Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group
EDI Steering Group
The University has established an EDI Steering Group to advance the delivery of the ambitions, and the wider priorities as set out in the EDI Strategy.
Recognising the criticality of a mainstreamed approach to EDI, the Steering Group will provide leadership, insight and perspective in relation to all aspects of the institution’s EDI Strategy, and the wider EDI environment within Northern Ireland.
EDI Strategy (2019 - 2022)
The University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy provides a framework for the delivery of EDI, in support of the University’s 5&50 Strategic Plan, the wider People and Culture Strategy and the University’s Equality Scheme.
Further to statutory requirements relating to policy development, the EDI Strategy places diversity and inclusion at the heart of our culture, supporting us in our endeavours to reflect the society we serve, and providing a barometer for excellence. The EDI Strategy has three core strategic ambitions.
EDI Steering Group Membership
Chaired by Professor Odette Hutchinson, the Group consists of representation from across the University, tracking delivery of our EDI Action Plan.
Our members are:
Representative from Contract Research Staff
I am a Research Fellow in the School of Biomedical Sciences and I lead all research activities related to the Seychelles Child Development Study within the Nutrition, Toxicology and Child Development research group in NICHE.
I have been employed on a series of fixed term contracts since 2009 and therefore feel I am well placed to represent contract research staff on the EDI Steering Group.
I have been part of the School of BMS Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team since 2014 and am a member of the Research Concordat.
I am particularly interested in supporting this group of staff to ensure that fair terms of employment are implemented without any form of discrimination.
I am willing to assist with any activities required of the steering group including any data collection/analysis amongst contract staff.
I have experience in data collection by survey and focus group.
Director of Employability & Careers (joined Ulster Uni in 2009)
My interest in EDI is about understanding the protected characteristics and behaviours that encourage us all to go beyond compliance in how we demonstrate respect for individual differences. My specific interest is around students accessing opportunities for success such as being able to get involved in co-curricular activity and reducing barriers to access.
I am specifically interested in ensuring that we are inclusive in how we engage and support the diversity of our student community across all study modes.
I welcome our ambition 'to go beyond compliance' at every stage of the learning and employability journey. My interest extends to support the development of graduate qualities/attributes that challenge students to be respectful of themselves and others throughout their time at University and in future professional practice.
I would like to support the EDI agenda through collaborative development of Ulster’s graduate qualities to help enrich and transform our practice.
Finally, I am keen to engage with the networks and listen to others as we seek to more fully understand different perspectives and the challenges that people face.
Coming together as a steering group has been a powerful decision which indicates commitment from the university in this important space.
Chair – Staff Disability Network
Anne-Marie Black, Databases & eResources Librarian. Co-Chair Staff Disability Network. AT UU since February 1988. Has a disability and Co-Chair of SDN but also interested in Women’s and BAME rights. Hopes to have some influence on UU approach and commitment to these issues.
Interim Dean Academic Business Development: student recruitment; global online education; widening access and participation; compliance; prospectus; academic approvals; academic policies; widening access is an educational equality and opportunity function that I lead for the University.
Chief People Officer
I joined the University as Director of People and Culture in February 2018, and was appointed to the role of Chief People Officer in December 2020.
Prior to joining Ulster University I was the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and spent 13 years working within the Health and Social Care sector. I also have 18 years within the Northern Ireland Civil Service, working at various junior and senior grades across a number of Government Departments including the Social Security Agency, Child Support Agency and Department of Health.
As Chief People Officer, I have lead responsibility for the University’s EDI strategy, and achieving this strategy requires each of us to play a role in championing and supporting positive outcomes for everyone. As staff and students, the strategy both applies to us all and is owned by us all.
We maintain our commitment to meeting all statutory requirements in relation to EDI – such as our ‘Equality Scheme’, our ‘Disability Action Plan’ and our ‘Article 55 Affirmative Action Programme’ - but the strategy seeks to go further than compliance - placing diversity and inclusion at the heart of our culture, supporting us in our endeavours to reflect the society we serve, and providing a barometer for excellence.
Representative from Vice Chancellor’s Office
Director of Vice-Chancellor’s Office. Worked at Ulster since 2016.
Previously worked as a Marcomms Director for Construction Industry Training Board. Representing all of GB Construction industry.
