1. Executive Summary Page 1
2. The Case for Change Page 3
3. Where are we now Page 4
4. Good Practice from other sectors Page 5
5. Recommendations for action Page 7
5.1Recommendations to the Co-ordinating Committee Page 7
6. A Good Practice Guide for Students’ Union Page 8
7. Summary Page 10
Detailed Research and Findings Page 12
Relevant Legislation Page 24
List of Useful Resources Page 27
Diversity Monitoring Questionnaire Page 28
The Diversity Action Working Group
The 2005/06 initial working group comprised Lesley Dixon, General Manager, Leeds
Students’ Union, Pete Fisher-Godwin, General Manager, Bradford Students’ Union, Laura
Hyde, Acting General Manager, King’s College London Students’ Union, Rak Mistry,
Marketing Manager, De Montfort Students’ Union, Andrea Peirce, Membership Services
Manager, Plymouth Students’ Union, and Amanda Shilton, Deputy Chief Executive, NUS
1. Executive Summary
1.1The motion and mandate
The AMSU AGM 2005 passed a motion noting increased diversity in both society and the student
population. This did not seem to be reflected in Students’ Unions. Anecdotally, Unions struggled
to recruit people from black and minority ethnic groups, and struggled to recruit women to senior
management positions. This needed to be addressed, or the mismatch would grow and the
movement face a crisis of legitimacy. A long term strategy was required.
Conference approved the establishment of a working group to report to AGM 2006 with data and
information, benchmarked against other similar sectors. The group were asked to research other
sectors to identify effective strategies and practices, and to make recommendations for change.
1.2 Scope of the Report
The motion questioned the relevance of Students’ Unions to student members, and the role and
purpose of Students’ Unions is certainly a legitimate topic for AMSU members professionally.
Therefore research was conducted into the diversity of Boards and other voluntary committees, and
employment patterns in other sectors compared with Students’ Unions, as well as looking at the
distribution of the student population. However, acting within AMSU’s remit, has focused its efforts
primarily on the area of employment.
Although the motion referred primarily to gender and ethnicity, the group considered the following
kinds of discrimination to be within its scope:
• Racial or minority ethnic heritage
• Sexual (gender)
• Sexual orientation
• Religion or belief
Given available timescales, investigative work was undertaken on ethnic minority, disability and
gender research. Research into other areas remains to be done. However, the good practice
identified is applicable to all disadvantaged groups.
1.3 Summary of key findings
The group found evidence that the demographic make up of students’ unions still reflects historical
patterns of racial and sexual discrimination, and also reflects role stereotyping and the unequal
patterns of access to higher education for people of minority ethnic heritage.
Students’ unions are not unusual in these patterns. Despite rafts of equality legislation, beginning
with the Equal Pay Act 1970, neither women nor minority groups are proportionately represented at
senior levels within many sectors of the economy, in either the public or private domain.
One in four UK Higher Education students is black or of minority ethnic heritage. 57% of students
are female. This is not reflected in students’ unions’ permanent staff. The students’ union
workforce is predominantly white, aged under forty, and able-bodied. For officers and student staff,
it seems that participation rates for people from minority ethnic heritage are higher. There are
roughly equal numbers of male and female officers, but men are more likely to be Presidents.
There are slightly higher numbers of female staff overall, but men are more likely to be managers
In the voluntary sector generally, 50% of senior managers are female.1
In Students’ Unions overall,
the figure is 30%. The larger the union, the less likely that the permanent staff team will be headed
by a female.
The current position causes already acute awareness and discomfort in many unions. They are
anxious to address this challenge.
1.4 Summary of recommendations
1.4.1 Leadership from the AMSU Co-ordinating committee
The quality and commitment of leadership will be at the heart of change. Change must take place
at all levels within the movement. The national organisations too have a responsibility both to lead
and to make resource available. Ensuring that there is a diverse workforce is not an optional add-
on, but an integral part of the management agenda. The way forward is the time-honoured way of
bringing about any serious organisational and cultural change – commitment, plans, action, and
It is recommended that the co-ordinating committee continue to lead this initiative, and that the
diversity action group continue, for a period of two years, to begin the implementation of change.
1.4.2 Action plan frameworks
In November 2005 the Cabinet Office unveiled a “10 point plan” to address diversity issues within
the civil service,. The ten points, in summary are:target setting, measurement and evaluation;
diversity champion’s network; leadership and accountability; recruitment; development; behaviour
and culture change; diversity impact of efficiency and relocation reviews; mainstreaming and
1.4.3 Delivery and sustainability
So there is no shortage of solutions. The key issue for the movement is, given our structures and
resources, how to deliver effective sustainable change. This will only come about through a long
term programme to develop skill, knowledge and networks at both national and local levels.
There is a real will to bring about change. The question is, not the ends, but the means.
1.4.4 Working together on an opt-in basis.
It is proposed that an “opt- in group” should be established, for those Unions that would like to
participate actively in developing the next steps. There would almost certainly have to be a charge
for membership, for which Unions could seek direct support from institutions. Further work needs to
be done to develop a programme of activity. The diversity action group is actively looking for
funding sources to help support this work, but should this not be forthcoming then it is proposed
that work continues on a voluntary basis.
Diversity and social inclusion is a key item on both Government and the University agendas. There
are many groups and individuals within the sector to help and support. The Equality Challenge
Unit, established by HEFCE funding and institutional representative bodies, has been working with
the group and is very willing to work with students unions. Unions are also strongly advised to
make local links, particularly within their institutions.
1.4.5 A Good Practice Guide for Unions
Using the Cabinet Office framework as a basis, the Action Group has put together an initial code of
good practice for students’ unions.
Stephen Bubb, CEO, ACEVO, February 2006 in public speech
2. The Case for Change
2.1 The legal case for change
There are a number of statutory provisions which cover various aspects of equality of opportunity
for different groups in society. In addition to those mentioned above, for women, the Equal Pay Act
1970 and Sex Discrimination Act 1975 prohibit discrimination in the area of employment on gender
grounds. Protection on grounds of religious belief came into force via the Employment Equality
(Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 and for sexual orientation via the Employment Equality
(Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. Employment discrimination on grounds of age will become
illegal in October 2006.
