I am passionate about equality and for me that means not only promoting equal rights but also ensuring equality of treatment and opportunity for all our staff. When I look around at some of the committees and boards within the University, I get a sense that the make up of these is not representative of the community from which they are drawn. When I listen to colleagues talking about their experience of working for Cardiff University, I hear stories that suggest that some people experience different treatment and that this is often associated with having a protected characteristic – or as people have told me “appearing different”.
In order to understand our staff experience we can cross reference various statistics such as pay, grade and development opportunities with our self- declared data held confidentially on CORE. This is what we are required to do by law, and indeed committed to do in our Strategic Equality Plan. But we have a big problem here – many staff don’t declare! For instance, our CORE records tell us that 4.4% of our staff declare a disability, 10.4% prefer not to say and 21.2% are unknown. So we have almost 5 times as many “unknown” than we have staff with a declared disability. For ethnicity it is a similar picture; 6.6% declare as BME, 1.2% prefer not to say and 17.1% are unknown.
We are serious about creating an inclusive environment where employees are performing at their best and therefore data monitoring is critical. It gives an insight into the impact of our work practices and policies and can reveal hidden barriers. Monitoring data also gives a powerful signal about our intentions and aspirations – that people are not alone and that we are thinking of them and their needs. It also shows that we are serious about supporting them. It can help us to assess their experience, job satisfaction and opportunities for career development. It can allow us to respond to local needs and be sensitive to any cultural aspects. Using data means that we can ensure that initiatives undertaken are based on evidence rather than assumptions, which will increase their likelihood of success.
I would like to urge all staff to update their coreHR records. You may wish to answer “prefer not to say” for some fields and that is fine – for me that’s much better than “unknown” which is the information returned when people haven’t filled in their details. It’s easy – simply login to core and select “employee profile” from the drop down menu at the top of the screen. Please help us to know you all better and to work together to ensure that we have the inclusive environment that we all deserve.