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Taking pride in equality, diversity and inclusion

Fiona McPhail, EBI Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Champion

Fiona McPhail, EBI Diversity and Inclusion Champion


23 July 2019

Big strides are being made in equality, diversity and inclusion at the University of Bristol with much to celebrate this summer. Fiona McPhail, Diversity and Inclusion Champion at Elizabeth Blackwell Institute gives an overview of some of the key activities and outlines diversity dates for your diary for Autumn and beyond.

It is really exciting to see the real step change that is taking place at the University and the momentum which is gathering behind equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work, both centrally and also across Faculties, Schools and Departments.

A summer of celebrations

July saw three major events taking place at the University focusing on EDI: the LGBT+ Supporters Programme event and; a UoB first, the highly successful Gender Equality Conference; and, of course the University’s involvement in Bristol Pride - all of which the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute were delighted to support

The LGBT+ programme is a very visible commitment of how the University, and those who make up its community, show support for all our LGBT+ students and staff. Events such as this, and our commitment, help us to think about how we promote inclusive practices for all, whether this be in the research we undertake, our work practices, our teaching, or as friends and colleagues. The next Supporters’ sign up will be announced on the central University EDI website and you can contact to be invited to the next event. Also, make a note in your diary to join students and staff at next year’s Bristol Pride.

Gender equality

The Gender Equality Conference took place on 4 July and shows just how far work on Gender has progressed. A panel with speakers from the major funding councils, together with academic specialists, talked about their work to promote EDI and the challenges of gender bias in research funding.

Staff from across the university came and shared experiences and best practice. The event kicked off with the popular ‘Your Stories’ session with Lucinda Parr (Registrar and Secretary) and moved on to training on Athena Swan, LGBT+ and BAME Intersectionality. There was best practice sharing from Dr Andrea Waylen and Dr Giovanni Biglino from Bristol Medical School, and Professor Oliver Johnson from the School of Mathematics, and a discussion on gender pay gap issues. All in all, it was a packed day, rounded off by a brainstorming event to support the University’s Gender Equality Strategy. This is likely to become an annual event where we can celebrate the work already taking place and push ourselves to do yet more.

Diversity dates

Colleagues might like to note a date for their diary with the upcoming EDIS Symposium on 9 September 2019: Inclusive Research and Experimental Design.  EDIS (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Health Research) is a coalition of organisations (including Elizabeth Blackwell Institute) in the science and health sector, working together to improve equality, diversity and inclusion. This event will take the concepts of equality, diversity and inclusion and look at how these are applicable to research and experimental design. This event is free to attend, at the Francis Crick Institute, London. Access information.

Where attendance is dependent on covering exceptional costs (such as care support) that would not normally be covered by University of Bristol or a grant, the Crick Institute has a small budget to help with this (UK only, reimbursement upon receipt). More info:

Confirmed topics for the EDIS Symposium

  • Sex as a biological variable
  • Ethnicity and ancestry in genomics
  • Diversity in clinical trials
  • Diversity and the power of AI in health
  • BAME participation in health research
  • Inclusive research communications
  • Gendered innovations

Further information

Find full details of the EDIS Symposium, including confirmed speakers.

Register here

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