Over recent years, following the Macpherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence, there has
been a philosophical shift in legislation. Legislation now places a positive duty on public sector
authorities to promote equality. Students’ unions are not named within the legislation, but
Universities, explicitly, are. However, students’ unions will be covered in the guidance produced in
preparation for the forthcoming Charities Act, the “Hallmarks of an Effective Charity”. Hallmark 2,
“fit for purposes” states that an effective charity “recognises and promotes diversity in beneficiaries,
staff and volunteers”2
Universities could also impose a positive duty on Unions as part of a
contractual relationship. Unions would therefore be wise to act as if they were covered by this legal
2. 2 The business case for change
Social inclusion is high on the government’s policy agenda, and diversity a live issue for
Universities. Universities are currently under investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality
because of unequal patterns of access3
. Up to 2008, Universities are incentivised by the
government, via the Aimhigher fund, to address this.
Unless the movement effectively addresses this agenda, Unions have diminishing relevance to a
significant and growing section of the student body. This is likely to lead to unions’ legitimate remit
to represent students being called into question by institutions. This is a genuine and significant risk
to the movement’s legitimacy and political leverage, both locally and nationally.
2.3 The moral case for change
A belief in equality of opportunity and equal access for all, regardless of gender, racial origin,
orientation, disability, or age, is a fundamental premise of the movement. As managers within
Students’ Unions we therefore have a moral responsibility to ensure that that is the reality within
our own organisations, both as employers and via the services we deliver.
As managers and leaders within this community, there is for us a moral imperative to understand
how our service offering can impact on diverse sectors of the student community, to ensure
equality of access. The Union is the gateway for the wider student experience. Through the Union,
students can become a member of community on campus and, through that, the wider community.
The student movement has the power to transform lives, both through the impact it can make on
education, and the impact on the personal development of individuals. We need to ensure that all
students are, and feel, equally able to access everything that the union has to offer.
Hallmarks of an effective charity, Charity Commission, 2004.
For detailed analysis see Appendix I
3. Where we are now
The group used a range of tools to look at both the numbers and distributions of women, black and
minority ethnic people, people with disabilities and older people employed within unions or elected
as officers. In addition, insight interviews were conducted with people women, people with
disabilities and black and minority ethnic staff, to gain a better understanding of the issues from the
perspectives of those groups. Desk research was undertaken, to benchmark students’ unions
against a range of other organisations and sectors.
A detailed account of this work, including sources and references is set out in Appendix I.
The group’s investigations supported the assumptions of the AGM motion. There are few students’
union BME staff (6% of permanent staff, 4% managers), but higher proportions of officers (18%)
and student staff (30%.) Women form the bulk of union staff (58%) but fewer are managers (42%).
The larger, in commercial terms, the union, the less likely it is that the General Manager will be a
woman (one of the ten largest). 30% of General Managers overall are women, but they are
concentrated in very small unions. The male female officer ratio is roughly even. More Presidents
The numbers reporting themselves as having a disability were very low (7% of the quantitative
survey) and the age profile of respondents showed only 15% of respondents to be over 50. Almost
half of permanent staff were under 30, with another quarter between 31- 40. This trend was
particularly noticeable amongst men. 96% of executive officers were under 30.
There are many relevant comparisons which can be drawn upon to provide context for these
findings. Within higher education, in 2005, 17.2% of students are British of BME heritage (and
12% international students) – 9% in the general population. There is a very uneven spread across
the sector. The incidence of disability in the general population is around 20%.
At this stage, no research was carried out either to look at numbers, or to gain insight, into either
sexual orientation or religious belief, although discrimination on either grounds in employment is
now unlawful. The view was taken that such research should not be undertaken, or information
held, until a later point in time, due to the highly sensitive and personal nature of the information.
It appears that within students unions there is gender role segregation, although in comparison with
some other sectors, women are more likely to become managers. For example, 9 % of local
government Chief Executives, 15% of University Vice Chancellors, and 17% of Trade Union
General Secretaries are female. However, in the voluntary sector as a whole, 50% of Chief
Executives are women. For officers, 30% of local councillors are women.
The group found no evidence of overt or conscious discrimination. The structural pattern that
emerges reflects both trends within society in general, and within the HE sector in particular.
A number of factors were identified which were common across all the equality strands. These
were, recruitment, progression, and work – life balance.
The personal experiences of the insight interview respondents suggested that both BME staff and
staff with disabilities had broadly positive experiences of working within their unions, once they had
been recruited, and positive experiences of recruitment. The small survey conducted on Unions’
recruitment practices indicates that the chief constraint is the lack of applicants, rather than
discriminatory practice during the process.
Progression was identified as an issue, particularly by women and BME staff. There were two
particularly interesting aspects to this, one, the role which volunteering within the movement can
play in facilitating progression, and therefore the role which the national organisations could play in
widening these opportunities and encouraging people to stand. The second was work life balance,
perceived as very supportive to women staff within unions generally, but very difficult, in reality, at
senior levels. Unions were perceived as operating a long hours culture (again, a reflection of British
society), and there was an underlying current indicating that women are preferring not to apply for
the mot senior roles, feeling that the price, in terms of general life balance, may be too high.
4. Good practice from other sectors
There is a wealth of experience and knowledge from other sectors from which the movement can
learn and benefit. The most innovation is in the public sector, forced to be active by the legal
“positive duty” requirement.
Below are some examples of good practice that the movement could adopt
4.1 Comprehensive action plans
The Cabinet Office and the NHS have both published “ten point plans”. These offer a
comprehensive framework to address discrimination.4
The elements of the cabinet office plan are
targets; measurement and evaluation; diversity champion’s network; leadership and accountability;
recruitment; development; behaviour and culture change; diversity impact of efficiency and
relocation reviews; mainstreaming; and communications.
4.2 Leadership and Accountability
Leaders make change happen. The most important element of change is without doubt, strong,
committed, effective leaders.
In October 2005 the CIPD published a study5
highlighting the pivotal influence of senior managers’
personal behaviours and values, which set the tone for the organisation.
4.3 Target setting, monitoring and evaluation
The Civil Service has set clear targets for diversity, focusing specifically on targets for diversity at
senior levels. These targets reflect the population as a whole.6
Diversity at senior levels makes
change visible and sends a powerful message. Targets force change at all levels and across all
strands of diversity and equality. To deliver sustained change, targets must also be set across
levels of seniority.
Targets are not “quotas” – they work at a population, not an individual, level. In themselves, they
obviously don’t deliver change. Consistent measurement and evaluation of progress, and
intervention, is essential for change to become embedded.
4.4 Champions’ Networks
In addition to the ultimate accountability of the permanent secretary, each department in the Civil
Service has appointed a diversity champion, at very senior level. Their role is to drive the
implementation of the plan through the department. Champions meet regularly as a group to review
progress, and continuously develop solutions.
