Appointment of the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


Thank you for your interest in this exciting new role at Oxford Brookes University.

Oxford Brookes is fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and we already celebrate equal representation of women at senior levels, have increased representation of colleagues from diverse ethnic backgrounds and have achieved year on year progress towards closing gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps. However we acknowledge that there are still inequalities to be addressed, not least in our student community, and we want to accelerate the pace of change and be more impactful in our actions as we work towards being a fully diverse, equitable and inclusive university.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Group recognised the need for a step change and have agreed to invest in this area. The creation of a new Director role is one of the first steps to establishing a new strategy and governance structure, and reinvigorate our whole approach. There are other resources as well – we will add a senior EDI consultant role, bring in two existing staff who work on EDI issues and add an EDI data analyst as a start. We have also undertaken work on developing the culture at Brookes and the diagnostic work has highlighted the need to forefront EDI and in particular strengthen our efforts in improving ethnic diversity, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment in which to work and study and ensuring we remove barriers to achieving full potential for both staff and students.

I hope that you will be excited by the prospect of being instrumental in making a real difference to people’s lives and experience of work and study at Brookes. I look forward to receiving your application.


Sarah Thonemann
Chief People Officer


Oxford Brookes is one of the UK’s leading modern universities and enjoys an international reputation for teaching excellence and innovation as well as strong links with business and industry.

We also have significant strengths in research and knowledge exchange. In 2021, Oxford Brookes was in the top 10% of universities in England for commercialising intellectual property through licensing and spinouts.
(Knowledge Exchange Framework, Research England, March 2021).

  • One of the UK’s top 50 institutions (Guardian League Tables 2022)
  • Among the world’s top universities in 13 individual subject areas (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021)
  • Up 10 places in the last 2 years (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022)
  • 14 years of success with our Associate College Partnership; partnering with seven Further Education colleges across the region to offer alternative ways to gain qualifications
  • 91% of full-time undergraduate students are in work or further study 15 months after graduation (HESA Graduation Outcomes Survey 2018/19 – published July 2021)
  • We have over 130,000 alumni in over 189 countries
  • 11 National Teaching Fellowships for excellent learning and teaching (Higher Education Academy)
  • 14 Olympic medals have been won by former students who were Oxford Brookes rowers
  • The world’s first Fairtrade university –providing fair terms of trade for workers in the developing world
  • Top tier university in renewable energy (Uswitch Renewable University Report 2020)
  • Athena Swan Bronze Award in recognition of our advancement in gender equality, representation and progression


We are internationally respected for our bold leadership and innovation in education; for helping organisations to develop sustainably; and for impactful research that is changing the world.

We equip people with the skills, knowledge, mindset, and attributes required to face new challenges and thrive in a complex, uncertain world. We inspire and drive collective progress through individual endeavour. Our inclusive and friendly community is our greatest asset. We embrace supportive challenge as a catalyst for change. Through the open exchange of knowledge and ideas, by prioritising the progression of equality, diversity and inclusion and seeking out the new, we shape tomorrow.

Our Vision Statement

Oxford Brookes University is distinctive in nature. It is a modern, forward-thinking institution rooted in and connected to a city with a rich history of culture and learning. Through our excellence in teaching, research and knowledge exchange we make the world a better and fairer place.

Our Strategic Goals

This strategy sets out our focus and priorities for the next 15 years. We have worked closely with our students, staff, local community and other stakeholders to create a new strategy for Oxford Brookes University for 2020/2021 and beyond. As part of this work we have articulated our bold and ambitious 2035 Vision Statement as an expression of the kind of institution we want to be in 2035 and the steps we will take in order to
achieve this vision.

To view our 2035 strategy, please click here.

People & Culture

Oxford Brookes University employs 2,800 motivated and passionate staff. We recognise that our people are key to our continuing success as a university and we are committed to creating a vibrant and inclusive working environment which supports colleagues to flourish and enjoy what they do. We want colleagues to feel valued, empowered, challenged, stimulated, involved, appreciated and trusted.

