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Launch of EDI Policy, Strategy and Annual Report

Launch of EDI Policy, Strategy and Annual Report

Monday, 4 March, 12.00pm

Global Lounge

Colleagues and guests, you are very welcome to the launch of both our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Strategy and Action Plan covering the period to 2025, and UCD’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report for 2017/18.

I am delighted to welcome the newly appointed Chair of our Governing Authority. Marie O’Connor, the first woman appointed to this role in our 165-year history, has combined her successful career with the promotion of women in public and professional spheres. She was a founder member and the country lead for the 30% Club in Ireland, promoting gender diversity in business, and in November 2017 was appointed by the Government to lead a taskforce on Gender Balance in Higher Education in Ireland.

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy was reviewed to reflect the enhanced inclusive culture that now exists within the University community, where diversity is valued and embraced and equality of opportunity is promoted. This policy sets out the EDI principles that UCD will abide by in the undertaking our activities. We want to ensure that employees and students can thrive in UCD, able to participate fully in their work and study, in a respectful environment where they can reach their full potential. This policy goes beyond legislative requirements and includes the adoption of socio-economic status as a tenth University equality ground.  Mainstreaming Equality, Diversity and Inclusion into all of our policies, practices and decision-making is one of our core objectives, which is supported through the appointment of Vice-Principals for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in our Colleges. I am pleased to see that five vice-principals have now been appointed.  These roles are instrumental in enhancing our inclusive culture further and supporting the delivery of the EDI strategy.

The strategy sets out six objectives and the related actions, including measures of success over the course of the next seven years. These objectives were developed to align with the University strategy, particularly Strategic Objective 5: ‘To attract and retain and excellent and diverse cohort of Students, Faculty and Staff’ and Strategic Objective 7: ‘To develop and strengthen our University Community’ and are also in line with our University values, particularly diversity. This strategy will be reviewed in 2020 to ensure it remains aligned with our new University strategy once it is finalised.

The successful implementation of the EDI strategy depends on everyone in the University community playing a role in the delivery of the actions set out in this plan, not least the promotion of an environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. This strategy won’t be achieved by any one particular action but rather through the implementation of many smaller actions, all of which will contribute to UCD being a great place to work, learn and develop.

The EDI agenda has grown from strength to strength over the past number of years and it is important that we capture the progress made through our annual report. This report highlights the many EDI activities, initiatives and the work of different groups, committees and networks in key areas across UCD which help to mainstream equality, diversity and inclusion.

There are many highlights in the report for the academic year 2017/18, including the submission of five Schools for the Athena SWAN award; the number of events and EDI-related training; the completion of the EDI policy and strategy; the award of University of Sanctuary status; and the launch of the Gender Identity and Expression policy, which recently won the national CIPD award in the Diversity and Inclusion category.

I would like to acknowledge the role of Professor Colin Scott, Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in championing this work, the various colleagues who make up the steering, working groups and networks, and Marcellina Fogarty, UCD Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager and her team for their enthusiasm and hard work.

I look forward to building further on what has been achieved in the area of EDI and turning any challenges we face into real opportunities to enhance our inclusive University community.

UCD President's Office

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
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