The employee networks were initiated in response to staff requests for individual forums where they are able to meet new people, share ideas, engage in open and honest discussions, and receive peer support and to offer opportunities to network. This is the experience that people who engage in the networks can expect to have and as a result BCU now has a Mental Health & Wellbeing and Women’s network.
In addition to this the EDI Unit have also formed steering groups which comprise of staff with shared Equality characteristics have agreed to support the University by providing feedback and recommendations in the area of University policies. The steering groups also engage in activities that support the University gain sector recognised equality related charters. Therefore the Disability Steering group and the BAME steering group have formed and staff with an interest in these areas or any of the other networks are welcome to attend.
Disabled Staff steering group: Terms of Reference
The primary purpose of the Disability Steering group is to ensure parity of esteem and opportunity for all BCU students and employees, regardless of physical, neurological, psychological or sensory disability. This will require those members or invited speakers to report issues, provide information, offer possible solutions and to raise awareness which will enable the steering group to achieve its stated objectives. The make-up and membership of the group will assist in ensuring that areas that directly impact Disability access, facilities, experiences and ultimately health and well-being are brought to the fore with consistency and are communicated to both the wider EDI main and professional services EDI committees where required.
- To identify the key challenges of behaviour and attitude facing disabled staff and students, to report concerns and make recommendations to resolve them within a timely manner.
- To identify all accessibility barriers within BCU in terms of both policy all facilities and access to information and training, and to become the steer, working with relevant departments to ensure the on-going eradication of these.
- To drive forwards change on agreed priorities disseminated from the EDI committee in relation to the disabled staff and graduate experience in career accessibility, progression, recruitment and recognition.
- To work towards enabling BCU to achieve the Disability Confident Employer award in the short to medium term with the long term aim of the University becoming a Disability Confident Leader.
- To identify, use and if required create effective pathways that would enable the timely reporting of concerns and to hold decision makers to account with regards to the implementation of recommendations
- To ensure that disability and equality agenda is embedded within all staff individual professional development objectives by assisting relevant areas in the drafting of such objectives
- To help ensure staff development provided enables colleagues to reflect BCU EDI priorities within their own professional development and conduct.
Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Network
The BCU Staff Mental Health network formed as a result of requests from BCU staff for a safe place to receive informal peer to peer support in the area of Mental Health and Well-being. This is a network where confidentiality, openness and honesty are core values and where staff whom attend experience genuine support and a place where people have time to listen. The University has a plethora of formal services which staff are able to access, this network does not aim to undermine this; instead the network compliments the existing offering by ensuring that attendees receive continual information about available support services.
Therefore the aims of the staff mental health network as advised by staff in attendance will be:
- To offer informal peer support to colleagues through holding regular meetings that provide a collective voice on issues affecting employee mental health and wellbeing
- To have the ability to comment on policies, develop events, and activities whose primary focus is helping staff mental health and well- being
- To assist in raising the profile of what services are available
- To open conversations which change a culture that sees Mental Health as taboo and to be focused primarily upon the needs of students.
- To create a forum that provides visibility to staff who are struggling and offers access and a pathway to receiving support rather than remaining isolated.
- To contribute to conversations around what training staff may require and to consult upon training content created.
- To ensure that staff at all levels of seniority are able to receive support and do not feel unheard, unsupported or misunderstood.
BAME Steering Group Terms of Reference
The primary purpose of the BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) Steering group is to represent the interests and aspirations of BAME employees and students at BCU by embarking upon actions that will lead to parity of opportunity for BAME colleagues and students. The group aims to embark upon relevant and strategic actions that act as a catalyst in helping to drive race equality throughout all areas of the institution. This will require members and invited speakers to engage in frank discussions that raise awareness about any structural barriers within BCU processes, policies and procedures that negatively impact BAME staff and students. Any subsequent revelations will assist the steering group in its endeavours to make recommendations to key decision makers that offer, creative, efficient and effective solutions which permanently eradicate identified barriers from within University structures.
The activities of the group will be communicated to all EDI committees where required.
Objectives of the BAME Steering Group will be:
- To undertake the required actions and work that will enable BCU to achieve the Race Equality Charter (REC) Bronze award in the medium term with the long- term aim of the University receiving a REC Silver Award.
- To provide feedback when required, in the review of new or existing procedures, policies and processes that directly or indirectly impact BAME staff and student access, achievement, promotion and progression, with the aim of ensuring that these do not directly or indirectly impact BAME staff or students.
- To provide a safe space that encourages BAME staff and guests to network and where possible, offer opportunity for member coaching and mentoring and a means to promote the sharing of best practice, skills, knowledge and experience and develop resilience skills for well-being.
- To input into activities, where possible, that inform and educate staff and students and promote varying BAME cultural celebrations
- To make relevant and valid contributions to priorities disseminated from any of the other EDI committees and any requested BCU Professional or Academic Service areas.
- To act upon requests from BAME staff and students themselves in matters relating to career or academic accessibility, attainment, progression, recruitment, recognition, progression and achievement by identifying issues and offering possible solutions when making recommendations to the appropriate persons.
- To use internal and external sources of information and data to support identified concerns as evidential support if required that would inform recommended solutions when reporting concerns to appropriate decision makers.