We provide comprehensive and progressive employment conditions, including flexible and hybrid working, opportunities for development and career progression, and a commitment to creating the conditions for a
positive work experience, underpinned by our Guiding Principles. We have also put in place numerous initiatives to improve wellbeing. These include university-wide events such as feelgood festivals and wellbeing weeks. We also run Brookes Active, a collection of activities, events and campaigns to help you enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle with Oxford Brookes.

Our Guiding Principles


We take positive steps to create an environment in which we celebrate, value, and provide equal opportunity to all.

Exemplar Behaviours:

  • Critically examining our own biases and behaviours both through self-reflection and feedback from others
  • Listening with an open mind to understand different points of view

Generosity of spirit

We believe people flourish in a culture ofrespect and support, where we celebrate difference and thrive on each other’s success. Our students manifest a generosity of spirit as they progress in the world.

Exemplar Behaviours:

  • Being open, honest and reliable
  • Being generous with our knowledge and expertise to help others


We have confidence in our staff and students, and we know that we prepare our graduates well for a fulfilling and valuable life. Through their success, we continue to earn our outstanding reputation.

Exemplar Behaviours:

  • Stepping outside our comfort zone to learn, or achieve, something new
  • Showing pride in our work and achievements and those of our colleagues


Our academic excellence is underpinned by a history of learning by doing. Our connections and our Oxford roots are fundamental to our students’ experiences and our successful future.

Exemplar Behaviours:

  • Working in partnership with our global and local communities
  • Keeping up to date with research, rules and models of best practice from a wide range and variety of sources

Enterprising creativity

We’re adaptable and flexible, and consider a fresh approach in everything we do – because we know our sustainability depends on a pioneering spirit.

Exemplar Behaviours:

  • Being innovative, flexible and open to change
  • Working with, learning from, and sharing with others


The Vice-Chancellor reports to the Board of Governors and is supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s Group (VCG) which comprises:

  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education)
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Global Partnerships)
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor/Deans of the Faculties (four)
  • Registrar and Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief People Officer

Our Finances

Oxford Brookes University has a good track record of meeting or exceeding budget targets and achieving strong financial performance against sector KPIs.

Our annual financial statements can be found on our website here..

The University’s financial plans focus on strong operating cash and robust surpluses, in order to achieve an excellent student experience and provide and attract investment in research and commercial activity.



Our Oxford

Oxford is a beautiful city with a rich cultural history. The city is famous for education and architecture, museums and green spaces.

It has a population of 152,450 and is currently the 12th fastest growing city with one-third of the population aged 18-29.

There are 4,730 businesses in Oxford providing 118,000 jobs. Key sectors of industry are health, education, research, technology, tourism, car manufacturing and publishing.

Oxfordshire is amongst the top five technology innovation ecosystems in the world and home to over 1,500 high tech companies employing around 43,000 people.

Oxford Brookes is proud of its home in Oxford and proud to make a significant economic, social and cultural contribution to the city; from contributing £1m per day to the UK economy, through our links with the high-skill regional economy to the expertise of our nurses and teachers in local hospitals and schools.

We partner up to raise aspirations in schools, widen access to those under-represented in higher education and to provide high-level consultancy to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Tourism is a thriving economy in the city, generating more than £780m annually. In 2019 Oxford was the ninth most visited city in the UK for overnight visits.

Oxford is only an hour from London by train and many placements and field trips make the most of this easy access. The University is well served by a regular coach service to central London and to Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

More information about the city of Oxford and the surrounding area is available here.

The role

Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Job reference:

Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Faculty/Directorate: People Directorate
Job title: Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Grade: Senior Staff Grade 2
Contract duration: Permanent
Reports to: Chief People Officer
Responsible for: EDI senior consultant, 2 x EDI consultants and dotted line relationship to EDI data analyst.

Purpose of the role

To be the senior subject matter expert on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, providing strong leadership and championing diversity and inclusion across the University, challenging and removing the obstacles that are getting in the way of the achievement of equity of outcomes for all students and staff.

