EDI Engagement

Engagement on EDI issues helps us to understand the lived experiences of our staff, students, visitors and wider university community and to understand how we are doing in creating a fairer and more inclusive University. Here you will find information on our affinity networks for staff and students, on faculty EDI work and other sources of information to help understand EDI issues better.

Why Engagement is so important.

None of us can truly understand everyone's lived experiences and, without seeking to understand how people are affected differently by our plans, decisions and activities, we will not create a fairer and more inclusive University.

Why engage with others?

We need to be aware of our 'blind spots' when developing our plans, making decisions and carrying out activities and, where we have 'blind spots', we need to engage more widely. There is no real harm in not knowing when it comes to EDI, but plenty of harm in pretending you do know and not finding out more about any potential bias or barriers. Qualitative data, such as interviews, surveys and focus groups, can help to explain why numbers increase, decrease or remain unchanged, helping us to take action to increase diversity and embed inclusion. For more information on Quantative Data sources available check our EDI Data page.

If you would like to understand more about your 'blind spots':

When to engage?

Before asking others, think whether you can gain this information from sources already available to you, so that you don't overburden the groups of people you are seeking to support. This also helps prevent consultation fatigue, ensuring we only engage with others when we need to.

Consider what information is already available from your professional body or academic discipline outlining known barriers to inclusion, which will help inform your work.

Further resources on the impact on different groups of people are available below:

Who to engage?

For an understanding of any potential barriers to inclusion, you may need to engage more widely with particular affinity groups (an affinity group is a group formed around a shared interest or common goal) or involve a more diverse range of staff or students in your discussions about plans, decisions or activities. Details of affinity groups for staff and links to where to find out more about affinity groups for students are available in the Affinity Networks section below.

Remember when considering EDI issues and engaging with others, we need to remember that no-one fits neatly into one equality tick box, as we all hold multiple identities, e.g. female who is disabled, older Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) male. This is known as intersectionality. Think about how people with multiple identities may be affected differently too and consider this when engaging with others.

If you would like to understand why groups can make better decisions than individuals:

How to engage?

There are many methods for engaging and the right method will depend on the work you are doing. Always remember, if you are asking others to share their experiences, you need to listen and value the feedback they are giving you, as they are helping you in your role to create a fairer and more inclusive University. An inclusive environment is one where there is:

  • Fairness and respect
  • Value and belonging
  • Safe and open
  • Empowered and growing

It is not always easy to make your views known, particularly when you are from an under-represented group or when you are challenging the status quo. Creating a safe and open environment for everyone to have their say is an essential part of creating a fairer and more inclusive University.

Useful resources:

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EDI-related Networks

We have several EDI–related networks and associations at Lancaster University for staff and students. If you are interested in setting up a new affinity network for staff, please contact the EDI team.  For enquiries about new student associations, please contact Lancaster University Students' Union.


  • Lancaster University Women's Network

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    The Lancaster University Women’s Network was established to support Women at Lancaster University by providing a forum for empowerment, discussion and individual development as well as a platform for debate, awareness raising and to facilitate action for change.


    • Be a forum for networking across the organisation for women to share experiences and offer support to one another in confidence
    • Empower women in the workplace
    • Raise awareness of issues regarding inequality or opportunity
    • Promote good practice across the University and facilitate action for change
    • Provide a platform for the voice and views of women within the University to be represented and channelled to the appropriate committees
    • Offer targeted development activities and events for women including training, mentoring and support.


    Membership of Lancaster University Women’s Network is open to all staff and research students at Lancaster University.

    Get Involved:

    If you are interested in getting involved, you can visit Women's network website or email us at women@lancaster.ac.uk.

  • LGBT+ Staff Network

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    The Lancaster University LGBT+ Staff Network was established to support and empower LGBT+ staff and postgraduate students. We are an inclusive and welcoming space for anyone who defines themselves as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, non-binary, queer, intersex, asexual or questioning (LGBTQIA+) and our allies.

    We aim to support LGBTQIA+ staff and postgraduate students at the University, regardless of their gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, socioeconomic background, or any other characteristic.

    Members of staff can contact the LGBT+ Staff Network for confidential support and advice on LGBTQIA+ issues. The Network is also an informal point of contact for issues related to being LGBTQIA+ and can confidentially signpost people to relevant services available within the University.

    We hold informal bi-monthly lunchtime meetings where we meet to chat and discuss current initiatives, ideas and concerns. There are also occasional social events held off-campus in the evening. Currently all meetings are held via Teams.

    We take part in nationally important events such as local Pride marches, LGBT History Month and Trans Day of Remembrance.

    We help to promote good practice across the university, sharing our expertise to drive forward policy changes. We recently contributed to Lancaster University’s Trans Equality Policy and Guidance, and are currently contributing towards Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index: a benchmarking tool used by employers in the UK to assess their achievements and level of progress on LGBT+ equality as compared to Stonewall’s criteria and other institutions’ good practice.

    We have recently formed a Safe Home Base LGBTQIA+ Ally Network, where staff can volunteer to be a visible, safe port of call for staff and students. You can find out more about this here: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/edi/inclusive-lancaster/safe-home-base/.

    To join the LGBT+ Staff Network, please email lgbtstaffnetwork@lancaster.ac.uk and we will add you to our mailing list and Team.

    Our mailing list is confidential and we are fully compliant with GDPR.

    Please click here for our LGBT Staff Network Terms of Reference

  • Parents' and Carers' Network

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    ‌‌Lancaster University Parents' and Carers' Network (PCN) is a support network for all staff who count themselves as a parent or carer (of children or adults).

    We are a self-run network, started in Summer 2019, and provide an opportunity for parents and carers to share experiences and provide support to each other. We provide a forum to discuss issues affecting parents and carers and, through the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Committee, we can raise relevant issues with University management. Through our resources list we signpost useful information to members - suggestions for additions are very welcome.