A time of recruitment is a real opportunity. The law provides for positive action to actively seek out
and send the right messages to the most diverse talent pool. For example, the Environment
Agency successfully increased the number of places taken by BME trainees on a flood risk
Delivering a diverse civil service – a 10 point plan. Cabinet Office November 2005
Julie Griffiths Include diversity in managers’ goals People Management October 2005
Civil Action Waqar Azmi, Chief Diversity Officer in People Management (date unknown -
management course to 20%, historically having struggled to attract such candidates. It did so by
ring-fencing opportunities for people from under-represented groups. 7
The Opportunity Now report recommended that equality training should be mandatory for all
managers and should incorporate both legal and behavioural issues8
4.7 Staff development and progression – positive action for disadvantaged groups
There are a number of positive actions which organisations can legally undertake for people from
disadvantaged groups, to give those individuals help and support with their own personal
4.7.1 Mentoring – A National Mentoring Consortium was established 10 years ago at the
University of East London. As part of this programme, experienced staff mentor undergraduate
students for a period of 6 months, a two - hour monthly meeting the minimum requirement. Mentors
receive training and accreditation from the University. Current participating employers include John
Lewis, ITN, the RAF, and HSBC.9
There are a number of other, similar schemes nationally.
The NHS operates a mentoring scheme as part of its 10 point plan on racial equality. This includes
a national leadership programme for ethnic minority staff, “Breaking Through”. Mentors do not
have to be, themselves, from a disadvantaged group. Case studies do demonstrate success for
individuals on the schemes, for example increased self-confidence and new and better jobs,
although no collated data is available. 10
4.7.2 Role Modelling British Gas has created its own Engineering Academy. To encourage
diversity in its applicants, they encourage volunteer trainees to go out and talk to schools, to
encourage a wider range of people to consider engineering as a career11
4.7.3 Volunteering –the literature makes much of the opportunity that volunteering can bring to
enable individuals to raise their profiles and skills
4.1.8 Creating a zero tolerance culture
The goal of the Civil Service is a lasting, sustainable culture, in which no bullying or discrimination
is tolerated, and where everyone feels valued for their personal contribution. This they aim to
achieve through high quality training and the embedding of diversity and equality goals for all staff.
The CIPD report12
highlighted the importance of setting diversity goals, integrated into
organisations’ overall business objectives, to ensure that line managers took responsibility for
integrating and communicating information about equality and diversity to their staff
The Civil Service has developed a communication plan to ensure clear and consistent messages
on diversity and equality, cascaded to each department.
Julie Griffiths, ibid
Race for Opportunity Update, Winter 2004.
See, for example, Minority report, the story of Yvonne Coghill, in People Management,
Race for opportunity, special focus on development, Winter 2004
Julie Griffiths, People Management, ibid
5. Recommendations for action
The goal is straightforward. First there is a need to attract and retain a more diverse workforce.
Secondly we need to ensure that historically disadvantaged groups, whether students or staff, have
equal access to opportunities to progress within the student movement.
It would be easy to conclude that because of the movement’s structure, and fragmented control,
that effective action is impossible. This is not true. It is, however, fair to say that this throws up
challenges, but none that could not be resolved, as long as the will is there.
To achieve our objectives, we need to look at what is needed at national level and how it can be
delivered. To complement this, we also need to look at how local Unions can act, and what tools
and support will be needed at that level.
5.1 Recommendations to the Co-ordinating Committee
5.1 Leadership and accountability
The AMSU co-ordination committee should assume leadership of, and be held accountable for, the
progress of this agenda. The committee should assume responsibility for ensuring implementation.
Through the Senior Managers’ Code of Conduct, AMSU should ensure that the diversity action is
integrated into the core responsibilities of senior management.
5.2 Target setting, monitoring and evaluation
AMSU should set an example by developing and delivering its own diversity plan. Diversity targets
for its volunteer base should be set and measured, and progress reviewed annually.
5.3 Positive action
AMSU should actively and explicitly encourage involvement from individuals from diverse groups,
by encouraging and supporting self help groups, and facilitating role modelling and mentoring.
5.4 Establishment of a mentoring exchange
AMSU should also develop and facilitate a mentoring exchange to foster links between those who
wish to mentor and those who require a mentor. To support everyone’s professional development
this facility should be available for everyone, and positively promoted to people from disadvantaged
AMSU should review its communication policy, to consider whether direct communication would
increase awareness of, and take up of its services, by a wider and more diverse pool of staff.
5.6 Partnership with the Equality Challenge Unit
The Government has challenged Universities to address diversity. This is being co-ordinated by the
Equality Challenge Unit. Links have been made by the action group, and these should be actively
fostered. This will help to identify Universities with particular areas of expertise and develop and
strengthen links with them.
5.7 Diversity Action Working Group
It is proposed that a small diversity action working group continue for at least two more years to
progress this agenda. This should be kept under review. Actual membership may change.
5.8 A Diversity Opt-in Group
To help and support Students’ Unions to progress and implement best practice, it is proposed that
an opt-in group be established.
Membership of the opt-in group would provide unions with:
• Dedicated support, training and coaching to develop and implement their own
diversity action plans
• National networking opportunities for diversity champions
• Support to identify and develop partnerships with Universities
• Opportunity for learning and sharing good practice and experiences
• Continuous development of tool kit to assist
Each Union that chose to participate would, in addition to the General Manager, nominate a
diversity champion, ideally a senior manager, to drive the change process through the Union.
AMSU should support a network, ideally on a regional basis, of diversity champions, who will be
able to meet and share ideas and experiences for mutual support.
Ideally, it is hoped that funding could be identified for a full time post for two years to shape,
develop, and begin implementation of this agenda. National funding is being sought to assist with
costs for a two year period, but so far, all enquiries have drawn a blank. Should no funding be
identified then it is proposed that operational responsibility for developing and delivering the
programme should lie with the Diversity Action Working Group, but realistically this will mean a
slower implementation timescale.
6. A Good Practice Guide for Students’ Unions
This has been developed using the frameworks of the civil service and NHS as a basis, and
applying the concepts to students unions.
6.1 Leadership and accountability
Ultimately, accountability in students’ unions rests with Executive Officers. However, General
Managers, as leaders in Students’ Unions should also take personal responsibility for the diversity
agenda. Senior managers, as leaders, are responsible for setting the tone and expectations of the
Union, and be mindful that their own behaviour and values, establishes expectations of others.
Leaders should ensure that within each organisation there is no tolerance of bullying or
discriminatory behaviour, and that this is supported by policy and practice.
Senior managers should work with student officers and diversity champions, where appointed, to
benchmark and assess their own organisation’s performance, and to develop and implement an
action plan to address shortfalls against good practice.