To apply an inclusive lens across all areas of University activity, examining policy and practice and seeking opportunities for staff and students to reflect on the equality impact of their activities, attitudes and behaviour.

To support and enable Oxford Brookes to become a more inclusive employer, increasing the diversity of our workforce and student population and achieve our ambition to be an inclusive place to work and study which is experienced by all.

Principal accountabilities
Reporting to the Chief People Officer the Director of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) will:

  • Envision, plan, drive and deliver an ambitious strategy, which embeds EDI in the mainstream of University activity, that will address inequalities and structural barriers, and work with our university community to embed our strategic equality objectives.
  • Provide specialist expertise and support to senior leaders in the People Directorate, Faculties and Professional Services Directorates to embed an inclusive culture, to facilitate the social mobility of our students and improve the experience of our staff.
  • Provide leadership to the EDI oversight group to ensure coordinated and cohesive action plans are developed and delivered through appropriate allocation of resources against agreed priorities.
  • Oversee monitoring and evaluation of EDI activities to inform progress and review delivery of priority actions.
  • Make significant progress towards being recognised as an inclusive employer and learning provider through a range of charter marks and other awards as appropriate.
  • As a member of the senior management team of the People Directorate provide EDI leadership across the People Directorate to enhance and embed EDI within the delivery of our People Strategy, policy and practice.

Key Relationships

  • Pillar owners (PVC for Student Experience and University Community, PVC for Research and Global Partnerships), PVC lead for Student Access and Participation, Academic Registrar and Director of Academic and Student Administration and other senior colleagues to ensure EDI is embedded in all strategic plans and operational delivery.
  • Colleagues in the People Directorate, notably the Director of Organisational Effectiveness and Development regarding learning and development, behavioural interventions and other culture change, Chief People Officer and Deputy Chief People Officer to ensure the team are exemplars of good EDI practice and best placed to advise managers and colleagues on EDI matters, Director Oxford Centre for Academic Enhancement to support and encourage embedding of EDI, Strategic People Partners to support their work in Faculties and Directorates and embed good EDI practice.
  • Staff and Student groups including the staff networks (BAME Staff, Disability and LGBT+), officers of the Student’s Union and others to promote and support EDI initiatives and outcomes.

Key tasks


  • Advise and support the Board of Governors and the Vice-Chancellor’s Group on the strategic direction for EDI, establishing prioritised EDI goals and provide thought leadershipmon contemporary developments in EDI.
  • Ensure robust planning and processes are in place to translate strategic goals into positive impact on equality, diversity and inclusion. This includes implementation of proposals and recommendations from pay gap reports, prioritising and reviewing the implementation of
    equality charter action plans taking into account feedback from staff and students.
  • Lead the development of key performance indicators (KPIs) for EDI, and embedding into business objectives, leading the development of dashboards and reports which track progress and deliver management information on achievements, risks and areas for focus.
  • As a senior leader within the People Directorate, contribute to the People and Culture Strategy development and ensure EDI is articulated and embedded within it, and support the CPO in ensuring that colleagues in the Directorate have up to date EDI knowledge and skills.
  • Lead the development and review of the University’s EDI Objectives to underpin the University’s strategic commitments, ensuring that statutory reporting requirements are fulfilled.
  • To work with the Director of Organisational Effectiveness and Development (OE&D) in ensuring EDI learning and development initiatives are designed to change behaviours and work practices, including those of managers and leaders.
  • Build a network of EDI Champions and Inclusion Allies through a programme of development and support, encouraging their involvement in priority EDI projects.

Team leadership

  • Lead, motivate and develop the EDI Team to ensure the delivery of comprehensive, professional expertise and services across the University.
  •  Oversee the work of the EDI Team, ensuring priority work is delivered and resources allocated in line with University agreed objectives.
  • Working with other senior colleagues in the People Directorate to align colleagues and their teams behind the EDI strategic direction, provide operational advice and expertise to facilitate cohesive approaches to EDI across the whole Directorate.
  • Oversee the work of the EDI Team, ensuring priority work is delivered and resources allocated in line with University agreed objectives.
  • Working with other senior colleagues in the People Directorate to align colleagues and their teams behind the EDI strategic direction, provide operational advice and expertise to facilitate cohesive approaches to EDI across the whole Directorate.

