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Embedding EDI: Guidelines for Visibility

Embedding EDI

Page Updated: 19th July 2022

Lack of visibility is recognised as one of the obstacles to the professional development of women and people from underrepresented groups. Increasing their visibility in UCD ensures they can fully and equally participate in University life and can help early-career colleagues identify with role models.

Supporting the visibility and inclusion of people in UCD is crucial to attract and retain diverse candidates and colleagues, a fundamental way to help UCD achieve its strategic objective as outlined in the “Rising to the Future” UCD Strategy 2020-2024: ‘Attract, retain and develop an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff.’

Get started with these guidelines

In line with UCD’s values (diversity) and our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2018-2020-2025, the following set of guidelines has been developed for the UCD community to ensure people from underrepresented groups are visible in their Schools and Units and feel included, supported and valued. These guidelines will be of help to ensure EDI is embedded throughout all UCD activities, in particular for events, conferences, communications, websites and promotional materials.

Guidelines include tips for events, communications, website, development and more. We have divided them by theme in the dropdown menus below. These guidelines are also available as a Word document for you to download and share: Embedding EDI - Guidelines for Visibility 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education eLearning

The "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education" eLearning course on UCD LearnUpon includes a section in inclusivity of events amd engagement activities (Module 4, Section 3.) The course is a fundamental introduction to EDI in a University context, and the module on "Putting Policy into Practice" includes key information and guidance to ensure that UCD is an inclusive environment. Find out more about this eLearning course and how to complete it in our .  

Events: (including panels, conferences and seminars)

  • Ensure that there is gender balance of speakers at events by applying the 40/60 gender balance rule as per the UCD Gender Balance on Committees Policy
  • Encourage members of underrepresented groups to attend and speak at events relevant to their discipline or work and support their ability to participate (striking a balance is important: ensure that the same senior women/men are not asked to sit on interview panels and are not overburdened – avoid tokenism)
  • Encourage members of underrepresented groups to raise their profile by participating and speaking at events
  • Consider what barriers may prevent people from underrepresented groups to attend/speak at events
  • Consider appointing members of underrepresented groups as chairs of events being held in UCD
  • Ensure the following sentence is included in all event communication in UCD: ‘UCD strives to be an inclusive University and values everyone's participation. If you have any dietary or accessibility requirements that may need to be facilitated kindly inform us in advance of the event'
  • Ensure that catering is inclusive:
    • Increase the number of food items for diverse diets (such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and halal) so that the everyone of attendees is catered for
    • Ensure that non-caffeinated options such as herbal teas are also available
  • Take accessibility and inclusion into account when organising events:
    • Accessible entrances / ramps
    • Stages should have a ramp
    • Avoid the use of pod tables which are not suitable for wheelchair users
    • Awareness of breastfeeding facilities near the venue (see UCD Estates Campus map (opens in a new window)http://map.ucdestates.ie/)
    • Awareness of prayer or faith rooms in the vicinity
    • Awareness of where the nearest accessible WC and gender-neutral facilities are located (see UCD Estates Campus map)
  • Support initiatives encouraging employees to promote diversity and inclusion, e.g. UCD EDI events and external initiatives like LGBT allies, male champions of gender equality (e.g. ‘Men Advocating Real Change’, ‘HeForShe’ campaigns), anti-racism campaigns (e.g. ENAR ‘Love Not Hate’ campaign and Anti-Racism month)
  • Liaise with the EDI Unit in HR to organise EDI-related events and mark EDI-related dates to demonstrate your School/Area is inclusive e.g. Chinese New Year (January/February), International Women’s Day (8th March), Dublin PRIDE (June), World Mental Health Day (10th October), International Men’s Day (19th November), International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December)
  • Review portraits and photographs displayed on walls around the School/Unit from an EDI perspective

  • Highlight role models from underrepresented groups in the School/Unit (e.g. events, awards received, career and outreach achievements)
  • Feature members of underrepresented groups in School/Unit and University-wide publications (e.g. e-zines, bulletins, newsletters, brochures, annual reports)
  • Provide training to members of underrepresented groups to engage with the media (e.g. ‘Women on Air (opens in a new window)https://womenonair.ie/)
  • Encourage the School/Unit to add the Athena SWAN logo in email signatures
  • Consider including EDI in any local Induction materials or activities
  • Advertise EDI related events and initiatives in the all-staff e-zine

Additional guidlelines in relation to online events:

