Equality Objectives

The Equality Act places all public bodies under an active duty to promote equality and requires them to set themselves at least one objective which they believe they ought to meet in order to further any of the aims of the General Equality Duty.

The University has agreed a suite of objectives reflecting Oxford’s strategic priorities in relation to recruitment, progression and equality of opportunity, as set out in the Strategic Plan. The overarching equality objectives aim to:

  • Increase the proportion of women in senior roles;
  • Improve the recruitment and retention of BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) staff;
  • Promote the visibility and inclusion of LGBT+ staff and students; and
  • Widen undergraduate access and admissions.

The majority of our targets for the 2016 to 2020 period were renewed in March 2020, pending a comprehensive review of the University’s equality priorities. Progress towards the 2020 targets will be reported in the next Equality Report (March 2021).

New objectives will be consulted on during 2020/21 in light of:

  • Progress made towards the current objectives in 2019/20;
  • Action planning for institutional equality charters; and
  • Ongoing work to implement the University’s Strategic Plan.

Please see the annual Equality Report for an overview of progress towards our equality objectives as well as data on current staff and students, recruitment and admissions.  

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Increase the proportion of women in senior roles

Targets

  1. To achieve a yearly increase in the proportion of female Professors, with 30% representation by 2020;
  2. To achieve a yearly increase in the proportion of female Statutory Professors, with 20% representation by 2020;
  3. To achieve a yearly increase in the proportion of female Associate Professors, with 35% representation by 2020;
  4. To achieve one third representation of women across University leadership roles;
  5. Women to comprise a minimum of 35% of members of Council and each of its five main committees (Education, Personnel, Research and Innovation, Planning and Resource Allocation and General Purposes Committees);
  6. Half of the final list of names proposed to Congregation for the conferment of honorary degrees to be women and/or members of minority groups;
  7. Achieve a Silver institutional Athena SWAN award in 2021.

Improve the recruitment and retention of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff

Target

  1. Renew the institutional Bronze Race Equality Charter award in 2021.

Consolidate our position in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list

Achieve the equality-related objectives set out in the Access and Participation Plan

Targets

  1. To reduce the gap in participation rates for disadvantaged students (ACORN) to 3:1 by 2024-25;
  2. To reduce the gap in participation rates for underrepresented students (POLAR4) to 8:1 by 2024-25;
  3. To eliminate the gap in offer rates for Asian applicants by 2021-22;
  4. To halve the gap in attainment rates for Black students to 6% by 2024-25;
  5. To eliminate the gap in attainment rates for disabled students by 2024-25.

Eliminate the undergraduate gender attainment gap by 2030

Target

  1. To reduce the first-class degree attainment gap between women and men from 8.5% (2017-19 average) to 4.4% by 2025 (2023-25 average).

Approved by Council 16 March 2020.