Have extensive knowledge of BAME & gender issues within that industry and developing campaigns and policy to tackle these.
Participating as the Vice-Chancellor’s representative to ensure that the University is committed to supporting this area.
Chair – LGBTQ Network
Dr Gail Neill is a Lecturer in the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences. She is the Programme Director for a Fast Track Community Youth Work degree programme alongside which she teaches and convenes undergraduate and post graduate modules. Her teaching interests include critical thinking; support and supervision; reflective practice; mentoring and gender and diversity.
Gail has been a member of the Community Youth Work team at Ulster for 4 years. Prior to this move to academia she worked within the voluntary and community sector, as a youth work practitioner. Her career in this field spans 20 years and reflects her research and practice interests in gender and sexual (in)equalities; lobbying, campaigning and grass roots youth activism; and participatory research.
Gail’s research interest and commitment to gender equality is further reflected in her engagement with a range of UU networks and steering groups. She is the lead of the recently formed, LGBT+ staff network and represents this group on the Network Leads sub-group. She is also a member on the EDI Steering Group and the Institutional Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team (ISAT).
Chair – BAME Network
I am an academic in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. I lecture across various levels and across different disciplines in the School of Engineering, and do my research in the School of Computing, in the Artificial Intelligence Research Centre, where I am Head of the Mixed Augmented and Virtual Reality Research Laboratory.
I serve as member of Boards of several educational and professional bodies in UK, Europe, USA and Africa.
I help out with academic development of programmes in other universities internationally and I am the African Laser Centre Representative in Europe.
I have been in the university for more than 17 years since 2004. I have experience in EDI and track record in related initiatives. I have served as Chair of the Multicultural Resource Centre (MCRC-NI), African Cultural Centre, African Development Organisation and other groups in Northern Ireland and Abroad. I was the Head of the Task Force on European Cooperation with Africa for SEFI (European Society of Engineering Education).
I support EDI by utilising the long years of experience to inform development of ideas and programmes to elicit areas that require attention and promoting good relations amongst individuals and groups in the university.
As Chair of Ulster University BAME Network, I ensure outputs of the Network’s groups and activities are fed into the work of EDI SG to inform policy development and implementation directed at achieving success with the EDI strategy.
Representative from Faculty (UUBS)
Professor of Accounting Lecturing/Research 11 years’ experience of EDI:
- Research Project: Gender Equality at senior levels of the NI Public Sector; Gender Budgeting
- Research Project: Gender Budgeting in Northern Ireland: Developing Capacity and Competence
- N.I. Public Appointments, member of Public Appointments Forum (for a number of years) - tasked with addressing lack of gender/diversity on public sector boards; Independent Assessor, Public Appointments NI - act as Gender/Diversity Champion
- Gender Champion, UUBS Athena SWAN
Representative from Faculty (AHSS)/Co-Chair Athena Swan Institutional Committee
Academic with significant responsibility: Teaching, supervision and research.
Involved in faculty and university committees and groups for research and Athena Swan. Director of a RCUK funded doctoral training partnership.
Been employed by the university since late 1980s , permanent since 1992 in fractional fte and full time academic roles.
Specific interest in research, REF (sub panel member) ‘decolonising’ the curriculum, Athena Swan, especially in Arts and Humanities subjects.
Supporting the EDI in researcher recruitment, research project development, researcher SSR processes including mentoring and developing new supervisors.
Representative from Marketing and Communications
Lynsay Spence, Head of Campaigns and Creative Services, joined the university in April 2020.
My interested involvement is to support my team as well as to support promoting the university as an employer and working environment that is dedicated to inclusivity.
Been with UU since October 2019
I am a keen advocate of all EDI matters and have worked throughout all of my career with marginalised groups, advocating for them and developing policies and projects to support them.
Worked in London for 23 years. Mainly in the voluntary sector and developed services for homeless young people, women with HIV/AIDS, LGBT women, young people in the criminal justice system, young people with substance use issues.
I have always campaigned for LGBT and BAME rights through my career and in my personal life. In my current role at UU, I continue to be passionate about everyone’s rights and making our services as accessible as possible.
I am a member of the EDI subgroup on disability.
Trade Union - UCU
I am Dr Mark Bailey.
I am a Senior Lecturer in Economics & Course Director of the Economics & Business Economics programmes and also a UCU Committee member.
