Help us to offer you a better service

22 November 2022      Sophie Crouchman, Strategic Projects and Research Manager

HR or People functions are very often the home of Diversity and Inclusion work, but are we practicing what we preach?

You may have seen a recent issue of People Management which asked if HR has a diversity problem. CIPD membership data shows 87% of members are white and, outside CIPD, data from the ONS shows the HR Profession is 89% white (higher than Finance, IT and Legal professions).

But what about universities? Well, the best dataset we have on HE workforce is the HESA staff return, and this shows that in the 2020/21 reporting year, 77% of HE staff were white – meaning that our HR functions are likely to be less diverse than the communities they serve.

Unfortunately, getting information on the make-up of HR professionals in HE is tricky – even if you have access to the full HESA dataset through Heidi Plus, disaggregating HR staff isn’t straightforward and now that returning data on non-academic staff is not compulsory in the HESA staff return, the data on professional services staff is incomplete. But how can we identify what steps we as a profession need to take, if we are unsure about what the starting point is?

Here at UHR we have decided to take action. We are developing mechanisms to learn about the diversity of people practitioners in the HE sector and we’re doing this for several reasons:

  • So we can better understand the characteristics of our membership, and in turn share this information (in an anonymised way) with our members so we can all learn about what the HE people community looks like, right now, and how this compares with the HE community as a whole
  • To help us adapt and optimise the services, training and benefits we offer
  • To allow us to identify where certain groups might be underrepresented in or underserved by our activities, and to put steps in place to address this

It is worth saying that we will never use the information we collect to target individuals or groups, or to exclude individuals or groups from accessing our opportunities.

In order to make this a success, we need your help. To coincide with the launch of our new website, we are asking members to review your profiles, which will give you an opportunity to answer some questions to help us understand the diverse group we work with. Log into the new website like usual. Head to the top right where you will see a My dashboard button. Click that, and then look for Edit profile, which will take you to an opportunity to make sure your saved information is still accurate and also the section mentioned above, starting Help us to offer you a better service.

Thanks, we appreciate it.

Read more

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of the site and services and assist with our member communication efforts. Privacy Policy. Accept cookies Cookie Settings