Appointment of the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


Dear candidate

Thank you for your interest in the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion role. The University of Manchester is a diverse, international community of over 40,000 students and almost 13,000 staff. We enjoy a global reputation for the quality of our teaching and research and we are proud to contribute to the expansion of educational, social and cultural opportunities in Manchester and the wider region.

Our recently launched strategy, Our Future, sets out the vision and strategic plan for the University into our third century. It builds on a rich heritage of discovery, social change and pioneering spirit that is at the heart of our University and our city region. It places our people and our values at the heart of our strategy and emphasises our commitment to transforming the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of our communities through our teaching, research and public events and activities.

We are now seeking to appoint the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).  The Director of EDI is a new role, created to provide leadership of the EDI agenda across the entire University and drive forward a bold and ambitious programme of change. Reporting to me, the Director of EDI will be responsible for developing and implementing our EDI strategy and ensuring that equality, diversity and inclusion strengthen our University and inform and guide our core activities. Working with colleagues, including senior leaders, across the University, the Director will focus on accelerating the pace of change in EDI and delivering a comprehensive set of objectives.

An inclusive environment is fundamental to the success of our University. The creation of this new role is just one indicator of our commitment to becoming sector leading in EDI and an organisation where all our students and staff thrive and fulfil their potential.

We are proud of some of our achievements in EDI, for example, we are one of the UK’s most gay-friendly workplaces in Stonewall’s LGBT Workplace Equality Index, we hold equality charter marks for both gender and racial equality, and we hold a Bronze Athena SWAN Award that recognises and celebrates good practice towards the advancement of gender equality. However, we know that we have much more to do and our new Director of EDI will work closely with our Vice-President for Social Responsibility, Professor Nalin Thakkar, the Human Resources team and colleagues across the University, including student and stakeholder communities, to deliver our new EDI strategy.

You will be an established EDI professional with experience of setting and leading EDI strategy and operations in large and complex organisations. You will bring a track record of delivering measurable change and the expert knowledge to advise colleagues at all levels on relevant EDI matters. As well as being an EDI subject matter expert, we would expect the successful candidate to lead the development of both qualitative and quantitative data to measure the impact of EDI initiatives. An experienced manager of people and resources with a high degree of cultural sensitivity, you will be passionate about creating an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone can participate fully.

The University of Manchester is a truly exceptional and special place, and you can find out more about the University and the Director of EDI role on this site. I do hope that you will express an interest in joining us.

Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be delighted to discuss the role with you. Their details can also be found on this site.

Yours faithfully

Patrick Hackett
Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, University of Manchester

About us

The University of Manchester is the UK’s largest single-site university. It was the first and most eminent of England’s civic universities. Part of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, Manchester has outstanding facilities and the widest range of courses. We are highly respected across the globe as a centre of teaching excellence and innovative research.

With 25 Nobel prize winners among our current and former staff and students, we have a history of world firsts and brilliant discoveries, from splitting the atom to giving the world graphene. We’re committed to world-class research, an outstanding learning and student experience, and social responsibility in everything we do.

We are ranked 36th in the world, eighth in Europe and fifth in the UK in the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities. We are also ranked seventh in Europe in the 2018 Reuters Top 100 Most Innovative Universities.

We are also well underway with one of the biggest investments in facilities undertaken by any UK university. This ten-year plan will transform our campus and create world-class facilities for staff, students and visitors in support of our global ambitions.

