BU fully recognises that equality, diversity and inclusion are critical to our success and excellence in research, teaching and learning. Plans for achieving gender equality are embedded within a range of procedures, initiatives and action plans.

How Bournemouth University complies with the mandatory requirements for a GEP

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The GEP must be a formal document published on the institution’s website, signed by the top management and actively communicated within the institution. It should demonstrate a commitment to gender equality, set clear goals and detailed actions and measures to achieve them.

BU became a member of the Athena Swan charter in September 2012 and holds an Athena Swan Bronze Award. During the summer of 2015, BU signed the new Athena Swan Charter, which committed the university to meeting ten key principles within its policies, practices, action plans and culture.

The Athena Swan Charter, managed by Advance HE, is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research. The Charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

This demonstrates our commitment to gender equality and provides us with an action plan against which we measure our progress and success. Our work supports the University’s BU2025 vision and our core values of excellence, creativity, responsibility and, in particular, inclusivity.

BU’s most recent Athena Swan application (pdf, 2.6mb) was signed by the Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney and the Chair of the Board Professor Richard Conder.

BU also became a member of the Race Equality Charter in 2016. It is an initiative, also managed by Advance HE, that aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

Dedicated resources

A GEP must have dedicated resources and expertise in gender equality to implement the plan. Organisations should consider what type and volume of resources are required to support an ongoing process of sustainable organisational change.

BU has a dedicated leadership and governance structure to support implementation and monitoring of equality and diversity related matters.

The Equality and Diversity Committee (EDC) is responsible for promoting, developing and embedding BU’s strategic commitment to equality and diversity. We have an Athena Swan Steering Group and an institutional Swan Self-Assessment Team.

Each Faculty has an Athena Swan representative who is selected through an open appointment process. Each Department has at least one Swan Lead responsible for chairing a Departmental Swan Self-Assessment Team. This role is included in the University’s workload allocation model.

Data collection and monitoring

Organisations must collect sex/ gender disaggregated data on personnel (and students, for the establishments concerned) with annual reporting based on indicators. Organisations should consider how to select the most relevant indicators, how to collect and analyse the data, including resources to do so, and should ensure that data is published and monitored on an annual basis. This data should inform the GEP’s objectives and targets, indicators, and ongoing evaluation of progress.

We provide gender-disaggregated baseline data on an annual basis to the Departmental Swan Leads and Chairs of the Swan groups. This data is used to monitor progress against actions, identify issues, and develop future actions.

We have an embedded Equality Analysis Procedure that sets clear expectations about equality monitoring and clarifies the responsibility of the University and its staff to ensure ongoing due regard to equality and diversity in accordance with the requirements of the Equality Act. It outlines a process for undertaking Equality Analysis as a tool that enables positive change. The responsibility for undertaking Equality Analysis is devolved to Faculties and Professional Services, with nominated decision-makers appointed by Executive Deans and Directors of Professional Services. Responsibility for the procedure is held by the Chief Operating Officer, who is a member of the BU Board. Records are kept of the information gathered, the completed analysis and the decision taken. Data is published and monitored on an annual basis.


The GEP must also include awareness-raising and training actions on gender equality. These activities should engage the whole organisation and be an evidence-based, ongoing and long-term process. Activities should cover unconscious gender biases training aimed at staff and decision-makers and can also include communication activities and gender equality training that focuses on specific topics or addresses specific groups.

BU is committed to both the elimination of unlawful discrimination and the positive promotion and celebration of equality and diversity. The University supports its staff by offering training that tackles issues of inequality and reduces the risk of gender, race or other discrimination when making decisions.

BU provides an effective and professional training across the university. It has invested in an eLearning resource called ‘Diversity in the Workplace.’ There is a mandatory requirement for staff to complete this development, which helps staff and students to develop understanding of equality and diversity issues. In addition, there are dedicated webpages on equality, diversity and inclusion on the BU staff intranet.

Unconscious bias development is available to staff and students. This is a mandatory requirement for those involved in evaluating merit and performance, for example, those involved in recruitment and selection (including promotion panels) and research assessment.

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