6.2 Target setting
Unions should set and publish diversity targets, for staff, officers and volunteers. There are many
areas in which targets could be set and monitored. This includes human resource areas, eg,
recruitment practice, but also progression and role profile, access to training and development
opportunities, pay, training spend, and annual surveys of staff profile.
Unions should also monitor participation rates in the democratic process,. Consideration must
include, in each case, as to the common routes “in” e.g. union councils, student staff, sports and
societies, and other volunteering and involvement opportunities.
Specific targets for each Union should be based on the demographic of profile of the student intake
for the institution, and of the surrounding area13
6.3 Measurement and evaluation
The figures are published annually by HESA for each University and are available online from www.statistics.gov
for each institution, and from census data for the area.
Delivery plans must be developed to achieve the targets. Progress towards targets should be
consistently and regularly reviewed, and action taken to address shortcomings.
In addition to the commitment, leadership and drive the of the general manager, in many Unions it
will be necessary for day to day implementation and development to be in the hands of a diversity
champion who has the time and space to do the detailed work to progress the agenda. This person
will be supported by the champions network.
Diversity and widening participation is a major agenda item for Universities and government. By
working closely in partnership with their institution, Unions should not only be able to access help
and support but also contribute to outreach work undertaken by the institutions within local
disadvantaged communities. Up until 2008 funding is available for this work via the Aimhigher fund.
There are also other networks established within higher education, in particular HEEON (Higher
Education Equal Opportunities Network) and regional networks supported by the Equality
Challenge Unit, to make links with for mutual support.
6.6 Recruitment and selection
Any recruitment provides an opportunity for change. This requires good policy and practice,
including use of positive action.
All recruitment should be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness, including who applies, who is
selected for interview, and who appointed.
Specific training should be provided for recruiters, to ensure a full understanding of the
organisational approach, and at minimum, of legal obligations.
To achieve cultural change, there must be training to ensure that all officers and staff are aware of
the issues and understand the need for change.
6.8 Development and progression of staff and volunteers (positive action)
Unions can support individuals from disadvantaged groups through positive action. This might
include specific training for women or BME staff in, eg networking, career development,
assertiveness, for example, or by sourcing mentors for all such individuals.
Volunteering opportunities, nationally and locally, can offer individual exposure, and the experience
to develop skills to progress. People generally volunteer because they are asked. Therefore it is
important to ensure that people from minority groups are encouraged to volunteer and supported in
Unions should ensure that diversity is embedded into their strategic and annual plans, and
becomes part of the objectives of each person, and not sidelined as one person’s responsibility.
Unions need to develop a communications policy, to ensure that the images portrayed, via all
channels and from all departments, send out the intended message, which is consistent with
encouraging a wide range of students.
7.1 There are no easy templates to wave a magic wand and guarantee the long term, deep, cultural
change which is needed. The requirement, both at nationally and local level, is for sustained sheer
hard work, across a range of activities, over a considerable period of time. Real leadership drive,
and action will be needed. The path we must take is the learning and development wheel, turned,
consistently, over a period of years, by committed and effective leaders, monitoring, benchmarking,
identifying best practice, target setting, and driving action. Systems and structures need to be put in
place now, nationally and at every Union, to embed this process into the mainstream management
Appendix I Detailed research and findings
To take a broad snapshot of the current profile of staff (including student staff) and
officers, a questionnaire was developed and uploaded onto a website.14
individuals to complete it for themselves on line, and a letter was circulated to all
General Managers asking them to forward it onto all staff, including student staff, and
Executive Officers. In line with current ACAS recommendations, data was collected
on gender, age, disability and ethnic background, but not on sexual orientation or
To support this work, a number of other research activities were carried out. First, a
number of semi-structured, qualitative telephone surveys were carried out with
people from BME heritage, women, and people with disabilities. The purpose of this
was to gain from individuals a sense of the issues from their perspective. These
were supported by a discussion group held at the Black students’ conference in
Investigation into current practices
Using the HR mailbase, Students’ Unions were asked about their recruitment and
staff management monitoring, to enquire to what extent measurement already takes
place. Replies were received from 13 Unions and these were followed up by
telephone interviewing to ascertain how Unions used the information from their
The group undertook wide-ranging research to identify appropriate comparators and
Reproduced, for information, at Appendix IV
What we found
Who are our people?
696 responses to the quantitative survey were received from a total of 78 Unions.
From 22 Unions there was only one response. No claims are made for the statistical
validity of the output, but nevertheless, the outcome of the survey broadly supported
the anecdotal impression that, as a movement, that in our permanent staff teams we
employ few people from ethnic minorities or disabilities, and that women are
concentrated in non-senior roles.
People of black or other minority ethnic heritage
The actual numbers of people of BME heritage responding to the staff questionnaire
was 74 respondents out of 696, or 10.6%. When this was further analysed, 4% of
senior staff and 6% of other staff said they were from a non-white background.
There were higher percentages of student staff (30%), and Executive Officers (18%).
In both instances the best represented minority group was Asian or Asian British.
There were no Executive officers respondents at all who declared themselves
Chinese, and only 6 people altogether. Of the Asian and Asian British respondents,
more than half said they were of Indian origin or heritage.
How does this compare?
Student participation in higher education
17.2% of Higher Education students in 2004/5 were of BME heritage. In addition,
12% are overseas students, of which the largest number are Chinese.15
simple analysis of the aggregate gives a misleading picture, as there is a pattern of
segregation of access to University, for black and ethnic minority heritage Britons.
For example, 48.2% of home undergraduate students at Bradford University are of
. Kings College London 2004 figures showed 53% white, 9% black,
23% Asian, inter alia.17
Over 60% of students at London Metropolitan are from ethnic
minorities. This contrasts with Bristol University, where the figure is 7%.
Furthermore, there are also sharp differentials between minority groups. Bristol’s 7%
BME is just under 1,000 students. Of these, 15 described themselves as
Bangladeshi, 20, black Caribbean, 45 Pakistani. In the whole of the Russell group
universities, there are fewer than 1500 black Caribbean students.18
The numbers of students in HE outweigh that in the general working population (9%).
The representation of Indian and Chinese students is higher than in the white
population. Ethnic minority students are concentrated in law, business, pharmacy
and social work. They are much less likely to student English or arts subjects.
Studies into ethnic minority participation carried out at Bristol University concluded
that there are four patterns of segregation, which at root reflect the outcomes of
schooling, (‘A’ level scores) linked to class and geography. These are; inequalities
between the new and old universities; concentrations of ethnic minority students in
London, the West Midlands and Greater Manchester; inequalities across subjects;
and inequalities between different minority groups.
