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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s purpose is to assure the Advance HE Board on the integration and promotion of matters relating to equality, diversity and inclusion.

The committee has a dual function with oversight of and responsibility for both the internal EDI practice of Advance HE and the integration of EDI within Advance HE’s products and services. This includes the effective operation and strategic development of both Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter.

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Committee Members

Professor David Richardson (Chair of Committee and Board member)

David Richardson is the Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Bacterial Biochemistry at the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the Norwich Research Park.  He joined UEA in 1991, and held positions of Executive Dean Faculty of Science, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor before being appointed as Vice-Chancellor in 2014. 

He has served on a number of Boards, including as a Non-Executive Director of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Board and as President of the AURORA European University Network. David is currently chair of the Universities UK Advisory Group to tackle racial harassment in higher education and he was a member of the UUK Taskforce that authored the ‘Changing the Culture’ report that provided recommendations for a whole institution approach to tackling violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students. He is also co-chair of the Advance HE Race Equality Charter Governance Committee.

David’s research has been recognised through a number of awards, including the Microbiology Society Fleming Medal and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Fellowship. He also holds an Honorary Chair at the University of Queensland.

Professor Chantal Davies

After graduating with a Law degree from Oxford University, Chantal Davies qualified as a solicitor with Eversheds in Cardiff specialising in Employment, Human Rights and Discrimination Law. In 1998, she moved to work as a solicitor for the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) in Manchester heading up a Department tackling strategic and wider enforcement of the gender equality legislation. Chantal is now professor of Law, Equality and Diversity in the School of Law at the University of Chester. She has also developed and is Director of the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity. Past research focuses on the experiences of minority ethnic students within HE and the use of positive action by organisations in the UK. Chantal has also completed a funded project looking at the gendered obstacles to research activity faced by academics in the UK. More recently Chantal has been funded by the Young Women’s Trust and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to research the use of positive action in apprenticeships. Chantal has also worked with the Higher Education Authority in Ireland to roll out a ground breaking positive action initiative aimed at increasing female representation within professorships. She has sat on the board of Cheshire Halton and Warrington Race and Equality Centre and the Equality Challenge Unit and in this latter role worked with them to develop institutional confidence in developing positive action initiatives within higher education. Chantal currently sits on the Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Commission and also on the Law Society’s Women’s Law Division Committee.

Professor Janice Kay (Board Member)

Professor Janice Kay is the Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter.

She is a Professor of cognitive neuropsychology, first appointed to Exeter through a Wellcome Trust University Lectureship. Her research, which has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council, is concerned with theoretical modelling, assessment and rehabilitation of disorders of perception, speech, language and memory.

In the role of Provost, Janice is deputy to the Vice-Chancellor. She provides strategic leadership for the overall corporate plan and oversees the portfolio of University strategies, ensuring their delivery as part of a coherent institutional schedule of activity. She holds specific accountability for the University’s strategic planning and budgeting processes as well as the University’s Global Advancement function. The Provost is responsible for the management of the University’s six Colleges, through the six Pro Vice-Chancellors.

Janice is Deputy Chair of the institutional level Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise and is Chair of the TEF Subject Level Pilot. Janice is an inaugural Board Member of Advance HE. 

Janice has been prominent in widening access initiatives, nationally and regionally. She played an integral role in the establishment of the highly successful Exeter Mathematics School, the new Education Campus at Cranbrook, Exeter, and the South Devon University Technical College.  She is a non-executive director of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

Janice was recognised in the 2017 Queen's New Year honours with a CBE for services to Higher Education.

Aloma Onyemah

Aloma Onyemah has over 14 years’ experience leading the development and implementation of diversity change programmes which span workforce and student diversity, ensuring that EDI priorities are central both to workplace culture and service delivery.

Aloma was previously Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at University College London (UCL) and prior to this, Head of EDI at University Hospitals Leicester where she was responsible for designing and delivering EDI programmes affecting 1.4m patients and nearly 20,000 staff.

Before she worked in the NHS, Aloma was Head of EDI at Sheffield Hallam University, where she was responsible for programmes that produced significant diversification of both staff and student bodies, and of senior leadership.

Aloma has advised on key policy development across the HE sector including the ‘Mind the Gap’ framework to improve the BAME student experience and outcomes, the application of the Equality Duty to programme design and development which informed the national QAA Code, advancing race equality through positive action and developed an inclusive decision-making framework (IDMF) to remove the barriers to inclusive decision making.

Pradeep Passi

Pradeep is at Salford University as Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion). He chairs the university’s EDI Taskforce and is also Director of the Global Race Centre for Equality, focussing on trans-disciplinary research in relation to racial inequalities. Pradeep has also had extensive experience both as a panel member and chairing race equality charter panels. His research and professional interests lie in organisational approaches to creating change through inclusive approaches, drawing on his extensive experience in working across the public sector to enhance approaches in the advancement of inclusion. Pradeep also has research interests relating to awarding gaps and is a founding member of the North West Awards Gap Group. 

Professor Randall Whittaker

Professor Randall Whittaker is Pro-Vice-Chancellor Academic at Leeds Arts University where he has strategic responsibility for academic, international and research development.

Born in South Africa, he studied music and his professional career was launched after being awarded the Charles Brayrs Prestige Scholarship on four separate occasions. He was appointed as a lecturer at the Konservatorium of the University of Stellenbosch in 2001, before relocating to Europe.

He has extensive experience in the strategic development of specialist creative institutions. He has a strong interest in Higher Education policy development and frequently writes and delivers talks on the topic.

Parveen Yaqoob

Parveen Yaqoob is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Reading. She is a Professor of Nutritional Physiology, manages an active research team and serves on a number of research funding panels.

As well as being a member of the EDI Committee, Parveen is also the Chair of the Athena Swan Governance Committee.