Higher education (HE) in the UK continues to prioritise equality (or equity), diversity and inclusion (EDI), but stark inequalities still exist, and non-inclusive cultures persist. We have created the Equality Pledge (EP) scheme which empowers HE staff to contribute to positive culture change by making a personal pledge to improve some aspect of EDI in their working lives. We encouraged staff to each set a manageable pledge, either individually or as a team, so as not to increase already high workloads. Staff recorded their pledges on an online form, and six-monthly updates were requested to capture impact, progress and feedback on the initiative. We recorded over 260 pledges from staff in the Faculty, aiming to tackle issues around teaching and learning, working practices, self-development, admissions, marketing and other issues. Over 100 staff have now recorded progress updates, which reveal significant impact. The EPs have also led to a significant increase in dialogue around EDI and, we believe, the beginning of a positive shift in culture. Within our own university, other faculties are now beginning to roll-out the EP. This initiative has relevance across HE and other sectors. It is a practical intervention to facilitate positive culture change.



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Equity in Education and Society



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Peninsula Medical School