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UCL Engineering's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter
Welcome to the March Engineering EDI Newsletter!

In this issue:
Questions, comments, or concerns? Feel free to reach out to Johanna Novales, EDI Coordinator, or Vanessa Diaz, Vice Dean, EDI.
From the Vice Dean's office
We hope this newsletter finds you and yours as well as can be expected right now. While there is hope brought by the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, we know that 2021 is still a very challenging year for many in our community.

We want to reiterate the message from UCL's new Pro-Vice Provost (Equity and Inclusion), Professor Sasha Roseneil: "good enough" is good enough right now. We are all struggling to balance personal and professional responsibilities at a time that continues to truly test our resilience and health (mental and physical). We ask all staff to keep bringing kindness and understanding into our relationships with colleagues.

There's lots to read in this issue, so we'll just mention two more things:
  • We are really excited that our new EDI seminar series, Engineering EDI Brown Bag, is launching on 10 March. This series will highlight Faculty research linked to EDI and we're kicking things off with a talk from UCL Engineering School of Management's Felix Danbold. Please do register and join us!
  • We've launched our new training series, Bite-Size EDI. Short sessions on topics such as microaggressions are now available -- please contact us to bring them to your team.

Dates for the diary
In the Faculty
Engineering EDI Brown Bag seminar series launching 10 March

Felix Danbold - Defining Who We Are: The Impact of Social Categorization on Diversity
10 March, 12:00-13:00

 
Join us for our inaugural EDI Brown Bag seminar -- a chance to learn about UCL Engineering research linked to equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Bring your lunch!

We're kicking things off with Felix Danbold, whose talk is entitled: Defining Who We Are: The Impact of Social Categorization on Diversity.

Felix Danbold is an Assistant Professor in the Organisations and Innovation group of UCL School of Management. Prior to joining UCL, Felix received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed a postdoc at NYU Stern School of Business. His research has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organization Science, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, among others. Felix' research focuses on understanding how people make sense of the complex social world around them, and what organizations can do to increase the acceptance of diversity.

Register to attend here.

Future sessions:
Does your research relate to EDI? Want to tell us about it at a future Brown Bag? Get in touch!

 


Bite-Size EDI trainings now available

Bite-Size EDI is a new series of short trainings launching in the Faculty. If you’d like to book a session for your team, contact Johanna Novales. Currently available sessions include:
 
Respecting gender identity at work: a crash course in pronouns and titles
What are gender-neutral pronouns? What does cisgender mean? How do you pronounce ‘Mx’? And why does it matter at work? This session will talk about ways we can all be mindful of our colleagues, students, and visitors to UCL by taking a look at inclusive practice for using pronouns and titles in the workplace.
 
A Thousand Paper Cuts: Microaggressions at Work
What are microaggressions? What’s the big deal about them? Many of us have been both a target of microaggressions and a perpetrator. This session will take a look at what’s going on behind the scenes of these seemingly minor, momentary comments: what they mean, why they happen, and what we can do about them.

Asking about EDI in Recruitment Panels
Because we strive to make EDI part of the UCL Ways of Working, it’s natural that it should be discussed in recruitment panels. What are we really asking about when we query candidates on their involvement with, or thoughts on, EDI initiatives? What are useful questions to ask? What kinds of answers are we looking for? This briefing will help you think about how to best use EDI-related questions when your team is recruiting.
 
Future sessions will cover topics such as: setting EDI objectives in appraisals; handling critique and doing better; and fatphobia and weight bias. Is there a topic you’d really like to see a session on? Let us know.
 
Each issue, we’ll highlight EDI-related happenings in a different department in the Faculty. Want your department to be featured? Tell us your good news!
 
News from Computer Science:
EDI Spotlight on... Adella Forder-Gore
Who are you?
 
My name is Adella and I am a teaching and learning administrator, a trained mental health first-aider and I have a passion for cooking. I come from a mixed Caribbean and white British background, my mother is of mixed heritage, English and Bajan, whilst my father is also Bajan. I love how diverse heritage and backgrounds can be and enjoy learning about other cultures.
   
How long have you worked at UCL and in the Faculty?   
 
I have worked at UCL for 11 months now in the Faculty of Chemical Engineering, I am a Learning and Teaching administrator for Post Graduate Taught MSc students, also providing assistive support for my PHD and Undergraduate colleagues. 

My main areas of responsibility are Teaching & learning support for PGT students lifecycle, coursework submission and engagement monitoring with a focus on pastoral support. 
  
   
How did you initially get involved in EDI work here? How do you include EDI principles in your work?  
 
I was asked if I would be interested in joining the EDI working group and I jumped at the chance. I have never been given this opportunity before, so of course I said yes. In a University you work with many people from diverse backgrounds, it is important to take this into account when it comes to communication, understanding the needs of others and making sure everyone is treated fairly. 
  
   
What’s the biggest learning moment you’ve had so far doing this work?   
The biggest learning moment I have had so far, is that although we all have good intentions, it is important to make sure those intentions are discussed and reviewed thoroughly. As individuals, we will have similar and different views and therefore, we must come together as a group and work through these views efficiently to gain the best possible outcome for all. 
 
What’s your biggest hope for EDI-related matters in the Faculty over the next year?   
My biggest hope for EDI matters in the faculty is that all staff and students will undertake necessary training each year to improve or update their knowledge. I also hope for the future that we can run events involving staff and students to promote EDI and allow everyone to have involvement. 
 
 
What suggestions would you give others who are interested in becoming more involved, whether in their personal lives or work lives or both?  
I encourage everyone to take part if and when they can, we can all help to make a difference when the opportunity arises, and we can also make our own opportunities to make a change. The beauty of inclusion is that nobody should feel like they can’t or shouldn’t be a part of something.  
  
Do you have any recommendations for EDI news sources, blogs, podcasts, etc. we should be following? 
 
My top recommendations for EDI sources are:
  • Check out other universities to see what they are actioning in similar departments to where you work and overall as an institution. 
  • Eventbrite holds many different events. You can search for ‘equality and diversity’ and many different events will be accessible to you. Some events have a fee and others are free of charge. 
  • Linkedin has some great blogs too.  
Around UCL
Of interest elsewhere
  • The Disability Unit at the Cabinet Office is surveying disabled people to inform the National Strategy for Disabled People. The survey is open until 23 April 2021.
Food for thought
 
The Ally Track – Want to learn more about the different types of allies and how you can leverage your ally power at work? The BBC has you covered.
 
For academic publishing to be trans-inclusive, authors must be allowed to retroactively change their names – A persuasive blog from LSE.
 
Have news you'd like us to share in the next edition of this newsletter? Get in touch (j.novales@ucl.ac.uk or v.diaz@ucl.ac.uk).