Policy

Equity and Diversity - Policy

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1.  Purpose and Objectives

This policy provides an overarching statement of The University of Queensland's commitment to equity and diversity for staff, students and the wider community and outlines internal structures and key aspects of operations where this is to be considered. The University also has obligations under a number of legislative instruments, which are listed below.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Accommodation or adjustment - specific measures made to enable equitable access and/or participation in employment or education for people from particular groups, e.g., people from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, or people with a disability.

3.  Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all staff and students of The University of Queensland.

4.  Policy Statement

The University of Queensland recognises it operates in a diverse local, national and global community, and values the diversity of its staff and student population. Ensuring equity and diversity in employment and education can bring about innovation, a more effective use of human resources and ultimately benefits the creative and intellectual life of the University and wider community.

The University is committed to providing equal opportunity of access, participation and advancement in employment and education, and developing an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination Discrimination and Harassment Policy. In doing so, The University recognises that specific measures such as programs, resources and accommodations may be provided and typically gives precedence to those equity groups defined by the Commonwealth government through its legislation and its agencies, although it will also address equity and diversity issues that fall outside of these priority areas.

The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act (1999) (Cth) commits the University to promote the principles of equal opportunity and in particular, to address the problems faced by workers balancing family responsibilities with the demands of the workplace. The objects of the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act (1984) are to eliminate discrimination against persons on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, family responsibilities and breastfeeding (including the act of expressing milk). The University recognises that both men and women have family responsibilities which are diverse and include caring for children, older people, and people with disabilities. Accordingly, The University has introduced a range of initiatives to assist its staff balance work and family responsibilities.

In particular, The University recognises that there is much to be done to assist the process of reconciliation and that it is necessary for all Australians to work together towards a united Australia that respects our land and heritage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and provides justice and equity for all. The University has identified a number of priorities that are guiding its work to this end.

5.  Relevant Instruments

International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 156: Workers with Family Responsibilities.
Age Discrimination Act (2004) (Commonwealth)
Anti-Discrimination Act, Qld (1991);
Disability Discrimination Act (1992) (Commonwealth);
Race Discrimination Act (1975) (Commonwealth);
Sex Discrimination Act (1984) (Commonwealth);
Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act (1999) (Commonwealth); and
Fair Work Act (2009) (Commonwealth).

Under the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act, 1999, organisations of 100 employees or more are required to demonstrate that they have a program for women employees. The University of Queensland, through The Equity Office, regularly reports to the Equal Opportunity for Women Agency in this regard.

6. Equity and Diversity Planning

6.1 The University of Queensland Equity and Diversity Plan sets the key priorities for the following four years, and is consistent with the UQ Strategic Plan. In addition to these plans, organisational units such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, Human Resources Division, The Equity Office, UQ International and Student Services have varying responsibilities for equity and diversity in employment and education.

6.2 Overall responsibility for the University of Queensland Equity and Diversity Plan is vested in the Vice-Chancellor, while The Equity Office, which reports directly to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, monitors its implementation. As part of its monitoring responsibilities, The Equity Office produces the UQ Annual Report on Equity and Diversity. Within this, The Equity Office reports to Senate on progress in implementing the UQ Equity and Diversity Plan.

6.3 The University's Equity and Diversity Plan, developed in consultation with the University community, is based on

  • an analysis of employment patterns of staff within the University and known societal disadvantage experienced by particular groups, and assessment of the effectiveness of current personnel policies and practices in areas such as recruitment and selection, performance appraisal, promotion, staff development, training, transfers, conditions of service and termination of employment;
  • an analysis of the access, participation, retention and success of students from “targeted” equity groups. Data derived from these reviews is used to develop objectives, strategies and actions to be implemented within a specified time; and
  • relevant State and Commonwealth legislation.

6.4 Consultative procedures currently in operation provide an important device for monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the plan. Consultation includes input from key Accountable Officers detailed in the UQ Equity and Diversity Plan, Executive Deans, relevant Directors, the UQ (Student) Union and members of the Senate Standing Committee for Equity, Diversity and the Status of Women and its subcommittees.

7. Committees

7.1 The University of Queensland has established the Senate Standing Committee for Equity, Diversity and the Status of Women to address equity and diversity issues within the University of Queensland. This committee currently has three subcommittees which focus on the following areas:

  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity and Indigenous Australians (CALDIA) Subcommittee;
  • Disability Subcommittee; and
  • Gender Equity Subcommittee.

