Document Sample
					                         UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

                     PROGRESS REPORT JUNE 2008

UCL’s Committee for Equal Opportunities on behalf of UCL approved this
progress report at their meeting on 3rd June 2008.

Progress will be reported under the following headings:

   1.   Mainstreaming gender equality initiatives
   2.   Baseline and SET academic profile
   3.   Key career transition points
   4.   Culture change and gender balance in decision making

1. Mainstreaming Gender Equality Initiatives:

1.1. UCL’s Equality Action Planning is now in its seventh and final year, so by the
end of 2008 all UCL departments will have taken part, some 105 departments in
all. 63 of these are Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) departments.
Each department develops three or four equality initiatives or goals for change.
One of these should be to support the achievement of UCL‘s corporate workforce
equality targets, one of which is to increase the representation of women at
grade 9 and above by 2% per annum, with the ultimate aim of a 50:50 split of
women and men at this level at UCL by 2011. This would include identifying any
barriers to career progression for women, especially black and minority ethnic
women and to consider what support they would welcome to compete for posts
at a senior level on an equal footing with their male counterparts. All SET
departments involved in Equality Action Planning undertake an initiative that will
work towards the advancement and promotion of women in SET. This year 12
departments are taking part. Work is underway to highlight best examples of
successful initiatives on the Gender Equality in SET web page.

1.2. Consideration is currently being given to the next corporate initiative to follow
on from Equality Action Planning. It is likely that this will build on UCL’s current
SWAN charter work to advance women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

1.3. Progress related to the SWAN Charter is a standing item on the agenda of
the Committee for Equal Opportunities (CEO), which meets each term. Progress
is also reported to: the HR Policy Committee, UCL Senior Management Team,
Academic Board and Heads of Departments meetings, the latter two both chaired
by the Provost.

1.4. UCL is currently promoting applications for for silver charter awards amongst
its SET departments and a seminar to this effect is to be held on 3rd July 2008,

with colleagues from silver and gold departments in other HEIs as guest
speakers. We hope UCL may be in a position in 2009 to submit a number of
individual SET departments, institutes and divisions to apply for Silver SWAN
Charter Awards.

1.5. There is a UCL Gender Equality in SET web page which includes information concerning
Athena, ASSET surveys and the SWAN Charter.

1.6. UCL’s Gender Equality Scheme and Action Plan have been in place for a
year. The process has been led by Professor Jan Atkinson (UCL Athena
Coordinator and leader in the UCL SWAN Charter submission), Professor
Christine Hawley (Dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment and Chair of the
Committee for Equal Opportunities (CEO), UCL’s Equal Opportunities
Coordinator and a Gender Equality Working Group, representing academic and
support staff, students and Trades Union representatives

1.7. UCL’s Gender Equality Scheme was promoted widely to all staff and
students through the UCL Home page, all staff and student e mails, the UCL
Union, by Departmental Equal Opportunity Liaison Officers within each
department and the Provost’s newsletter.

1.8. Progress against the key areas identified for action was presented in an
annual report to the Committee for Equal Opportunities on 3 June 2008 and
approved. The Committee noted that UCL is making good progress and several
major initiatives on gender equality are underway.

1.9. Discussions are in progress between the Equal Opportunities Coordinator
and new Head of Staff Development regarding training to support better policy
implementation, change management and gender equality training.

1.10. UCL held a gender equality event on 18 March 2008 with support and input
from UCL’s Provost. Open to all UCL staff and students and invited guests, with
high profile speakers, to promote UCL’s Action Plan on Gender Equality it was a
day of discussion, ideas and action on:

   •   Why there is still a gender gap
   •   What progress has been made to close the gender gap at UCL and
   •   Women in science, engineering and technology
   •   Women in clinical academia and academic medicine
   •   How to surmount career barriers - hot tips from public figures

The event was very well attended. Feedback from the day was overwhelmingly
enthusiastic and a web page with presentations and action points from the day
has been set up at

1.11. UCL’s Policy Team has been working closely with UCL Procurement
Services and has developed an equality procurement questionnaire which is
being used in each tendering process, the better to ensure all suppliers and
contractors comply with UCL’s Gender (and other equality) Schemes.

2. Baseline and SET Academic Profile:

2.1. The Gender Equality in SET web page presents data on the annual SET
employment profile in UCL from 2005 Data, is broken down by sex,
age, grade, average length of service and also maternity leave and circulated to
departments as part of UCL’s Equality Action Planning. Progress is compared
year by year.

2.2. From 2008 the annual SET profile will be updated from 1 October, in order to
mesh with UCL’s annual staff monitoring exercise. This year’s review of SET
data will therefore be conducted after 1 October.

2.3. UCL’s Committee for Equal Opportunities and Human Resources Policy
Committee annually monitor UCL’s workforce by sex, ethnicity, disability, grade
and contract status; its recruitment activity; harassment and bullying; the
implementation of UCL’s performance management policies; training take up,
and progress against UCL’s aspirational workforce targets. In 2008 data was
included on UCL’s home page to make this information more accessible. UCL
also compares itself against the DLA Piper HR Higher Education Sector bench
marker with other similar higher education institutions. The comparisons are

2.4. UCL monitors and annually reviews the equality profile of its workforce and
examines progress towards its aspirational gender equality target. (See para 1.1.
above.) Recent progress against this target has been disappointing. In October
2007 women made up 29% of grades 9 and 10, no overall change from the
previous year. New initiatives such as the pilot mentoring scheme, appraisal as a
forum for discussing career development and the promotions workshops are part
of the action to assist UCL in achieving this target.

