Athena Swan and EDI Survey 2021 results


December 17th, 2021

Earlier this year the university ran our regular Athena Swan and EDI survey, aiming to capture the experiences and perspectives of colleagues on a range of key areas like workload, ADCs, career development, promotion, flexible and part-time working, workplace culture, EDI and parental policies.

The survey had a response rate of 34.7%, which is the same as last time. Given that many of us are dealing with radically different working environments and often juggling various responsibilities, health concerns and other challenges, this is a welcome response.

Some key facts and figures are as follows:

Role and contract

  • There was an increase in participation from colleagues in APM and O&F roles, with fewer Academic/PGR and Technical Services respondents.
  • As last time, the largest proportion of respondents were in level 4 and 5 roles.
  • There was an increase both in the proportion of respondents who work part time, and in those who have permanent contracts.

Personal information

  • Overall, the gender split was around 62% female, 34% male, and 1% non-binary or other gender identity, with 4% preferring not to say.
  • More minority ethnic women, minority ethnic men and white women participated this time. Fewer white men took part – they represented 30% of respondents overall, whereas last time they represented almost 35%.
  • 10% of respondents were from a minority ethnic background, up from 7%.
  • 3% of minority ethnic respondents were from an Asian background, particularly South Asian such as Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian. 2% were from a Black background, and 1.1% from a Chinese background. Other backgrounds are in numbers are too small to report and include a wide range of different ethnicities.
  • 10% of respondents were gay, lesbian, bisexual or of another minority sexual orientation. We did not measure responses by sexual orientation last time.
  • The number of respondents disclosing a non-binary gender identity doubled.
  • The number disclosing a trans history or identity almost quadrupled.
  • There was a 3% increase (to 8%) in the number of disabled respondents.
  • The age range was in line with that of our last survey.
  • Almost 35% had parental responsibility for a child under 18.
  • Just over 19% had a caring responsibility such as for family members or neighbours.

We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who found the time to take part. Holding this survey regularly helps us to measure the impact of the work we undertake together in our Athena Swan programmes and EDI Strategic Delivery Plan.  It also helps to guide our future actions.

Feedback from the previous survey helped drive developments across the university, such as:

  • Replacing the PDPR process with Appraisal and Development Conversations (ADCs).
  • Introducing breastfeeding/pumping rooms, and a range of resources for parents as well as improving annual leave accrual for colleagues taking parental leave.
  • Updating our academic promotions process, Dignity Advisors Network and Conference and Training Fund for Carers.
  • Launching the LMA Staff Career Development Hub to provide online resources, training and information.
  • Introducing the ‘Let’s be clear about EDI’ campaign and webinar series.

The university has a brand-new Athena Swan institutional self-assessment team (ISAT) who will receive the (anonymised) survey data and use it to review our current action plan, consider priorities for the next year or two, and start the process of applying for our next institutional award.

The survey results and the stories, ideas and honest reflections that people generously shared will be at the heart of this work, and ISAT will share the key headlines and trends that they discover in the data in forthcoming communications.

In the meantime, our Faculties and Professional Services will start to receive their own local survey results early in the new year so that they can use these to measure and guide local EDI activities. Our new PVC for EDI and People, Professor Katherine Linehan, will also be able to use the results as part of broader EDI strategic developments across the university. Anything shared in the survey will stay completely anonymous at all times.

There are a number of ways that you can get involved with EDI activity around the university, including:

For any questions or queries, please contact Charlotte Kingsbury, HR Project Officer.

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