Evaluation and impact

  • Work in close collaboration with senior colleagues across the University to agree and consolidate EDI KPIs and data relating to the University’s Access and Participation Plan to provide insight into progress on inclusion, representation and social mobility across the University’s student population and to support the wider student community including PG and International, on EDI matters.
  • To oversee the provision of EDI data analytics and ensure these inform priority EDI actions and initiatives and enable key bodies (Board of Governors, People Committee, EDI Steering Group, Charter Mark groups) to benchmark and monitor progress.
  • Ensure the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and EDI Steering Group are regularly updated on progress against EDI goals and KPIs. Propose effective solutions for any issues identified through the data analysis and reporting.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of EDI evaluation frameworks including Equality Impact Assessments.
  • Provide oversight and subject matter expertise for the submission for, and implementation of actions from, equality charter marks, including Athena Swan, Race Equality Charter, Disability Confident and Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
  • Ensure ongoing enquiry into best practice inside and outside the sector, and a continuous improvement approach to EDI at Oxford Brookes.

Engagement and co-creation

  • Work with key stakeholders, including People Directorate colleagues and student services, to ensure the identification of training needs in relation to EDI and advise on the design and delivery of learning initiatives.
  • Develop effective approaches to working with staff equality fora, groups and committees, ensuring that staff and student views inform the identification, prioritisation and achievement of EDI objectives.
  • Disseminate high level information about EDI developments through seminars, briefings, newsletters and online channels.
  • Work with OD and other colleagues to build a network of champions and allies, encouraging their involvement in priority EDI projects.
  • Represent the University on national EDI bodies and fora and contribute to innovation in developing, testing and evaluating solutions and good practice and sharing these across the sector.

Senior leadership

  • Contribute to the People Directorate senior team, working collaboratively and flexibly across the Directorate as required to ensure the delivery of strategic objectives.
  • Establish excellent working relationships with staff at all levels across the University.
  • Serve as an active contributing member of relevant committees, steering and working groups as required.
  • Be a positive role model for the professional, inclusive and open behaviours as set out in the People Pillar of the University Strategy and the Brookes Guiding Principles, in particular exemplifying Inclusivity


1. Essential Education/Training

  • Degree or equivalent experience gained in relevant field

2. Essential/Relevant Experience

  • Experience of leading strategic Equality, Diversity and Inclusion change in a large and complex organisation, including analytical problem solving, obtaining buy-in from senior stakeholders, and influencing decisions and policies to implement change.
  • Successful track record of creating EDI vision and strategy, drawing on leading edge developments and creative thinking, and able to translate EDI strategy into operational practice, including identification of solutions to perceived potential blocks and an understanding of complex dependencies and how to leverage support.
  • Excellent understanding of contemporary EDI challenges and of the UK equalities legal and policy context.
  • A proven leader with experience of building, motivating and leading impactful teams.
  • Demonstrable experience of working at senior level co-ordinating the efforts of senior colleagues to achieve cohesive actions and outputs.
  • Experience of working across a complex organisation to deliver a range of activities, projects and programmes, advice, guidance and excellent customer service to time and budget.
  • Demonstrable experience of establishing departmental objectives, plans and service standards and monitoring performance against these.

3. Essential Skills and Attributes

  • Demonstrable ability to influence key decision makers within the organisation, utilising interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • An effective collegiate worker collaborative with colleagues and stakeholders, maintain key relationships and networks at all levels, creating and promoting an inclusive working environment.
  • The ability to manage multiple institutional change activities and demonstrate the appropriate prioritisation working with a team of direct reports and through collaboration across.
  • Role modelling positive line management behaviours, setting effective objectives, encouraging and supporting individual and team development and promoting diversity and inclusion.
  • Data and IT literate utilising data and information to underpin action plans.
  • Personal and professional credibility and resilience.
  • Able to credibly challenge established assumptions and ways of working and have impact on the development of inclusive behaviours and working practices.
  • Solution focused, creative and resourceful.
  • Exemplar of appreciating diversity and practising inclusive behaviours.