Hear what The University of Manchester means to our Chancellor, the award-winning writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE:

Our structure

The University is divided into Faculties, Schools, Institutes and hundreds of specialist research groups, all of which undertake pioneering multidisciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance.  The Faculties, Schools, Institutes and research group are supported by a broad range of professional service teams and functions. The University’s academic structure is:

Faculty of Humanities

Alliance Manchester Business School; School of Arts, Languages and Cultures; School of Environment, Education and Development; School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

School of Biological Sciences; School of Health Sciences; School of Medical Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering

School of Engineering; School of Natural Sciences

Our Future

Our new vision and strategic plan for The University of Manchester will take us into our third century. It builds on a rich heritage of discovery, social change and pioneering spirit that is at the heart of our University and our city region:

Making a difference

The University is transforming the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of our communities through our teaching, research and public events and activities. Some of our highlights include:

  • Sustainable Development Ranked first in Europe and third in the world for our impact related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Inclusivity We’re one of the UK’s most gay-friendly workplaces in Stonewall’s LGBT workplace equality index and we hold equality charter marks for both gender and racial equality.
  • Student societies 400 societies formed by students, engaging in local and global issues.
  • School governors We are the first organisation in the UK to create more than 1,000 volunteer school governors from our staff and alumni body, creating £1.53 million of economic benefit from staff alone and impacting on more than 450,000 learners.
  • The Works More than 4,000 local residents have been supported back into work through our employment initiative, The Works.
  • 10,000 Actions Our 10,000 Actions programme is the biggest sustainability initiative for staff in UK universities.

Widening Participation

Widening participation is firmly embedded into how we run the University. A key ambition for teaching, learning and the student experience is for there to be no barriers to studying and no boundaries to learning.

Widening participation addresses patterns of under-representation in higher education. To do this, we target prospective students from groups that are currently under-represented, including students:

  • from low income backgrounds and low socioeconomic groups;
  • from postcodes where participation in higher education in low;
  • who are the first in their generation to consider higher education;
  • who attend schools and colleges where performance is below the national average;
  • who are care experienced;
  • who have a disability;
  • who are young carers;
  • who are estranged from their families;
  • from under-represented ethnic backgrounds.

We have made significant progress in widening access – the University is in the top quintile of the Russell Group for the number of students from areas of low participation in higher education and lower socioeconomic backgrounds; we have one of the highest number of students from low-income backgrounds in the English Russell Group, with more than a quarter of our undergraduate students coming from low income households (less than £25,000 per year); and about a third of our new UK undergraduates receive financial support through our means-tested Manchester Bursary. Whilst we are proud of these achievements, we recognise that there is more to do and we are committed to a series of actions to ensure that we continue to remove barriers to studying and boundaries to learning.

You can find out more by exploring our Annual Report on Widening Participation which provides concrete examples of the wide range of work we’re involved in across the student lifecycle. You can also read our current Access and Participation Plan with the Office for Students, which sets out how we aim to improve equality of opportunity in higher education across all areas of the student lifecycle.

We are also proud to contribute to the expansion of educational, social and cultural opportunities in Manchester and the wider region. Some of our highlights include:

  • We committed £15 million in financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in 2018/19.
  • Last year, more than 1.2 million members of the public visited our cultural institutions – Manchester Museum, the Whitworth, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and The John Rylands Library.
  • We give more than 3,000 local school and college students access to our library facilities.
  •  Last year, 95,000 students participated in one of our widening participation activities.

More information

You can read much more about the University on our main website here

About EDI

About Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The University is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly, regardless of gender, gender identity, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital or transgender status, age, or nationality.

We have a genuine commitment to equality of opportunity for our staff and students, and are proud to employ a workforce that reflects the diverse community we serve.

As a University, when we talk about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, we mean:

  • Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents and is not treated differently or discriminated against because of their characteristics.
  • Diversity refers to the representation of experience and taking account of the differences between people and groups of people and placing a positive value on those differences.
  • Inclusion moves beyond representation – everyone feels respected, valued and safe. It refers to a cultural and environmental sense of belonging where there is equal opportunity to connect, contribute and achieve their full potential.

Our University is a very diverse community: 16% of our staff are from a black and minority ethnic background, women make up 48% of our workforce, and international staff members make up 22%. We also have more than 40,000 students, including 11,000 international students from more than 160 countries.

