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Newcastle University Business School establishes Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

17 November 2022

Newcastle University Business School (NUBS) has established an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) working group to ensure fair treatment and opportunities for all staff and students.

Eradicating prejudice and discrimination

The working group, set up in January 2022, is a collective community of practice for members of NUBS academic and professional services staff, and the PhD community. There are members across all subject groups and professional services areas.

The group aims to eradicate prejudice and discrimination based on an individual or group of individuals’ protected characteristics. These could include age, race, sexuality, gender, faith, disabilities, and caring responsibilities. The new EDI working group will be at the core of enabling these values throughout the Business School.

The group is chaired by Dr Victoria Pagan, Director of EDI at the Business School, and Chaired by Cissie Tsang, who acts as the Professional Services Chair.

A drone shot of the Business School

Dr Victoria Pagan commented: “Working to foreground equality, equity, diversity and inclusion is a process of unlearning and re-learning, it is an ongoing commitment to social justice in our teaching, research and professional services. Members of the Working Group, Co-Chairs, and myself as Director are here to listen and respond, signpost resources and foster discussion in order to support this commitment throughout the School.”

A safe space

The group offers a safe space for sharing and hearing from one another, supporting one another, and for actions to be taken forward by members as needed. Members are encouraged to champion EDI in their everyday work in NUBS by actioning the following:

  • Updating colleagues and forums on EDI activities in team meetings and any other forums. This is to ensure EDI is highly visible in as many discussions as possible, to help raise awareness and encourage embedding.
  • Working with colleagues to uncover information or activities that they might like to see in relation to EDI issues. This encourages participation and a feeling of welcoming and involvement in discussions that can feel uncomfortable/challenging.
  • Being an active bystander in relation to any discriminatory/hostile practices that might be seen. The purpose of this is to find ways to challenge practices in a calm and educative, rather than judgmental, way.

Recent activity

In April 2022, the working group recruited three interns, from the School of Law, Medicine and History respectively. The interns supported the enhancement of the current work of the working group, to add a student perspective. The students worked alongside the Business School’s EDI team for three months, conducting research and consultations to further the EDI movement. Some projects they worked on included:

  • support for first-generation students
  • creating a sense of belonging
  • student communications
  • black history month
  • student disability awareness

As well as the recruitment of the EDI interns, the working group has also:

  • Established an EDI Canvas Community (VLE) as a repository of information on EDI issues for colleagues to access
  • Established EDI induction sessions for new colleagues and new PGR students
  • Hosted a range of EDI Lunch Conversations on topics including microaggressions, spirituality, accent and voice
  • Presented an EDI and research session at the Business School Research and Scholarship Festival
  • Established a monthly EDI email to all School staff
  • Developed a strategic project which looks to improve parity of esteem in relation to scholarship activities

Upcoming activity

Working group meetings continue to take place regularly throughout the academic year. The School also aims to encourage an internationally diverse student cohort through targeted recruitment activity, which is not limited to one particular country or region. Through targeted scholarships to encourage under-represented groups, the working group also aims to encourage gender diversity across programmes (eg MBA women in leadership scholarships and our Executive Education scholarships).

We are here to listen and respond, signpost resources and foster discussion in order to support this commitment throughout the School.

Dr Victoria Pagan, Director of EDI at the Business School

How to get involved

The working group is open to all Business School staff and students. Additional members would broaden the range of voices, ideas and views to the collective. If you would like to join the working group, please email Dr Victoria Pagan to express your interest.

All Business School staff will receive updates about the working group’s activity and we actively encourage you to provide input on anything you would like to see in this space. You can provide anonymous comments to the NUBS EDI Team through their feedback form.