    We usually meet informally once a month, alternating days to accommodate different working patterns. Upcoming events are listed on the Staff Intranet Events page. While members are mostly remote working during the Covid-19 restrictions, we are meeting via Teams fortnightly - upcoming meetings are listed on our Teams 'General' channel.

    Network members can join our Microsoft Team to communicate outside of meetings.

    Contact us if you'd like to join:

  • LU Race Equality Network

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    The Lancaster University Race Equality Network (LUREN), is a supportive and grassroots activist network of BAME and non-BAME staff and students at Lancaster University.

    Members of the Network coordinate various projects around decolonisation, awareness-raising of attainment and pay gaps, the Race Equality Charter and Black History Month.

    Recently LUREN has developed an Anti-Racist Learning and Teaching Toolkit, a practical document to help colleagues understand racism both in general, and as it relates to their area of research and teaching. The Anti-Racist Toolkit is available here.

    If you would like to join the mailing list for updates and events, please contact Nic Marsden, and for further information or to get involved please contact Katie Park-Walford or Julie Hearn. or visit LUREN's website.

  • Disabled Employee Network

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    The Disabled Employee Network (DEN+) is a staff network for all those who identify as disabled or having a long-term condition, including mental health conditions, and for those who wish to help with accessibility and inclusivity. We are developing a programme of meetings which includes informal social gatherings, formal meetings to discuss how we might improve working conditions for disabled employees, and informative talks open to all, to allow for open discussion of disability-related topics.

    If you would like to be involved in the Disabled Employee Network and have your say on how to improve services for staff with disabilities across Lancaster University, or have any questions about the network, please email the network.

    Email: den@lancaster.ac.uk

    We keep our mailing list confidential and your details will not be shared with other members without your permission.

    Network members can also join our DEN+ Microsoft Teams page, please email us to join.

  • Lancaster University ‘Young Staff’ network

    The Lancaster University ‘Young Staff’ network aims to encourage a culture of continuous professional development and support for younger members of staff.

    Membership is open to all permanent and temporary Lancaster University staff and PGR students that define themselves as in the younger staff bracket, typically those under 30 years of age, but the network is very happy to welcome anyone above this age who feel they would benefit from becoming a member. The network may also be beneficial to those who are new to Higher Education.

    The self-run group will provide a space for members to learn from their peers, professionals and other network groups both internal and external to the University, as well as signposting to useful resources. The network will also act as an informal and supportive space for younger staff from across the University to meet, share experiences and socialise.

    Contact us if you’d like to join:

    - Microsoft Teams Group: Grp - Young Staff Network

    - Email: youngstaffnetwork@lancaster.ac.uk

    - Twitter: @LancsYoungstaff.

    Please click Young Staff Network Terms of Reference for our Young Staff Network Terms of Reference

  • Student-related EDI Networks

    There are also networks for staff focused on support for students and the student experience:

    • Inclusive Learning Network - An open network that meets fortnightly to provide an opportunity to share inclusive good practice covering all aspects of the student life cycle.
    • Disability Network - The Disability Network brings together colleagues from across the institution to provide an opportunity to share information, advice and guidance related to supporting teaching and learning for disabled students.

    The Students' Union also has EDI-related student associations. For further details contact the Students' Union.

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Faculty Networks

Find out what EDI activity is taking place in your faculty and who to contact for more information.


  • FASS

    Information to be added shortly.

  • FHM

    What’s happening?

    The Equality Enhancement Committee (EEC) meet bi-monthly and are responsible for the development and improvement of practical steps to reduce inequity and further the advancement of equality within the faculty. The Committee ensure that the principles of equality are embedded throughout the culture of the faculty. The EEC monitor the faculty’s Athena SWAN Action Plan and are responsible for ensuring that the faculty maintains its trajectory to meeting the current plan and to developing and implementing initiatives in support of future equality enhancement plans.  

    FHM hold an annual EDI forum each year in September which is open to all staff and PGR students. In previous years, the Forum has been centered around the Gender Pay Gap and Belonging and Inclusivity. Where possible, FHM also aim to identify Awareness Raising Days to promote or be involved in throughout the academic year.

    Who to contact?

    The co-chairs of the Equality Enhancement Committee are Dr Amelia Hunt and Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone.

  • FST

    What’s happening?

    The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy Group support, inform and guide the EDI activity within the Science and Technology departments in line with University EDI strategies.  The group meet on a termly basis and facilitate the sharing of good practice and enable communication in both directions to and from departments and the University.  The group feed into the University Athena SWAN (AS) committee and from departmental EDI meetings. Proposals agreed in the EDI Strategy Group are forwarded to Dean’s Group, PRC and where necessary onwards to the University EDI Committee and the EDI Manager.  

    The EDI Strategy Group are keen to promote and organise Awareness Raising Days within the Faculty and have previously supported departments to deliver EDI related events and conferences throughout the year.

    Who to contact?

    The co-chairs of the EDI Strategy Group in FST are Professor Joe Sweeney and Dr Suzana Ilic.

  • LUMS

    What’s happening?

    The Management School are currently working towards their first Athena SWAN submission and are meeting as a Self-Assessment Team (SAT) to understand the barriers and opportunities with regards to gender equality in the Faculty. At present the SAT are establishing appropriate aspiration targets based on their evaluation of data and practices and are identifying their comprehensive action plan priorities to advance gender equality within the Faculty.

    Who to contact?

    Professor Claire Leitch is leading the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team for the Management School’s submission.

EDI Events

Here are some upcoming events at Lancaster that you may wish to be involved in:

Currently there are no events listed.

More Events

For further details of how to contact us directly click here to go to our contact page.