Tag Archives: Events

New Strategic Planning Workshop!

We are excited to announce two new strategic planning workshops delivered by Rachel Tobbell, to help staff think about their career plans:

“Am I adrift, or do I have a plan? A workshop to help busy people to think strategically about their career.”

This interactive workshop provides ‘time out’ for busy people to focus on their own situation and develop some goals for the future, taking a strategic approach. In a mutually supportive environment, we start by discussing ourselves – mapping our own strengths and preferences and how these fit against our current work situation. We then envision our ideal job, distilling from this vision aspects and features of work make us happy and provide a sense of fulfilment. The workshop finishes by asking delegates to think where they would like to be in 2 years’ time and to set some achievable goals. The session combines individual reflection, pair work and group discussion.

Lunch will be provided.

There are two separate workshops for professional staff and academic staff. Signup links below:

  • Professional Staff: 13th February, 2019. 12-2pm. RIDB1.2.04A, Ridley Building 1, 2nd Floor, Faculty of Medical Sciences.
    Sign up here.
  • Academic Staff: 28th February, 2019. 12-2pm. Seminar Room L2.8, Leech Building, Faculty of Medical Sciences.
    Sign up here.

Places are limited, so be sure to sign up quickly!

FMS EDI Week Programme: 21st-25th January 2019

FMS is holding its very first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Week – why not come along and get involved?

We are holding the Faculty’s first EDI Week for our staff and students to celebrate our recent Athena SWAN Silver Award for our work towards gender equality. There will be a range of activities and events that not only reflect on our recent achievement, but consider where we go from here in order to provide more inclusive work and study environments that give everyone equal opportunity to succeed.

Take a look at what is on, and book early! We hope to see you at one of our events!


21st January:

  • Why does EDI matter? – 12-1pm, The Boardroom
    We launch the week by hearing from members of the senior leadership team about why EDI is important to our Faculty and the people who work and study here. Read more and register.
  • EDI and TechNET – 1-2pm, The Boardroom
    Members of our technicians network talk about how EDI is central to the work that they do both in the Faculty and across the University. Read more and register.
  • How to embed EDI in the Professional Pathway? – 2-3pm, The Boardroom
    Our Director of Faculty Operations, Katharine Rogers, will talk about the new professional pathway and how EDI is being embedded into its development. Read more and register.

22nd January:

  • EDI at NUMed Malaysia – 10-11am, Leech L2.9
    Come and meet Chris Baldwin, CEO and Provost at NUMed, to find out more about their approach to EDI in Malaysia. Read more and register.
  • Mindfulness – 12.30-1.30pm, Leech L2.8
    An introductory session led by our very own Michael Atkinson. Read more and register.
  • EDI Bites: What is Athena SWAN? – 12-1pm, The Boardroom
    Our EDI Team explains what Athena SWAN is, what our Silver Award means, and what our plans are for progressing gender equality over the next four years. Read more and register.
  • Athena SWAN: An institutional perspective – 3-4pm, The Boardroom
    Judith Rankin, the Dean of EDI, will talk about the university’s application for a Silver Award renewal, which will be submitted in April. Read more and register.

23rd January:

  • EDI design principles for FMS  – 12-2pm, Colin Ingram Seminar Room (IoN)
    Jane Richards and the Good to Great (G2G) Team hold an interactive session to hear your views about how EDI should guide FMS in the future. Read more and register.
  • Why should we become conscious of our Unconscious Biases? – 2-3pm, Leech L2.2
    Tom Smulders and the IoN EDI Team run an introductory session about unconscious bias and how to combat it. Read more and register.

24th January:

  • EDI Lunchtime Fair – 12-2pm, the Atrium/Entrance to the Medical School
    For staff and postgraduates to find out more about different networks, mentoring schemes, support for wellbeing, and get a chance to speak to EDI representatives. Light bites provided. Please register your interest for catering purposes.
  • Athena SWAN Celebration & Unveiling – 12.45, Entrance to the Medical School
    The Pro-Vice Chancellor of FMS, David Burn, will unveil the Faculty’s Athena SWAN Silver Award to mark the achievement that the award represents.

25th January:

  • ‘For Families’ Launch Event  – 10.30am-12pm, David Shaw Lecture Theatre
    Event jointly hosted by NU Women and NU Parents to launch NU’s new family-friendly initiative, update on its progress, set out plans for the future and take feedback and questions. Read more and register.
  • Friday Fizz and Feedback – 4-5pm, The Atrium
    Join the Faculty EDI team for a glass of celebratory fizz and tell us what you thought of our first EDI Week, or what you’d like to see next year at EDI Week 2020! Bucks fizz and non-alcoholic sparkling provided. Register your interest for catering purposes here.

