Vanessa: I'm Vanessa Sauls. I'm the Crick's EDI Advisor. I joined in September 2021 and I'm originally from Italy - da Roma Sud per l'esattezza – and I moved to London in 2013 to study law.
Since joining the Crick, I've been working with different teams from across the institute and I've really enjoyed collaborating with staff networks and looking into our EDI-related training.
Alison: I'm Alison Forbes. I'm the Crick's equality, diversity and inclusion manager. I joined in November 2021 and I'm really enjoying it. I worked at UCL for 12 years in the widening participation team, the UCL East team, and the equality, diversity and inclusion team there.
So we're going to talk about equality, diversity and inclusion. Not everyone is familiar with what it means. Equality is about fair and equal access to jobs, training, resources, opportunities and it's about preventing discrimination and removing barriers proactively.
So diversity is the second piece after equality. And it means variety within a population. So if you have a diverse workforce, you'll see representation of different genders, ethnicities, social backgrounds and so on all through the organisation and not that certain job grades or job types have really one characteristic over-represented there.
You'd also hope to see that an organisation is broadly representative of the population that it serves, or the population that it recruits from.
So that's what it is and we focus on diversity not because it's nice or a kind thing to do or because it makes the organisation look good. We focus on diversity because it makes the Crick better, stronger and more sustainable. It's about future-proofing an organisation and ensuring that our science is meeting the challenges of the world, and the world's global populations.
If you have a diverse team you have different knowledge, expertise, contacts brought into your team. Different questions are asked and assumptions are challenged and that's really good for your outputs. And there's a lot of evidence that diverse teams are high-performing teams as well.
Vanessa: Inclusion is the final piece. It means that everyone feels welcome and is able to thrive in an organisation. An inclusive culture attracts and retains talent. We don't want to miss out on amazing scientists or other staff because our recruitment processes exclude them or because they find our culture off-putting what they join us.
Ultimately diversity without inclusion doesn't really work. So an organisation might make a great effort to recruit ethnic minorities, but if once those minorities enter the organisation, they experience discrimination, racism or other forms of unconscious bias. They might just leave or feel stifled in their career progression.
An inclusive workplace also means that people can bring their whole selves to work. For example, it might mean that someone is not intimidated or concerned about being open about their gender identity or being transgender for instance or that they can simply come out and be open about being gay. It might also mean that a disabled person feels enabled to ask for support and reasonable adjustments, and that they don't feel like being open about their disability will hinder their career progression or future prospects within the organisation.
Thank you so much for listening. If you'd like to learn more, please come and talk to us and we'll be happy to answer any questions or deliver training for you or your teams. You can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you around the building!