The Commission for Racial Equality is launching an investigation into this
NUS Services Ltd. HESA statistics
Bradford University: Confronting Inequality, Celebrating Diversity
Kings College Equality and Diversity Strategy 2005
Education Guardian January 3rd
2006 (source, HESA)
Staff representation in higher education
Up to date research on this was hard to find, but a study from 1999 found that ethnic
minorities form over 6 per cent of academic staff but are concentrated in fixed-term
posts. 68 per cent of non-white non-British academic staff are on fixed term
contracts. Nearly half of British ethnic minorities are on fixed term contracts
compared to a third of their white peers. Ethnic minorities with nine or more years of
service are half as likely as their white peers to be professors. Groups such as
Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Black Caribbeans and 'Black Others' (mainly British-born
of Caribbean descent) are half as likely or less to be in higher education posts as
their white peers. Groups such as Chinese and Africans are better represented than
their population size. More than one in four minority respondents reported that they
had personally experienced discrimination in job applications; 15 per cent said the
same about promotion and nearly one in five reported experiences of racial
harassment from staff or students.
The study found that a third of institutions did not have a specific racial equality
policy, but almost all have equal opportunities policies.
The situation is improving among younger age groups, where ethnic minorities are
generally better represented, and in subjects such as medicine. 19
Comparable data from schools
More recent data is available from the DFES regarding schools, both staffing and
student profile. In January 2005, 9% of teachers were of BME heritage but for
London the figure was 31%.
Nationally the percentage of school students of BME heritage is 17%, and this has
increased by one fifth since 1997.
There are significant variances in the educational outcomes for different groups of
school students. For example, pupils of Indian, Chinese or white Irish heritage
outperform white pupils. The worst performing groups are Gypsy /Roma /traveller,
and black Caribbean. 20
General population comparison data21
92% of the British population in the UK is white. The overall size of the minority
ethnic population in the UK at the 2001 census was 7.9%. Of the non-white groups,
the largest numbers are Indian and Pakistani, followed by mixed, black Caribbean
and black Africans and Bangladeshis. 1% (691,000) of the population is white Irish.
Of the non-white population, around half are Asian or Asian British, around a quarter
black or black British, 15% mixed, 5% Chinese, 5% other. The total population is 4.6
million, 53% increased from the 1991 census when it was 3 million.
Data from the 2001 census showed that 29% of the population of London was non-
Ethnicity and employment in Higher Education (1999) Policy Studies institute authors Tariq
Madood and Steve Fenton .
DFES Research topics series, report into ethnicity in schools January 2005.
2001 census: www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001
Non-white people are significantly more likely to live in England. 9% of the population
of England was non-white, against 2% in Scotland and Wales and less than 1% in
The non- white population is overwhelmingly concentrated in urban areas, with 45%
of the non-white population living in London, 13% in the West Midlands, and 8% in
the North West and South East, and 7% in Yorkshire and Humberside. Only 4% of
the non-white population lives in the North East or South West, and they comprise
less than 2% of those populations. 22
The non-white population is older than the white, reflecting current immigration and
fertility trends. All other things being equal. it could therefore be assumed that
numbers of non-whites at University or HE institutions would be higher than the
A recent Government report estimated that population of working age will increase by
a million in the next ten years, and that more than half of that increase will come
from minority ethnic communities23
. Currently the ratio of the working population of
ethnic minority heritage is 9%.
Black and minority ethnic staff in Students’ Unions
The snapshot survey conducted by the group, although not strictly speaking
statistically accurate, suggests that for students working in Unions (Executive
Officers, student staff,) participation in Unions broadly reflects the national picture
(18% for executive officers, 30% for student staff, when compared against 25%
(17.2% BME + 12% overseas students.)24
Given the small numbers it was not possible to conclude from the data whether
participation in particular unions reflected the patterns of access noted in the sectors
and described above.
The recent growth in student numbers, which precipitated this more diverse student
population began in the early 1990s, and is now reflected through a greater number
of BME student staff and officers. However, the numbers of people of BME
background within permanent Union staff is below the UK average population
participation, and even more particularly at senior levels.
The group conducted telephone interviews with a number of BME staff to obtain their
insight and opinions. In the main the opinions of those individuals towards their
employers was positive. “Some Unions have managers who are supportive and
The lack of opportunities for career progression was noted but not, in the main,
attributed to discrimination, but to other factors such as flat structures, the longevity
in post of senior managers. In general there were positive comments about training
“I have been given plenty of opportunity to advance at [the Union] including
Encouraging Diversity in the Boardroom, DTI Women and equality Unit March 2004
Data, online snapshot survey conducted by DAWG; August and September 2005
All quotes are taken from insight interviews undertaken by Rak Mistry, for the group,
between November 2005 and January 2006
“I do not think I have achieved my career potential because [ ]…, there are not
enough senior positions [in the Union]. For the time being, my employment with
[the Union] is serving its purpose.”
Since volunteer activity is a route through which many staff have gained the
experience that they need to progress, respondents were asked about AMSU. By
and large the BME respondents said that they had not heard of AMSU prior to their
involvement in this project.
‘Do not have enough time for my job let alone help on a committee”
“Not heard of it”
Respondents were asked what they thought Unions should do to improve their
experiences as a BME staff member. The answers included, would like to see more
BME staff, better support mechanisms in place, and education for other staff on
“Recruit more BME’s.”
“It would be great if people were aware of cultural sensitivities as well.”
“Have more staff members from ethnic minorities in the first place and also
broaden scope for progression.”
“To have a support mechanism in place should employees feel that they are
being targeted because of their race particularly in regions where there are very
“ I’m not sure, I have never had any racist treatment…most people are intrigued
about my mixed nationality.”
“There is a lack of BME’s involved at a student level and also in the organisation
itself from a staffing point of view. Role models who already work in the Union
should be used to promote this to students, staff and the […]world at large, [……]
If the more dominant Caucasian work force could take an interest and also put on
events that connected with the BME’s at a student level or by employing people
from these backgrounds would interest from such groups in the Union change.
Also some staff act or say things in a manner that may be regarded by some
cultures as being offensive and often such acts go unnoticed or unreported by
BME’s as the fear reprisal and also if they are the only BME in the organisation
they may think it is normal to act in this way”
“Have more role models, those who have developed themselves in the Union and
are at the pinnacle to their career in the sector, this would encourage and inspire
others to do better.”