FMS EDI Week 21st-25th January – save the date!

FMS will be holding its very first EDI Week from the 21st – 25th of January – why not get involved?

The week is firstly to celebrate our successes so far, with the unveiling of our Athena SWAN silver award, which recognises our achievements in promoting and progressing gender equality for all staff and students. However, as well as reflecting how far we have come, we will also be thinking about what we would like to achieve, and will be running a number of events and activities that staff and students can get involved with.

Although we are still confirming some events (final programme to be announced early January), we have some already pencilled in and you can get the times into your diary now!

21st January:

  • Launch Event – 12-1pm,
    “Why does EDI matter?” – hear from staff about why EDI matters to them.
  • EDI and the Professional Pathway – 2-3pm,
    Katherine Rogers, Director of Faculty Operations

22nd January:

  • EDI Bitesize: “What is Athena SWAN?” – 2-3pm
    Candy Rowe, Director of EDI for FMS will explain what Athena SWAN is and what it means for the Faculty.
  • Athena SWAN Silver for Newcastle University – 3-4pm
    Judith Rankin, Dean of Diversity will talk about the work currently going on to renew the University’s institutional Silver Athena SWAN Award.
  • Wellbeing Session – lunchtime (TBC)
    Session hosted by Michael Atkinson on mindfulness.

23rd January:

  • EDI Design Principles for FMS  – 12-2pm
    Jane Richards and the Good to Great (G2G) Team will run a session about embedding EDI into faculty working in the future.

24th January:

  • EDI Fair – 12-2pm
    A fair to showcase information and get a chance to speak to the EDI Team, representatives from different staff/PGR networks, and the ECR Mentoring Scheme.
  • Athena SWAN Celebration & Unveiling – lunchtime (TBC)
    PVC of FMS, David Burn, will unveil the Faculty’s Athena SWAN Silver Award and celebrate the incredible work and achievement the award symbolises.

25th January:

  • ‘For Families’ Launch Event  – 10am – 12pm
    Event jointly hosted by NU Women and NU Parents. It will provide information on NU’s new family-friendly initiative, update on progress, set out plans for the future and take feedback and questions.

Visible yet Hidden: Are staff working in EDI roles within Higher Education sufficiently rewarded and recognised?

Malasree Home (Athena SWAN Officer, FMS EDI Team):

We all want to be recognised and rewarded for the work that we do, irrespective of the role that we are in.

I’ve been the Faculty’s Athena SWAN Officer for 18 months, and in that time, I’ve become interested in how staff who lead and manage EDI initiatives and projects are recognised, and the impact that this may ultimately have on the success of EDI projects (for example Charter Mark applications), the continuation of EDI teams, and the actual embedding of real cultural change within an organisation.

Scholarly research suggests that recognising, rewarding, and valuing staff can enhance productivity, yet rewarding EDI contributions are perhaps even more challenging than most in a Higher Education context. While, on the one hand, EDI roles demand certain niche skills and training, on the other hand, they often sit outside a specific job description, or are not aligned to promotion criteria. Nevertheless, they are crucial to delivering changes to culture, policies and practices that support any university’s ambition to provide inclusive environments for the benefits of staff and students.

Along with my colleague, Louise Jones (the E&D Advisor in the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering), I ran a workshop at this year’s Advance HE’s annual EDI Conference in Liverpool around reward and recognition for those in diversity roles – we called it ‘Visible yet Hidden’, hoping to capture some of problems that diversity professionals face. Organisations focus on the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) agenda and promote its importance, but anecdotal evidence suggests that they are less upfront and eager to recognise and value staff who are involved in supporting this agenda through their day-to-day roles and responsibilities, or by being involved in charter mark applications.

Before the conference, we tested the waters by running a snap survey using the mailing list for all those involved in Athena SWAN nationally, and ran the same survey for EDI leads at Newcastle University as well. The survey clearly struck a chord, and we were not prepared for the volume of responses – we received a total of 121 responses, most of whom were female (82%) and in professional support or administrative roles (60%). The results raised some interesting issues, which we presented at the workshop to a very engaged audience.