4. Desirable Education/Training

  • Postgraduate qualification or equivalent in a relevant field (e.g. Masters in EDI or related area, CIPD qualification, training in EDI, OD or Psychology)
  • Member of CIPD or other relevant professional body.

Terms of appointment

The role is offered on a full time, permanent basis, however we are open to a part time arrangement to a minimum of 80%.

Salary Senior Scale 2:  £69,557 to £75,987 with potential to rise to £83,021.

Oxford Brookes offers a wide range of benefits to enhance the staff experience.

Annual Leave: (including bank holidays and concessionary days)

  • Senior Staff and Professors – 43 days
  • Academic Staff and Researchers grade 9 and above – 48 days
  • Professional Services Staff and Research Staff below grade 9 – starting at 38 days rising to 41 days with service.

Additional Annual Leave: staff may purchase up to five additional days leave per year (pro rata for part-time staff) via a deduction from salary spread throughout the leave year.

Pension: we offer the Local Government Pension Scheme for professional services staff and the Teachers’ Pension Scheme for most academic staff. Staff who join Brookes and are in active membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) can continue membership of this scheme.

Relocation: we will reimburse up to £5,000 inclusive of VAT for expenses necessarily incurred in relocating to a job at Brookes, and may make a contribution to immigration costs.

Travel to Work: Car parking at Brookes is limited and daily charges apply. To support your journey to work and as part of our sustainability agenda, Brookes links with Cyclescheme to provide a cost-effective way of purchasing a bicycle. There are showers for cyclists (and walkers) at all three main campuses, and cycle training courses can be arranged for new or nervous cyclists. We also have a car share website and offer season ticket loans.

Catering facilities: there are varied catering options on all campuses.

Nursery: the Brookes nursery, located at Headington, is rated by Ofsted as Good, and caters for children aged four months to five years.

Onsite dentist: Studental is an NHS dentist situated on the Headington Campus and can be used by staff.

Brookes Sports: extensive sports facilities for staff including fitness suites and classes, Oxfordshire’s premier climbing wall (Headington Campus), swimming pool (Harcourt Hill Campus) and a brand new gym (Wheatley Campus).

Green spaces for recreation: all campuses have landscaped gardens and quiet areas for recreation; and there are maps of ‘health walks’ (these are short routes through attractive surroundings close to all three campuses).

Occupational Health Service: the University is committed to the health and welfare of its staff. The Occupational Health Service provides work-based support for illness and disability, and can refer staff for confidential counselling if necessary.

Eye test and glasses reimbursement: all staff who use VDU’s are entitled to a subsidised eye test while they work at Brookes and contribution to the cost of glasses.

Employee Assistance Programme: offering round-the-clock advice and support as well as counselling on a wide range of topics such as finance, legal and health and wellbeing.

Maternity, Adoption and Family Leave: we offer generous maternity leave with qualifying staff entitled to 63 weeks leave (both paid and unpaid). We offer the same leave for Adoption and Shared Parental Leave.

Flexible and hybrid working: we support work-life balance for all staff, including career breaks, job sharing, flexible hours, etc.

Library: all staff are welcome to use our libraries. Staff may borrow up to 30 books or other items from our lending stock. There is full access to both print and online resources including e-books, e-journals and databases.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is assisting the University in the appointment. After the close of the advertisement, all applications will be given to the University who will contact candidates directly should they be invited for interview. Those not taken forward will be contacted by Anderson Quigley.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact Nicola Reames on +44(0)7907 574 794 or or Ed Pritchard on +44(0)7980 817 927 or

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 27th June 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match sections 1 and 2 of the person specification.
  • Please include current salary details and the names and addresses of two referees in either your CV or covering letter. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1501.

A full timetable is to be confirmed.