“Have opportunities for BME’s to network with each other and to formulate a
support network where mentoring and advice can be offered, where it is needed.
This would be useful where there is only 1 member of staff from a BME group”
Although the numbers interviewed were small (8) it may be worth noting that 50% of
respondents had a first degree and a further 37.5% had a masters degree, and that
they all had career ambitions. This supports other research which strongly suggests
that BME people, like women, are better qualified than white people (and men)
performing similar level jobs.
In summary, the key issues here appear to be:
• Union profiles reflect the profile of society in general, and the sector in particular.
Black and minority ethnic people are not proportionately represented.
• There appears to be great difficulty in recruiting BME staff, particularly to
• There may also be issues around progression.
• The staff that are recruited generally felt that they had a good and supportive
The pattern of women working has changed radically in the thirty years since the
Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970. There are now 12.5 million women in work as
opposed to 9.1 million, 66% of mothers work against 47% then, including 52% of
mothers with pre-school children (25%.) The pay gap has reduced, looking at full
time workers only the gap is 17.1% (29%, 1975) although when part-time workers are
included it rises to 38.%, barely changed from 1975 (42%). 26
It remains the case that many job roles are tied to gender (occupational segregation).
In the last thirty years, however there has been a dramatic rise in the number of
women in managerial posts, in 1975, only 1.8% of managers were female, and in
1975 only 1.6% of directors were female.27
A recent report by the Chartered
Management Institute (November 2005) found that the numbers of women in
management had trebled in 10 years to 33.1 per cent, and that the number of female
directors had increased to 14.4 %. Levels in the voluntary sector are higher at 50%.
Women directors and managers earned less than their male counterparts – at
director level earning £22,144 less per year (15%) and at manager level £3925 less
Recent statistics on women in senior roles generally offer no room for complacency.
0.8 % of army officers are women, as are 8% of judges, 9% of newspaper editors,
15% of University VC’s, and 17% of TU General Secretaries.29
Within the political
sphere, 29.1% of local councillors are female, 30
and 9% of CEO’s in Local
Close to home, the picture for women in Universities is radically variant for the pre
and post - 92 Universities. In the modern Universities, 42% of teaching staff are
female, in the pre-92 Universities the figure is 27%. Women are concentrated in the
“professional support” roles (admin).32
The snapshot survey found that women now make up over half the union
However the equal numbers of women working in Unions is not
reflected at senior level.
The Guardian, 14th
CMI newsletter, November 2005
Christine King, speech, VC of Staffordshire University, January 10th
Public Journal, January 2006
Mairi Mclean CEO of Northampton Borough Council, speech, 10th
Christine King VC of Staffordshire University, speech, 10th
DAWG on line survey August 2005
The proportion of women in the role of the union senior manager, from the survey is
30%. However, senior women are concentrated in smaller Unions. Using purchase
value as a proxy for size of Union, analysis shows that within the top ten Unions,
there is one woman in the top job (10%); top 40, five (12.5%); and top fifty, seven
There are signs of change, albeit slowly. In 2002, 15% of general
managers in the 20 largest Unions were women, and 10% of the top 10, and overall,
the figure was 24%.
Amongst elected officers the figures are more encouraging – 44% of our elected
officers are female. But for Unions with Presidents, the proportion of female
Presidents drops to 36%35
The insight interviews conducted highlighted some key themes felt by women
themselves to be relevant to their experiences.36
All the respondents were managers.
One General Manager thought that generally students’ unions were quite good in
terms of gender diversity even if it isn’t as embedded in our practices, as we would
like to think.
Key issues identified were: work-life balance (including the issue of who in the home
undertook domestic responsibilities); and career progression (including role
modelling and networking.)
Work life balance
The long hours, or late hours involved in working in students’ unions can be a barrier
for women managers.
There was some feeling that women managers also had responsibilities for many of
the domestic or caring duties and that whilst partners took a share of responsibilities,
they didn’t seem to have to sacrifice or juggle quite as much. ‘I come home
exhausted with the emotional stress, the hours and then the housework’. One
manager said that her biggest frustration was never having any food in her fridge! It
was felt by some interviewees that women have to choose between a successful
career or a successful relationship / home life. One women interviewed said that she
felt that she had to be a superwoman.
Flexible working was cited as essential for managers with children. One manager
with a child thought that students’ unions are excellent at providing flexible working
but paid lower salaries compared to similar jobs outside students’ unions. Many
women with children said they were prepared to sacrifice the salary for the flexibility.
However this seems to be relevant at lower levels because flexible working hours is
more difficult in more senior roles due to the longer and later hours required.
One senior manager said that by having to balance young children and her job, she
didn’t have the time to network, go on external training opportunities or even socialise
with the student officers and felt that she was really missing out.
Respondents likened students’ unions to teaching, because there are many women
employed at the lower end as teachers but most senior posts, like headteachers, are
Research by Lesley Dixon January 2006
Insight interviews with 10 female managers from the movement, conducted by Laura Hyde,
on behalf of the group, between November and December 2005
held by men. Several of the women interviewed thought that women tended to be
employed in the ‘softer’ areas such as administration, or advice.
It was noted that some students’ unions are much more proactive at attracting and
women across the range of roles. One students’ union uses anonymous application
forms. This has led to an increase in the number of men being interviewed for welfare
Networking was seen to be important in terms of career progression, as was
volunteering, with a number of women feeling that it was harder for them to become
involved in either, or to become visible. It was thought that many women managers
just keep their heads down and don’t come out to play nationally. One manager felt
that there is an expectation to network and socialise in the bar and over alcohol
which can put pressure on ones’ work life balance and physical well-being.
Another female manager thought that students’ unions are ‘fantastic environments for
support but [….] you have to seek it from people who you know and trust’.
Volunteering is a key route to networking and progression, and there was a general
feeling that NUS Services and AMSU should cast their nets wider when looking for
Nearly all the women interviewed felt that it is important to have women role models.
One senior manager said ‘women don’t see the faces of other women at the front of
conference or leading nationally’. One General Manager was shocked at her first
national meeting: ‘oh my god it is all men!’
There was a feeling however that there were more female role models appearing
more recently at national events or conferences ‘It felt that the ground had shifted at
the last Change Management seminar’ and ‘thank god the women are there and
there is inspiration from within’.
One female manager felt that generally people who recruit General Managers are
inexperienced at recruitment and that they recruit the person that matches their sub
conscious image of a General Manager – ‘a white bloke’. In her experience, men are
more likely than women to act like they have the right to be at the interview.
