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Update your Diversity Data on Employee Self Service

Diversity data in ESS

Over the next few weeks we are asking everyone, including staff arriving today for the new academic year, to take a couple of minutes to update their personal data in Employee Self Service (ESS). Please check all of your details carefully - including address and next of kin information - to ensure they are correct and up-to-date.

In particular we are asking all employees to update their confidential diversity information - the Sensitive Information part of the Personal tab on ESS. Completing these data fields is entirely voluntary, but the more complete a picture and understanding we have of diversity and representation across our organisation, the better we are able to achieve equality in our policies and processes, and to monitor our progress and the impact of actions that we take.

This data is used for our own anonymous diversity data analysis and monitoring. We are also required to pass on certain data fields displayed in the “Sensitive Information” box  (the fields on nationality, ethnic origin, and the disabled/not-disabled field) to HESA, the Higher Education Statistics Agency, for them to use for their own diversity data analysis and monitoring at a national level – see their Staff Collection notice for more details of how HESA uses this data and holds this securely in line with the Data Protection Act. We emphasise that completing Sensitive Information data fields on ESS is completely voluntary, and you can change or delete entries you make at any point.

In particular, while we have rather complete information through ESS of the distribution of race and ethnicity of our staff, we have much less information on the sexual orientation of our staff and whether our staff are part of particular religious groups or not. We are really keen to have as complete information as possible to inform the work that is going on in these areas working with RUSU and with the University’s LGBT Plus and Cultural Diversity staff networks.

To get a sense of the anonymous diversity monitoring that this enables us to do, and the targets and actions that this informs, you might like to take a look at our annual diversity reports, or our #DiverseReading blog post reflecting on actions and work to do on the LGBT front.

We realise that some people might feel uncomfortable about providing personal information but we want to assure you that this information will be held in strict confidence and used for anonymous diversity monitoring and analysis only. Specifically:

  • no individuals will be identifiable from the data used for diversity monitoring and analysis
  • a very small number of data specialists within HR will have access to the information and this will be strictly controlled
  • providing your diversity data will never lead to further contact from anyone at the University
  • the systems and safeguards to safely store and analyse the data at the University are compliant  with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998

If you are a researcher, you may have already registered for an ORCID iD ( Your unique identifier can also now be added to your record via ESS – click on the employment tab and go to the HESA section.  See the Orcid ID creation guide for information on how to register, and the Grow Your Orcid ID guide for additional ideas on growing your record.  

If you have any concerns regarding data protection you can contact the IMPS office or find more information at the IMPS webpage.

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