7.2 Other ad hoc equity and diversity committees have been established at the University including Gatton and Ipswich Campuses.

7.3  While these committees are specifically related to equity and diversity, it is the responsibility of all committees within the University to be mindful of diversity issues.

Custodians
Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Professor Alan Rix

Guidelines

Equity and Diversity - Guidelines

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1.  Purpose and Objectives

These guidelines outline key areas for consideration in implementing the principles contained within the Equity and Diversity Policy.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

EDSW – Senate Standing Committee for Equity, Diversity and the Status of Women

3.  Guidelines Scope/Coverage

These guidelines are relevant for staff and students of the University and provide information on key aspects to be considered in regard to embedding equity and diversity in day-to-day practise.

4.  Guidelines Statement

Embedding equity and diversity in all areas of the University's operations is a fundamental principle reflected in The University of Queensland Equity and Diversity Plan and stated in recommendations arising from the Review of The Equity Office (2010).  These guidelines are based upon leading practice and will assist in meeting The University's goals in this area.

5.  Key Implementation Areas

5.1 Planning

The UQ Equity and Diversity Plan 2010 - 2014  http://www.uq.edu.au/equity/docs/UQ%20Equity%20and%20Diversity%20Plan.pdf details what the University is trying to achieve in terms of equity and diversity, and sets out identified key priorities. Organisational units of the University should consider this strategic plan when developing their operational plans.

Reference should be made to data available on the University's Reportal https://mis-xi-web.mis.admin.uq.edu.au/InfoViewApp/logon.jsp  and to relevant information provided on The Equity Office website http://www.uq.edu.au/equity/ .

5.2 Committees

The Senate Standing Committee for Equity, Diversity and the Status of Women (EDSW) addresses equity and diversity issues within The University of Queensland. This committee currently has three subcommittees:

  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity and Indigenous Australians (CALDIA) Subcommittee;
  • Disability Subcommittee; and
  • Gender Equity Subcommittee.

Terms of reference and membership are available from The Equity Office website http://www.uq.edu.au/equity/. Students and staff are represented on the parent committee and each of its subcommittees.  Staff and students are encouraged to raise relevant issues with these representatives or any other member of the committees.

Other ad hoc equity and diversity committees have been established at the University including at the Ipswich and Gatton campuses.

While these committees are specifically related to equity and diversity, it is the responsibility of all committees within the University to be mindful of equity and diversity issues

Committee Chairs should endeavour to compose committees

  • with a gender balance (with at least 25% representation from the minority gender); and
  • that reflect the broad diversity of the University community (eg ethnicity, age, disability);

and ensure that they, and committee members, have attended relevant staff development (for example, recruitment and selection, equity and diversity-related programs).

When bodies external to the University are invited to nominate members to Faculty Boards and other relevant major University committees, they should be asked to note the University's interest in increasing the proportion of women on its decision-making bodies and be invited to consider nominating women with relevant experience, as well as men. 

5.3 Inclusive language and images

The University requires the use of inclusive language and images. Inclusiveness ensures

  • a diversity of cultures, genders, perspectives and experiences are represented; and
  • an absence of stereotypes, discrimination or harassment.

The Equity Office has developed a Guide to Using Inclusive Language, which is available from its website. Inclusive language assists respectful communication about and between people from diverse backgrounds.

Teaching and staff development materials, publications and websites should ensure that where people are featured, there is a diversity of images (for example, gender, cultural background, age, disability) and stereotypes are avoided.

5.4 Inclusive curriculum and assessment

University staff should ensure that curriculum and teaching and learning practice is inclusive in relation to

  • teaching and learning for students; and
  • staff development.

In addition, curriculum should reflect the University's commitment to providing its graduates with ‘ethical and social understanding’:

  • an understanding of social and civic responsibility;
  • an appreciation of the philosophical and social contexts of a discipline;
  • a knowledge and respect of ethics and ethical standards in relation to a major area of study; and
  • a knowledge of other cultures and times and an appreciation of cultural diversity (see PPL 3.10.05 Graduate Attributes).

In assessment, where practical, the examiner should not be aware of the student's identity. It is recognised that there are some instances where this cannot occur (e.g., oral examinations, very small classes) (see PPL 3.10.02 Assessment).

In some instances, an alternative academic program may be required for a student with a disability (see PPL 3.50.08 Alternative Academic Arrangements for Students with a Disability).  This will be incorporated within a student's Student Access Plan.

Custodians
Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Professor Alan Rix
Custodians
Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Professor Alan Rix