“Discrimination is illegal but do not be fooled into thinking that it has gone” said
Christine King – VC of Staffordshire University at a workshop in January. “Just look
to see what shape it now takes”37
. She quoted research showing that women do not
apply for jobs until they meet 80% of the person specification, when men will apply
when they meet 30%.
In summary, for women the key issue seems to be:
• work life balance and career progression. Women themselves are looking at
the long hours, and the perceived presenteeism culture, and deciding that the
personal price of senior office is too high. They are opting out of applying for
the big jobs, and choosing quality of life.
Christine King, ibid
Around 10 million people – one in five of the population - in Britain are disabled,
including people with physical impairments, such as epilepsy, cancer, and mental
impairment, such as bi-polar disease or schizophrenia.38
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, legal rights and obligations affecting
disabled people’s access to services, education and employment are already in
force. Historically, disabled people have not had the means to access education or
employment. So, for example, approximately four in ten (42 per cent) of all
households with a disabled person have an income of £10,000 or less. Of the
working age population, 45 per cent of disabled people are in employment compared
to 82 per cent of non-disabled people. Five per cent of students in higher education
report that they have a disability. Fifty-eight per cent of disabled people (with or
without a long-term illness) have no qualifications compared to 24 per cent of non-
The snapshot survey identified 7 respondents (1%) with a disability. No distinction
was made between hidden or visible disability.
To supplement this, qualitative interviews were carried out with 7 people (not
necessarily the same people.) The key issues covered were; recruitment and
selection, experiences of discrimination, progression and volunteering39
All respondents said they had very good experiences of their recruitment process.
Some recruitment processes included equality monitoring and asked about needs for
accessible venue prior to arriving, but this was not consistent practice.
“I was able to visit the union before I started working for a look around for possible
changes that would need to be made to make my office more accessible to me in my
wheelchair. I was told about Access to Work for help with costs to get to and from
work as I was unable to use public transport and did not drive when I first started. I
felt very well supported”
The negatives mainly came from interaction with university premises and staff, rather
than within union structures.
“I expected the students’ union environment to be very accessible and equal
opportunities orientated. With the exception of access to some facilities I have found
that my experiences have matched up to my expectations”.
Respondents were asked if various staff groups and the officers in the union had
treated them in different ways. This varied from person to person as might be
expected with the unique personalities at play, but there was little variation in the
ways the staff member was dealt with. What was interesting was that the perceived
‘softer’ side of the union (membership services) were more likely to look at alternative
ways of dealing with issues to ensure the individual was supported appropriately.
“On the whole other members of staff have treated me equally and I have had no
problems. Some of the older members of staff feel that they should help me because
Disability Rights Commission: Facts and Figures 2004
Insight interviews undertaken with 7 respondents by Andrea Pierce, for the group, between
November 2005 and January 2006
I’m in my wheelchair but once I explain that I’m fine and that I can manage everything
is usually ok”
Respondents were asked about their overall perception of the job… “do you like your
work”, if they felt they received adequate training, and whether they anticipated
staying in this area of work. All had come to the role with relevant professional and
academic qualifications and experience. They had received some basic necessary
training for their jobs, but as most had not been in post for any great length of time,
there had not been significant investment in their vocational training as yet. One
identified that he had just about settled in now, and would be looking at relevant
courses soon to present to his line manager for approval.
“I am happy in my current role and would like to continue with this role whilst I still
find it enjoyable and rewarding.”
Since the majority of respondents had not been long in post, there was no awareness
of any progression issues. Interestingly those who were women did comment that the
hours needed to move up in the union movement may be restrictive especially if they
had family commitments as well as their particular disability to contend with. One said
that her boyfriend has complained when she has needed to work late in her current
“I believe that as much as we would like there to be no barriers at all there will always
be some form of hidden barriers as it will be very difficult to make everything
completely accessible to everyone”
Given the volunteering does provide opportunities it was felt that NUS Services and
AMSU volunteering opportunities are not publicised widely enough. The respondents
were mainly not aware that there was anything they could contribute to these fora.
‘Do not have enough time for my job let alone help on a committee”
The comments offered a taste of personal experiences within a few unions around
the country. In summary they are mainly positive, with the greatest issues being
around university/union interactions.
“Continue to listen to disabled staff comments on improvements or adjustments that
need to be made. To provide training for all managers/line managers on issues that
may arise with disabled staff and how best to deal with them – don’t leave this up to
the university training departments to do!”
The numbers reporting as disabled were low. This may indicate that there are not
many staff who have a disability employed, or are they not confident to inform their
employers that they do have ‘hidden’ disabilities and are concerned that this could
have implications to their future job security? One major area that no one identified
was mental health, yet it is a very real issue in Universities and if disability statistics
are anything to go by, we can assume there are staff with diagnosed mental ill health
working within the movement.
Another factor evident is that most of those interviewed were reasonably new
employees (up to 18months employment to date). This may indicate a shift in
employment practices, to a more positive approach to disability .
All respondents were educated to degree level and above, all having worked
elsewhere. Most had been involved with Unions during their learning years. This
shows that there is a huge potential for disabled staff to be part of the students’ union
movement, and that maybe there is a need to better publicise what we do to potential
“It would be really great if disabled staff that have developed their careers within a
Union were prepared to share their experiences with others. I know this would have
inspired me to apply, and how about some mentoring too!”
In summary, as with BME staff, staff with disabilities generally felt that they were well
treated, but the numbers reporting as disabled via the snapshot survey are very low.
This may indicated that few people with disabilities are applying and this is an area
that could be addressed.
From October 2006 it will become unlawful to discriminate in employment on the
grounds of age. In 2002 there were 19.8million over 50 year olds in Britain, forecast
to increase to 27 million by 2031.40
In the snapshot survey, 14 people, whether staff, student staff or executive officer,
were over 50. Only one member of staff was over 60. All but one of the officers fell
into the 21- 30 age bracket.
The recent much publicised ‘pensions crisis’ and the publication of the Turner report
have focused interest on the future of work in an ageing population. As a population
we are living longer and healthier lives as a consequence of the absence of global
conflict, improving health care, reductions in smoking and less hazardous working
life. From this year, 2006, 45-59 year olds will form the largest group in the
workforce. As in other sectors, the proportion of over 50 year old staff in higher
education is increasing
In the future older people may exert considerably more political power then they do
now by sheer weight of numbers and active participation in elections. Clearly then
this will be an area of developing interest to policy makers.