  • Consider the communication tools you use keeping in mind employees from different cultural, linguistic backgrounds or with learning differences 
  • To overcome barriers on video calls, ensure you speak clearly and slowly and try to minimise background noise by muting your microphone when not speaking
  • As a host of video calls, do not be tempted to “go around the room” – equal time does not necessarily lead to equal contribution
  • To ensure an inclusive approach during video calls, offer participants the option of keeping the video camera off and offer an accessible shared document or channel of communication where comments and feedback can be submitted in writing (for instance, use the chat function)
  • Make presentations accessible by using a large font size and high-contrast background, and by providing a verbal description of visual material such as slides or photos

UCD School and Unit websites should reflect diverse employees and be inclusive. This will enhance the brand of the School, support its recruitment campaigns and provide information for current employees.

  • Use plain english and avoid buzz-words or jargon if at all possible
  • Create accessible documents (see guidelines developed by Access and Lifelong Learning: https://www.ucd.ie/all/ucdstudents/support/disabilitysupport/informationforstaff/guidelinesforaccessibledocuments/)
  • Increase the presence of people from underrepresented groups on your School/Unit website by ensuring there is balance of photos, testimonials and narratives
  • Avoid using stereotypical representations and/or stock images of people from underrepresented groups
  • Replace generic pictures or icons with photos of people from underrepresented groups in UCD
  • Create a local EDI webpage (e.g. UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science: http://www.ucd.ie/sbbs/about/equalitydiversityinclusion)
  • Place a link to the Athena SWAN Gender Equality Action Plan on School websites
  • Promote your School/Unit engagement with Athena SWAN
  • List diversity networks in UCD – such as Women@STEM, LGBTI Network, Staff Disability Network, Multicultural Employee Network of UCD etc.

  • Develop and promote visibility of diverse leaders in your School/Unit
  • Consider identifying training and mentorship programmes to strengthen leadership and career development and promote widely in the School/Unit before and on completion of programme. For example:
    • Leadership Development programmes
    • Grant-writing workshops (consider diversity and inclusion aspects)
    • Mentoring programmes (e.g. Aurora leadership and mentoring programme for female employees, OUTstanding mentorship programme for LGBT colleagues: (opens in a new window)https://www.out-standing.org/about/)
  • Create testimonials, give speaking opportunities for those who have completed the programmes, encourage them to support other staff develop etc.
  • Publicly recognise people from underrepresented groups for competencies or achievements (e.g. ‘Women on Walls’ (opens in a new window)https://www.ria.ie/women-walls-0, ‘Promoting Diverse Talent’)
  • Consider the diversity of people being nominated for awards and encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply for awards

Additional guidlelines in relation to Covid-19 / hybrid working:

  • Ensure employees that continue to work remotely are given the same career development and progression opportunities as employees working on campus
  • To continue supporting their visibility, encourage and nominate any employees who belong to underrepresented groups to appear in newsletters and online publications: the EDI Blog “Inclusion Never Stops” is a good example of an initiative where UCD community members can share their experience and highlight EDI-related challenges and opportunities with the option to remain anonymous

  • Ensure that promotional materials on local websites encourage interest are inclusive:
  • Refer to our ‘Inclusive Recruitment Guide’: https://www.ucd.ie/equality/support/tipsforinclusiverecruitment/
  • Check that there is gender balance in campaigns and testimonials by including female profiles
  • Feature people from underrepresented groups in imagery related to promotional campaigns (beware of using over-stereotyped stock images)
  • Ensure that the 40/60 gender balance rule on Interview Panels is consistently applied as per the UCD ‘Gender Balance on Committees’ Policy
  • Consider developing short video testimonials with underrepresented academics
  • Consider sharing promotional material on social media to reach more diverse groups


Colleges, Schools and Units in UCD are strongly encouraged to create an implementation plan to bring the guidelines to life in their respective areas. The EDI Unit in HR and the Vice-Principals for EDI in your College can provide support with this process.

Schools who are applying for an Athena SWAN award can integrate the implementation of these guidelines into their Action Plan. Other Schools and Units should identify key areas for action and prioritise accordingly.

These guidelines are also available as a Word document for you to download and share: Embedding EDI - Guidelines for Visibility

Unsure where to start?

Contact the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit in UCD HR for support or a consultation on how to engage with UCD’s EDI initiatives.

Email: (opens in a new window)edi@ucd.ie; Website: https://www.ucd.ie/equality/

Useful Links:

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: edi@ucd.ie