounds.

When this is coupled with the simple moral argument that no one should experience inequality as a result of who they are, the case for supporting and promoting diversity and inclusion becomes imperative.

We know that real change does not happen overnight. It requires cultural and operational change, and takes all of us working together.

A lot of this is about making small changes that deliver a big impact. Changes to the way we identify and advertise vacancies. Changes to how we shortlist and interview candidates. Changes to how we develop individuals and manage their pathways to career progression in the University. Changes to our ways of working so that we promote creativity, flexibility and innovation.

To this end, the University has introduced a number of initiatives. For example, we support flexible working, job sharing and parental leave, and offer a transparent and inclusive recognition and reward process.

Our senior leadership has also committed to a number of equality targets for staff and students.

2026 targets 

Declaration of Protected Characteristics

More than 75% of staff to have declared disability status, gender reassignment and sexual orientation through Employee Self-Service by 2024 and 90% by 2026. More than 98% of staff to have declared ethnicity through Employee Self Service by 2026.

Disability – Student

• To eliminate the awarding gap between proportion of disabled and non-disabled undergraduates who achieve a 1st class or 2:1 degree by 2026.

Disability – Staff 

By 2024 to have met all required actions for the Disability Confident Scheme – Level 1 (Committed). By 2026 to have applied for Disability Confident Scheme – Level 2 (Confident).

LGBT+ Inclusion

To increase number of LGBT+ role models and allies by increasing the membership of the LGBT+ and Allies Staff Network by 100% by 2026.

Race – Students

Reduction of the awarding gap to 4% between proportion of BAME and white undergraduates who achieve a 1st class or 2:1 degree by 2026.

Race – Staff

The University to attain Bronze Race Equality Charter Mark by 2023 and be working towards Silver by 2026.
Equitable success rates in the Personal Titles process for Associate Professor and Professor for BAME staff and white staff by 2026.
To achieve BAME professional services representation of 16% in each of Grade 6, 7, and 8 by 2026. To double BAME professional services representation within Grade 9 from 3.8% to 7.6% by 2026.

Sex Equality – Staff

The University to renew Silver Athena SWAN Charter Mark by 2026. All STEM Schools to maintain Athena Swan awards and all other Schools to be working towards Charter Mark. One Function to apply for Bronze Directorate Athena Swan award by 2026.
Have a sex-balanced professoriate, with at least 45% of professors of either sex. Maintain sex-balance in associate professoriate.