This policy and action plan will guide and support members of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science in implementing best practice to support equal opportunity, diversity, and prevent discrimination within our workplace and the wider community. To remain relevant and appropriate, these documents will be regularly reviewed by the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee with feedback from the Exciton Science community.
The ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science is underpinned by a commitment to equal opportunity and diversity. We acknowledge that inequality exists in the scientific community and consequently in our Centre, in the application of science, and throughout the world.1,2 We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities, and a safe and respectful workplace free from discrimination. We expect our members to treat everyone in a respectful and inclusive manner, and to remove barriers of disadvantage, inside and outside the Centre. We aspire to contribute to positive change in our world both through how we work together and in our research and engagement.
Equity and diversity issues are wide ranging and include but are not limited to ethnicity, race, religion, colour, age, relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, carer responsibilities, socio-economic status, mental and physical health or disability, and nationality.
The student and staff body in the physical and mathematical sciences should reflect the diversity of the broader community. We recognise that respecting and promoting diversity not only facilitates a positive student and staff experience but is also linked to best practice in research and high-quality outcomes.3,4 Our vision is that all students and staff feel valued and encouraged to contribute their perspectives and talents to the Centre.
We have a leadership role in the move towards a more diverse and inclusive research community. We will work towards ensuring underrepresented and disadvantaged groups can overcome barriers to success and will promote equality of opportunity.
What We Mean by Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Equity – when everyone is treated fairly and impartially.
Diversity – having different attributes and backgrounds, which in turn means people with different skills, experiences and perspectives.
Inclusion – occurs when a range of people from diverse backgrounds and with varied skills feel valued and respected, have access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute their perspectives and talents to improving their organisation.
We aim to improve the culture of diversity and inclusion within the Centre by making changes in our workplaces, in the way we engage with the broader community, in our recruitment practices, and in how we manage and run Centre events.
In the workplace we will:
- Encourage staff and students to reflect on their own biases; without awareness it is difficult to make changes.
- Support flexible workplace practices such as alternative working hours and meeting times, video facilities, and working from home arrangements that enable members to mix paid work with carers responsibilities, cultural events, and religious celebrations.
- Promote inclusive and diverse leaders and leadership.
- Offer training and programs to support diversity.
- Ensure that all students and postdoctoral researchers are offered equal opportunity in leadership, mentoring and career opportunities.
- Provide mechanisms for complaints and support for anyone experiencing discrimination, harassment, or inappropriate behaviour.
In engaging with the community, we will:
- Design outreach activities to provide ample opportunities to underrepresented groups in the community, including but not limited to women and girls, Indigenous people, and those from economically disadvantaged or rural areas.
- Use inclusive language and images in our research communications to connect with a diverse audience.
- Make our diversity policy and plan available on the Exciton Science website for transparency and leadership.
In our recruitment processes we will:
- Increase the employment of members of underrepresented groups in Exciton Science.
- Use inclusive language in recruitment advertisements, including a statement of our commitment to equity, and offer flexible and family friendly workplace options.
- Ensure that selection panels and interview panels reflect the diversity in the community.
When organising Centre events we will:
- Acknowledge traditional ownership including reaching out to local Indigenous communities to open major events with Welcome to Country.
- Ensure organising committees, selection panels and speaker lists are composed of an appropriately diverse representation.
- Support carers to participate more fully in workshops, conferences and professional development.
- Respect diversity when scheduling event times/days and organising social activities.
Policies Underpinning the Centre’s Policy
Our five Research Nodes are also guided by their host institution’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policies. Where there is conflict between host institution and centre policies, the host institution will take precedence.
- Botella, C., Rueda, S., López-Iñesta, E., Marzal, P. (2019). Gender Diversity in STEM Disciplines: A Multiple Factor Problem. Entropy, 21, 30.
- Smith, R. (2002). Race, Gender, and Authority in the Workplace: Theory and Research. Annual Review of Sociology, 28, 509-542.
- Gomez, L. E. and Bernet, P. (2019). Diversity improves performance and outcomes. Journal of the National Medical Association, 111(4), 383-392.
- Díaz-García, C., González-Moreno, A., Sáez-Martínez, F. J. (2013) Gender diversity within R&D teams: its impact on radicalness of innovation. Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice, 15(2), 149-160.
Last update 25th of March, 2020.