Students’ unions will need to consider the implications of both an older/ageing
workforce and membership when culturally we have largely seen ourselves as
youthful organisations. The approach taken in respect of DDA implementation (that
of reasonable adjustments) may be one model available to policy makers, early
retirement may be an option not available to employers/ employees based on cost
and in respect of older workers we may have to consider more flexible approaches to
work life balance. There are examples in the private sector (B & Q) where a positive
approach to employing older staff has been taken based on the practical knowledge
of that group of staff gained over a lifetime of experience.
No insight interviews were conducted with this group.
Existing practice within Students’ Unions
Equality is challenging – New Age Thinking – published by the equality challenge unit,
Unions’ HR managers were also surveyed to enquire whether they measure and
monitor recruitment practices. Many Unions do have the policies and processes in
place which should ensure fairness in recruitment. In practice, however, Unions find
that individuals from black and minority ethnic heritage do not apply for employment.
A survey was issued to via the human resources data base to investigate the extent
to which currently, employment practice is monitored.
14 replies were received. A number of these were followed up for more qualitative
research. Respondents felt that their biggest challenge is that few people of non-
white background apply to work within the union. A number of unions had attempted
to address this via, for example, advertising in the Voice, but did not report a great
deal of success. One union had found that although they had a percentage of BME
staff which reflected the local population, none of those staff were managers.
Most unions found that although monitoring and review took place, there was
uncertainty about how to take effective action.
1. Appendix II
• Equal Pay Act 1970
Gives an individual a right to the same contractual pay and benefits as a person of
the opposite sex in the same employment, doing like work, work rated as equivalent
under an analytical job evaluation study or work that is proved to be of equal value.
• Sex Discrimination Act 1975
Prohibits sex discrimination against individuals in the areas of employment,
education and the provision of goods, facilities and services and in the disposal or
management of premises. Also prohibits discrimination in employment against
married people, but it is not unlawful to discriminate against someone because they
are not married.
• Race Relations Act 1976
Prohibits discrimination on racial grounds – colour, nationality (including citizenship),
ethnic or national origins. Does not include culture and religion.
• Disability Discrimination Act 1995
General duty not to discriminate against individuals with disabilities.
• Protection from Harassment Act 1997
The main criminal legislation dealing with the offence of harassment. It can cover a
wide range of conduct and behaviours, including racial or religious motivated
harassment and could also be used to prosecute certain types of anti-social
behaviour where these amount to 'harassment', such as playing loud music, barking
dogs and noisy house repairs.
• Human Rights Act 1998
Makes certain rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on
Human Rights (ECHR) enforceable in United Kingdom courts. All our laws must now
comply "as far as possible" with these rights.
• Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
Previously it was unlawful for all public authorities to discriminate on racial grounds in
relation to employment, education and housing practices, and in the provision of
goods, facilities and services. Now it is unlawful for any public authority to
discriminate on racial grounds when carrying out any of its functions.
Signifies a shift away from cure to prevention by extending protection and places a
new, enforceable positive duty on public authorities.
• Disability Discrimination Act Amendment Regulations Act 2003
Amendments to definition and constraints of DDA Part II to bring it in to line with
wider equality legislation.
• Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
The term ‘sexual orientation’ covers people with orientation towards:
• people of the same sex (lesbian and gay/homosexual)
• people of the opposite sex (heterosexual)
• people of both sexes (bisexual)
Offers protection from four unlawful actions due to actual or perceived sexual
• direct discrimination
• indirect discrimination
• Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
Implement the principle of equal treatment in employment and training, irrespective of
religion or belief.
• EU Race Directive 2003
Concerned with the principle of equal treatment between people, irrespective of their
racial or ethnic origin. It sets minimum standards of protection, which all member
states must meet. Member states cannot reduce the standards of protection they
• Race Relations Act (1976) Amendment Regulations (2003)
Introduced the first legal definition of harassment, making harassment on the
grounds of race or ethnic or national origin a separate unlawful act. Harassment on
the grounds of colour or nationality will continue to be treated as possible direct
discrimination under the Race Relations Act 1976.
• Disability Discrimination Act 2005
Amends the DDA by giving public bodies new duties.
Racial and Religious Hatred Bill
Will amend the Public Order Act 1986 to create offences and amend provisions
involving stirring up hatred against persons on religious grounds.
Religious hatred is defined as hatred against a group of persons defined by reference
to religious belief or lack of it.
Covers words, behaviours, materials, performances, recordings or programmes that
are likely to be seen, heard or attended by those in whom it is likely to stir up racial or
Disability Rights Bill (2006)
Public sector duty to promote disability equality.
The Equality Act 2006
was granted Royal Assent in February 2006 . The Act:
• makes provision for the establishment of the Commission for Equality and
Human Rights to carry out the work of the existing commissions on gender race and
disability and to prevent discrimination and promote equality in relation to age, sexual
orientation and religion or belief
• prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the provision of
goods, facilities and services, premises
• provides for regulation against discrimination or harassment on the grounds
of sexual orientation in the provision of goods, facilities and services
• creates a public sector duty to promote equality between men and women
Many thanks to Dan Sumner of King’s College London Students’ Union.
Please note this list is not intended to be an exhaustive statement of law, but a
List of useful resources
www.amsu.net. The diversity action working group section includes specimen equal
opportunities and recruitment and selection policies as supplied by ACAS diversity
There is also a useful recruitment and selection monitoring tool developed by Nus
figures are published annually by HESA for each University and are available online
from www.statistics.gov for each institution, and from census data for the area.
HEEON (Higher Education Equal Opportunities Network) www.heeon.ac.uk
Network for equal opportunities professionals working within the field of Higher
Equality Challenge Unit
A full-time office dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for all who work or seek
to work in higher education. Their remit was extended to include students in February
www.ecu.ac.uk –links to many useful resources
The website also contains many useful reports
The AMSU Diversity Action Working Group are commencing diversity monitoring of
staff and student officers within Students' Unions for the purposes of developing equal
opportunity policies. Staff and student officers are being asked to complete a short
survey in order to begin this monitoring. Completion of such information is entirely
voluntary and will be used for the sole purpose of developing equal opportunties
We would appreciate it if you could spend the time to complete the following short
Union Name ____________________________________
Are you a:
Member of permanent staff
Member of student staff
Are you a Senior member of staff?
Which of the following age groups do you belong:
To which of the following ethnic groups do you belong:
Any other white background
White and Black Caribbean
White and Black African
White and Black Asian
Any other mixed background
Asian or Asian British
Any other Asian background
Black or Black British
Any other black background
Chinese or other ethnic group
Any other ethnic background
Do you consider yourself to have a disability?
If yes, please specify_________________________________
Thank you very much for completing your details.
Please click the 'submit' button below to send your response.