The Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

The Society is committed to the principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. It is highlighted as an area of importance in the 2018-2022 strategy, is regularly discussed by Trustees, and is in the Terms of Reference for all Committees and Task Force Groups.

Promoting diversity, and ensuring true equality and inclusion, is a challenge not only facing this Society but the wider world; this brings a level of complexity that means a flexible approach within a framework may be the most appropriate. The Society recognises that the majority of our members are employed by institutions/organisations which have Equality and Inclusion policies and procedures that must be followed, so the scope of our work does not focus on some of the inequalities that may exist at a local level. Instead, The Society’s work strive towards promoting opportunities in a transparent and open way that are equal and accessible to all, raising awareness of the importance of diversity in physiology, and to nourish a community that is supportive of this diversity. To complement our efforts, we also support the broader conversation on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion led by the wider STEM community.

For the purpose of clarity, The Society considers the following areas to require particular support in terms of our aspirations of diversity and inclusivity: Sex, Sexual Orientation, Gender identity, Age, Ethnicity, Disability, Socio-economic background, and Religion.

Vision

The Society’s vision is to see Physiology Flourish. Council recognises that diversity and inclusion help to maximise innovation and creativity, both of which are fundamental to academic excellence and therefore achieving this vision.

The Society will champion diversity, promote inclusivity and strive for equality until it is fully inclusive and provides opportunities fairly and equally for all; this includes removing barriers to participation and promoting engagement that improves diversity of representation and participation in all of our endeavours.

To achieve this, and to support the broader conversation, the following Aims and Objectives have been highlighted:

Aims

  • To increase awareness of the benefits of diversity (both internally and externally), and the importance of robust Equal Opportunities data;
  • To identify and remove any potential barriers to encourage participation in all activities across The Society;
  • To remove barriers that face under-represented groups and encourage participation in all activities across The Society;
  • To champion inclusivity in the wider STEM community;
  • To create and operate as part of a fully inclusive and supportive organisation.

Objectives

  • Be open and transparent about our commitment with a visible statement;
  • Build a bank of case studies profiling members from under-represented groups to use internally and externally; these case studies will highlight not only personal journeys but also the benefits of diverse collaborations;
  • Monitor diversity data of our membership and engagement in activities;
  • Review Governance Structure with consideration given to diversity and inclusivity;
  • Facilitate staff engagement and training to ensure the commitment is embedded and there is shared accountability to achieve the aims;
  • Keep abreast of, and contribute to, best practice by proactively sharing experiences and lessons learned with other committed learned societies and like-minded organisations;
  • Support external bodies that champion inclusivity in the wider community.

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