It was clear that organisations are broadening the remit of diversity roles – very few of the respondents had a specific ‘Athena SWAN’ tag attached to their role descriptors – however, the majority (74%) still retained standard organisational titles (HR Advisor/Project Manager/Lecturer/Senior Lecturer). This raises a lot of questions. To what extent is EDI perceived as an ‘add-on’ to existing roles? If they are not part of the original Job Description, are organisations ensuring that their staff have enough protected time to fulfil these roles? Organisations, especially universities, therefore do need to pay heed to resourcing for broadening the agenda.

The survey also revealed that the majority of EDI roles were junior or middle stage career positions (78%) with possibly very limited power to make changes through organisational decision making processes. Only 22% described themselves as having senior positions within the organisation. If these roles are meant to be the drivers for change, is this small percentage really enough to bring about real cultural change?

Recognition for these roles is linked to their career progression, and the respondents identified some major challenges here. While a large proportion of respondents (74%) felt that they had amassed a huge number of transferrable skills in their role, the majority felt that those were not recognised by current and potential employers, and 46% were unable to identify their next career move from their current role.

This was not helped by the fact that the majority of respondents (74%) had received no external or internal awards for doing their job well. Some organisations had awards for staff who contributed to EDI above and beyond their roles, but staff working in diversity roles did not appear eligible for these awards. A member of the audience asked a wonderful (and telling) question which made the penny drop for many in the room – “would you refrain from nominating someone for a ‘teaching’ or ‘best supervisor’ award just because they were in a teaching or supervisory role?”

Many respondents saw that EDI was important to their employer – a massive 70% said that it was important to their organisation. Yet only 40% of respondents felt that THEY were valued in their roles, with 28% stating that they did not feel valued at all. I think the audience agreed that we now had some numbers to quantify what we had known anecdotally so far!

However, this workshop was not all about doom and gloom, but about a way forward. And in true testament to the skills that all diversity professionals pick up, Louise gave a wonderful overview about what organisations and individuals could do to address this scenario, energising the audience again!

We hope that ultimately, strategic organisations in Higher Education, like Advance HE, will pick up the baton and become a platform where professionals working in diversity roles can connect with mentors in other organisations to improve career progression opportunities, ensuring that this research has long-lasting and meaningful impact.

This workshop was part of a larger project funded through the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Funds (EDIF), an internal funding scheme available to all staff and students to promote engagement with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda at Newcastle University. You can read about other EDIF projects here.

We will be running a number of focus groups for staff at Newcastle University (Academic and Professional) in the New Year to further explore the issues identified through the preliminary survey. If you are a member of staff at Newcastle University, and would like to participate in these groups, please contact me directly at malasree.home@newcastle.ac.uk.

International Men’s Day Talk: Professor Ian Banks

To celebrate International Men’s Day (Monday 19th November), the Institute of Health and Society are hosting our very first International Men’s Day event. The event will be a talk and discussion with Professor Ian Banks on men’s health, entitled “Does the Y chromosome seriously damage your health?”

Every year, on the 19th of November, International Men’s Day is celebrated by over 60 countries around the world. It gives us all an opportunity to think about men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.

It encourages people of all genders to come together and celebrate men and boys in all their diversity, but also to consider how we can work to address issues facing males today, such as:

  • The high male suicide rate
  • The challenges faced by boys and men at all stages of education including attainment
  • The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (for instance, homeless men, boys in care and the high rate of male deaths in custody)
  • Male victims of violence, including sexual violence
  • The challenges faced by men as parents, particularly new fathers and separated fathers
  • Male victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based crime, stalking and slavery
  • The negative portrayal of men, boys and fathers
  • Men’s health, shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths

It is this final issue which is the focus of Professor Ian Banks’ talk on the 19th November. He will examine some of the myths surrounding men’s health, including the question of what is “avoidable” male death and ill health, and the reasons for the huge variation in morbidity and mortality between women and men, and also between men themselves.

Prof Banks is an A&E doctor and a GP. He’s also the BMA’S official spokesman on men’s health issues, president of the European Men’s Health Forum and former president of the England & Wales Men’s Health Forum. He has written numerous books, including the Haynes Workshop Manuals on men, women, babies, and sex, and he was the Medical Editor for The Men’s Health Magazine for six years.

The talk is at 12.30 – 2.00pm on Monday 19th November in L2.8 of the Medical School.

It is open to all members of staff, regardless of gender, and will appeal to anyone interested in male or female health, as well as those who wants to show their support for International Men’s Day. Tea and coffee will be provided. Please register to attend here.