I have been working at UU for 20 years. I am interested specifically in disability and LGBT issues.
I am the Deputy Director of People and Culture (Employee Experience).
I have responsibility for four teams:
- Health, Safety and Wellbeing
- Organisational Design
- People Development
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
I first took the role on in May 2018.
My interest in EDI focuses on how the university can better create an environment for students and staff alike which is aligned to the core values of the institution - values which include inclusion.
I will continue to champion all elements of the EDI 'agenda' in what I do and the way that I do it.
People Partner employed at the University for +3 years, with a real interest in supporting the EDI agenda through fair and consistent recruitment practices to ensure equality of opportunity as one of my core values is to guarantee everyone is treated fairly.
I am Mary Hannon-Fletcher a professor in Biomedical Science.
I joined the university as a researcher in 1999, then moved to lecturer in 2003.
I was Head of School of Health Science from 2011-2017, then returned to BMS. I have engaged with EDI since the first Athena Swan (AS) application September 2012. I have led the AS agenda at university level, currently I am the University and Faculty of Life and Health Science, AS champion.
I have extensive experience reviewing AS applications and supporting schools and universities with their applications.
I am a member of the UK Athena Swan Governance Committee. I intend to continue to support EDI in whatever area needed, promotion of actions already taken and improvements across the University in the future .
Assistant Director and Head of Global Opportunities and Experience
Global Opportunites and Experience *
Representative from Faculty (LHS)
I am Neal Cook, a professor and current Associate Head of School of Nursing.
Alongside being a professor, with a strong focus on education and practice learning, I am a registered nurse and specialist practitioner in neurosciences and critical care. Person-centred practice is at the core of what I do and I was the Chair of the School Athena SWAN SAT for our successful Silver award.
I have worked at the University for 19 years and as part of my teaching, I have taught on sexuality and gender issues as part of professional modules.
I believe strongly in valuing people of all sexual orientations and genders and am a passionate advocate in this area.
I also believe in valuing cultural diversity and the richness it brings to all aspects of life. As a registered nurse,
I have a very strong value base for anti-discriminatory practices. I am a Faculty representative on the group, an advocate, and I intend to be proactive in EDI matters
Representative from Faculty (CEBE)
Neil Hewitt, HoS BSABE and CST Director - Delivery of academic plan within BSABE and a research lead in energy.
30 years at Ulster University and I have always engaged with international students, and so want to expand on that experience.
Trade Union - UNITE
I have worked as a research technician in LHS, Ulster University since 2000, supporting the research groups within the School of Biomedical Science.
I am the Chair/Equality Officer for Unite the Union for 8 years and a member of Unite Regional Women’s Committee.
I am also an ACAS trained mediator for the workplace for over 10 years and have years of experience listening & supporting my colleagues through difficult and challenging times.
Dr Roisín Curran, Interim Head of The Centre for HE Research and Practice (CHERP).
CHERP is an influencer and contributor to institutional understanding and change in L&T and as a central resource, provides expertise and development by a skilled body of committed staff.
We value building and nurturing communities of practice and prioritise inclusive approaches to development founded on proactivity, pedagogic expertise, and evidence-based practice.
I am Sandra Moffett, Head of Department of Global Business and Enterprise, Magee campus.
I have worked for the University for 21 years - 19 with CEBE and 2 with UUBS.
I am a Reader in Business Analytics.
I am interested in the EDI role as I believe in equality and inclusion for all.
We need diversity in the workplace and I embrace being able to support and work with people from all backgrounds.
I will contribute to supporting the EDI agenda in any way I can, at departmental, Faculty, campus and University levels.
My name is Yan Liu. I am the Director of Confucius Institute at Ulster University.
I have been employed at the University for 8 years.
I am interested in Culture Diversity.
I will try my best to support the EDI agenda on this area.
I am Claire Nevin, Clerical Support Assistant for EDI and Wellbeing Champion within the University. I have 16+ years’ experience supporting the EDI agenda at Ulster University.
While I advocate for all equality characteristics and the intersectionality of these, my specific interest relates to Disability Equality. I am Co-Chair of the University’s Staff Disability Network and have been a member of the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks since its inception in 2014.
I am also a member of the University’s Wo/Men’s Network, LGBT+ Network, BAME Network and Employee Experience Panel.