We publish a report each year that details information on all staff and students at the University:

Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in our culture

One of the values at the heart of our vision and strategic plan is a commitment to equality and diversity, and to equal opportunities for all.

Championing equality and diversity in all our activities, including staff employment and advancement, also forms part of our commitment to one of our core goals: social responsibility.

We believe that everyone at Manchester has a duty to ensure equality and diversity legislation is followed and implemented. Recognising, embracing and valuing difference leads to improvements for all, including:

  • a more vibrant staff and student population;
  • a better working and studying environment;
  • attracting and retaining the very best staff and students;
  • improving the status of our University.

Our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

The University is strongly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and we have a wide range of mechanisms though which we support our activities. We have built a strong foundation and have robust policies, action plans and support services and networks in place that evidence our commitment. However, similar to other organisations, we are not making progress at the pace we would like.

As an institution with a strong sense of social responsibility, we know that we have a role to play in leading on cultural change. To do this, we will create an inclusive and supportive environment for our community. It is important that our leaders and managers are courageous and identify actions that will turn our aspirations into reality. Our new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, to be published in early 2021, provides a road map that will guide them along the way. It will include a series of Priorities and Measure of Success that reach across all aspects of the University and will ensure that we accelerate the pace of change where needed.

Commitment beyond legislation

We are fully committed to both meeting and exceeding our obligations under current legislation. By doing more than what’s required by law, we build on Manchester’s existing reputation for diversity and ensure we equip all our staff and students with the knowledge to sustain and enjoy a fully inclusive working environment.

Specialist staff networks, forums and events are just some of the ways in which we keep our community connected and engaged with diversity issues. Our efforts in going above and beyond legislation have resulted in us receiving several awards by relevant external bodies.

Download our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Gender Pay Gap report

The University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is a priority in our strategic plan. Our aim to achieve gender balance at senior levels is embedded in our published equality and diversity objectives with a pledge to improve the representation of women in senior leadership, academic and professional support positions.

The University seeks to meet this pledge through a range of progressive and innovative employment policies and practices, and its membership of, and commitment to, the Athena SWAN Charter.

Download our 2019 Gender Pay Gap report

The role

Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Job reference:

Reports to: Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer
Directorate of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Budget: £50,000 to support university-wide equality, diversity and inclusion related activities
Direct reports (5 direct reports):

  • 2 x Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Partners (grade 7)
  • 1 x Charter Marks Coordinator/EDI Adviser (grade 6)
  • 1 x Data Analyst (grade 6)
  • 1 x Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Assistant/Administrator (grade 4)

Job purpose:

To provide the depth and breadth of leadership required to enable the University to realise its ambition to be sector leading in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and an exemplar for all. To lead the development and implementation of an ambitious EDI strategy and supporting enabling interventions and policies for staff and students that will contribute to the achievement of the University’s strategy “Our Future”.  Additionally, to provide expert advice and guidance to the University and its senior leaders in EDI.

Principal accountabilities:

  • Provide advice, support and guidance to senior managers, staff, students and groups across the University as appropriate on matters associated with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
  • Lead the development and implementation of an EDI strategy and work with HR to ensure supporting and enabling policies and practices which contribute to establishing a diverse workforce are established.
  • Ensure processes for equality and diversity monitoring and data analysis of relevant staff and student related activities are implemented and maintained and provide relevant reports and information to senior staff and line managers to inform effective action planning across the University, particularly in relation to the Annual Performance Reviews.
  • Ensure the implementation and monitoring of the University’s Race Matters objectives and actions.
  • Support the President and Vice-Chancellor’s EDI Advisory Group and the EDI Sub-Group of the Board of Governors and provide direction and advice to the EDI Governance Group.
  • Work with key stakeholders to develop and support initiatives for the recruitment, retention and progression of both staff and students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.
  • Identify and disseminate relevant equality and diversity related information, legislation, policy guidance and best practice in staff and student activity.
  • Work with key stakeholders, including Staff Learning and Development, to ensure the identification of training needs in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion, and arrange for the design and delivery of learning interventions to meet the needs identified.
  • Support the development of leadership and management capability in EDI.
  • Lead, motivate and develop the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team to ensure the delivery of a comprehensive and coherent equality and diversity service across the University.
  • Contribute as a member of the PS Leadership Team to the development of PS, continuous improvement and to the implementation of “Our People our Values”.
  • Manage and monitor specific projects ensuring the work is successfully delivered within budget constraints and to agreed timescales.
  • Ensure all strategies, policies, practices and procedures of the University are assessed for relevance to equality and diversity and comply with current legislation.
  • Manage and support the equality and diversity groups within the University, the Associate Deans for Social Responsibility and the Academic Leads for EDI.
  • Lead on maintaining accreditation for Race Equality Charter Mark and other equality awards, including Athena SWAN, that demonstrates the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. This includes leading working groups, preparing submissions, and developing and implementing action plans.

Internal and external relationships:


  • Develop productive working relationships across the University with senior leaders in both the Faculties and Professional Services.
  • Develop productive working relationships with the Academic Leads for EDI.
  • Ensure a wide range of stakeholders are consulted and involved in the equality agenda. This happens through staff and student network groups; an equality governance forum of senior managers; student and trade union representation and chairs of network groups.
  • Involvement in providing information and advice to senior managers through the Annual Performance Review process; university promotions committee and equal pay review group.
  • Active involvement in student related committees, including the wellbeing group; disability consultative group and degree attainment working group (Secretary and convenor).
  • Develop and maintain productive working relationships with the recognised campus trade union representatives and student union representatives.
  • Work closely with academic colleagues, particularly those whose research is related to equality and diversity. Support relevant research bids and related activities.


  • Represent the University on appropriate Russell Group Forum and HERAG (a race action group).
  • Build productive working relationships with external partners and stakeholders, enhancing the reputation of the University and providing sector leadership.

Knowledge, skills and experience needed:

  • Educated to degree level
  • Experience of working at a strategic/policy level on diversity issues for a large and complex organisation with a successful track record of delivery
  • Strong proven track record of leadership and management capability
  • Have the knowledge, understanding and credibility to advise and influence senior leaders and managers on sensitive and complex diversity issues
  • An ability to analyse complex data and situations relating to diversity from an organisational perspective
  • A strong networker both within and outside the organisation
  • Strategic thinking with the ability to analyse and interpret both written and numerical information and to communicate effectively at all levels, engaging and empowering individuals and the team to take appropriate responsibility
  • Sound interpersonal skills with a high degree of cross cultural sensitivity
  • A successful track record of influencing and effecting a positive cultural change in a large organisation.
  • A successful track record implementing measurable changes on equality and diversity issues at all levels in an organisation
  • Ability to build productive working relationships with diverse communities
  • A thorough knowledge of equality legislation
  • Effective project management skills
  • A capacity for innovative thinking and pragmatic problem solving skills
  • The ability to develop and translate strategy into practical operational delivery
  • First class leadership, organisational and motivational skills to develop constructive team working

Other contextual information / special features:

  • The role sits within the University’s Professional Services Leadership Team
  • The University of Manchester has 12,500 staff and serves c. 40,000 students. The workforce is therefore varied and there are three recognised trade unions (UCU, UNISON and UNITE)

Terms of appointment

A competitive salary will be agreed with the successful candidate.

The annual leave year is 1st October to 30th September and entitlement is 29 days plus four days Christmas closure plus public holidays.

The post holder will join the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).

For information on the benefits of working at the University of Manchester please click here.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to the University. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534 or Elyse Turner-Pearce on +44 (0)7808 648 559.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday, 12th February 2021.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification criteria.
  • Please include details of two referees in either your CV or covering letter, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form here.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1037.