2.5. The Committee for Equal Opportunities annually monitors undergraduate
and postgraduate student data by ethnicity, sex and disability status at
Faculty/Department level which covers profiles, applications, offers and
acceptances, progress, completion rates and awards. Faculty Teaching
Committees also review their student data and report back annually to CEO, the

Quality Management and Enhancement Committee (QMEC), and Academic
Committee on what action has been taken, and filter the data down to a
departmental level. UCL is committed to developing monitoring processes at a
departmental, faculty and corporate level to promote greater consistency in
quality across UCL and to ensure procedures are in place to identify and act
upon any consistent themes emerging. For example, UCL is reviewing any
imbalance or underrepresentation by sex, whether this is an issue of application,
or success in the admission process. It is also mindful of the HEA/ECU research
‘Ethnicity, Gender and Degree Attainment’ which showed that females are more
likely to obtain a higher degree classification than males, except in relation to
firsts. UCL is reviewing the likely reasons for this and what action might be taken
to address any barriers, or to offset any disadvantage occurring before

2.6. Work is also underway to review data on women returning from maternity
leave and whether they remain at UCL.

2.7. As at 1 June 2008, over 88% of female staff are now on open-ended
contracts (in comparison to 86% of male researchers) and the remainder will be
moved to such contracts as their funding is renewed.

2.8. UCL’s new pay framework was implemented in May 2006. The Equal Pay
Audit undertaken in June 2007 showed no significant basic pay differentials in
the data in terms of sex, ethnic origin, disability or part time status. A major
review and revision of professorial pay arrangements is currently underway, after
which an Equal Pay Audit will be undertaken.

2.9. As part of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, the RAE 2008
data were initially reviewed by the Deputy HR Director and UCL's Equal
Opportunities Coordinator and then submitted to the RAE Staff Selection Review
Group . In addition to an overview of the data, submissions to each main panel
were analysed by sex and ethnicity, (the numbers on disability were too small to
be included). Submissions to panels where the differences were most apparent
were further examined by Unit of Assessment to try and pinpoint any significant
areas of difference. Overall there are no broad issues of concern regarding staff
selection relating to sex, ethnicity or disability status.

3. Key career transition points:

3.1. UCL is currently piloting a mentoring project for women in the Faculty of
Biomedical Sciences.
Mentors and mentees will be chosen and matched over the summer, with training
sessions for mentors in October. The first mentoring sessions will hopefully take
place in November. Some of the issues identified for the sessions are:

Better knowledge of promotion criteria and process

   •   Identifying and developing skills
   •   Working on high profile projects
   •   Necessary experience in operational areas
   •   Careers advice and direction
   •   Managing academic career and family life
   •   Dealing with obstacles including unconscious gender bias, assertiveness

3.2. UCL has implemented sabbatical leave as a right for research active
academics returning from maternity leave to give them an opportunity to re-
charge their research after their absence. Consideration is also being given to
how UCL can be more welcoming and inclusive for those whose family
responsibilities mean that juggling home and work demands is necessarily

3.3. The take up of the Work Life Balance Policy is believed to be considerable
but the recording is local and not at a corporate level. Flexible working appeals
are monitored corporately, and there has only been one appeal against a denied
request for flexible working. The subgroup of the AAG on Career Breaks for
Maternity Leave and Returning will assist HR in reviewing the impact of the

3.4. Workshops have been held on promotion, including one for women only, to
debunk some of the myths and to clarify the process. These were well received
and the issues raised were fed back to Heads of Departments. These included:

   •   Appraisal as a forum for discussing career development and building CV’s
       for promotion. As at March 2008, there was an appraisal completion rate
       of 71% across UCL. The target is 95% completion
   •   Fair work load allocation especially regarding administrative loads
   •   The need for part time senior role models
   •   Managing career breaks and dependent families with the need to develop
       an international research reputation and cross institutional collaborations
   •   Balancing domestic responsibilities with early/late meetings and teaching
   •   The changing balance of research, teaching, knowledge transfer and
       enabling activity over a career

4. Culture Change and Gender Balance in decision making

4.1. One of UCL’s Corporate Equality Objectives is to improve the representation
on UCL Committees of underrepresented groups, including women and minority
ethnic staff (and students). In 2003 sixteen key committees were identified for
monitoring in consultation with the Governance Committee as those with a
particularly significant role in developing or approving policy. Action in these
cases to realise the above objective is therefore seen as particularly important.

Progress is annually reviewed by the Governance and Nominations Committees
and overseen also by the CEO. Initiatives include proactive targeting of under
represented groups for committee vacancies, especially Academic Board,
reviewing the scope of ex-officio members to nominate colleagues, promoting the
diversity of lay members, and co-opting members to committees where there
may be no current vacancies.

4.2. Progress was reviewed by the CEO at its 3 June 2008 meeting and will be
reviewed by Governance Committee on 17 June 2008. Overall the greatest
progress has been made on Academic Board in relation to women members in
the last three years from 171 to 194 women members (21% of the Board), a 2.5
% increase. Overall there is a small net increase of women on the 16
committees. Governance and Nominations Committees are being asked to
review the original recommendations for action and to consider whether there
may be more effective ways to achieve a diverse representation on UCL

Prof Janette Atkinson
UCL Athena SWAN Co-ordinator
June 2008
Committee for Equal Opportunities