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Equality, diversity and inclusion at the BGS

About BGS — Working with us

We strive for a fair and open working environment, free from discrimination, where we value all colleagues as individuals and respect their differences. 

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity across our organisation, ensuring everyone is treated with dignity and respect. This commitment is extended to the work we do across communities in the UK and with our partners overseas, as well as in the way we engage with all of our clients, partners and stakeholders from our science community.

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Everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect and to be provided with opportunities to flourish and succeed in a supportive environment.

UKRI EDI vision

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UK researchers and innovators explain why equality, diversity and inclusion is vital for the research and development to thrive. © UKRI.

We aim to build an inclusive workforce with employees from all backgrounds and people who are passionate about earth science that share our commitment to work for the good of the environment and the benefit of society.

In order to realise our aim, we have a BGS equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) group with employee representatives from across the BGS, including union colleagues and UKRI-NERC representatives, as well as input from external members from the university sector.

This group oversees the EDI agenda, shaping our EDI priorities and driving progress against our organisational EDI action plan, which supports our Athena SWAN accreditation and our commitment to the Disability Confident framework.

The EDI Group not only monitors achievements but also considers how the BGS can adopt good practice and ensures alignment with UKRI EDI strategies, frameworks and initiatives.

Reflecting our alignment with the Athena SWAN charter principles and UKRI EDI policy, current identified EDI priorities include:

  • continuing to increase female representation in management, in particular within our middle manager grades, by
    • identifying ways of supporting the transition into senior roles through initiatives that engage early career scientists
    • proactively managing our talent
  • reviewing organisational processes to continuously improve equality practices and remove barriers of opportunity, with a focus on developing plans to support racial equality and addressing low levels of BAME representation in our workforce (details)
  • providing ongoing support for career development, ensuring all staff have equal access to opportunities for education, development and training
  • improving support for staff returning from periods of extended absences, with a particular focus on those returning from parental leave
  • increasing our understanding of the BGS LGBTQ+ community and the barriers they face, and providing a supportive environment for gender expression that is free from discrimination due to sexual orientation.
  • providing a confidential space for LGBTQ+ issues to be discussed and raised
  • regularly promoting processes and communication channels to support and protect individuals from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of protected characteristics

You can read more about our Athena SWAN accreditation and associated action plan.

Athena SWAN Bronze Award Disability confident employer

We are developing a programme of briefings, educational event, and training designed to raise staff awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion. This programme aims to support development of  a wider appreciation of the steps we can all take to create an inclusive environment, better understand intersectionality and support the promotion of a culture which celebrates diversity where all feel valued and respected. These events cover a wide range of subjects including menopause, autism, employers for carers and transgender issues.

Policies and practices

The BGS also has a number of related policies and practices in place that support the wider embedding of good practice related to EDI. These include:

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