Strengthening our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is one of LSE's 2020 strategy priorities. You can see full information on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at LSE here. Others include education, and leading globally in social science. LSE's intention is proactively to establish a culture that allows us to:
• Gain access to, and represent a more diverse pool of talent among staff and students
• Enhance the School’s engagement with new audiences and stakeholders, both in the UK and internationally
• Continue to improve the diversity of our governing body.
Speakers of world standing from the realms of politics, finance, civil society and current affairs as well as academic life visit LSE to deliver lectures and seminars on subjects of wide topical interest. Many occasions in the resulting rich programme of events are open to LSE students, staff and alumni, as well as to the thousands of visitors who attend from outside LSE each year. This programme of events is something which adds great value to the LSE staff and student experience, and is a vital component of LSE’s engagement with the outside world.
As a global educational institution which encourages people to “Join the Global Debate” it is appropriate that the School actively addresses the issue of equity, diversity and inclusion in our events programme.
While it is clear that there is often a lack of meaningful diversity in the top positions – this cannot be an excuse to under-represent exclude women and other groups, including ethnic minorities and those with disabilities, in public debates. As part of the School’s commitment to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion, and in the context of our contributions to the public debate, we have a duty proactively to consider how our events can include a genuinely diverse range of voices in discussions.
Following the introduction of this policy, female representation in the School’s public events has risen from 20% in the 2011/2012 academic year to 43% in the 2016/2017 academic year.
With a view to further embedding awareness and hosting a more diverse events programme, LSE has:
• A goal of a minimum 40% of speakers from either gender at School events to be achieved by the start of the 2018-19 academic year. This goal will apply to the School as a whole, and to individual academic units within it.
• The continuation of a formal monitoring system managed by the LSE events office. This will monitor events which are part of the School’s public events programme, and will disaggregate the information by academic unit. The monitoring system also asks for information on other protected characteristics, which will enable policy development on this basis in future.
• A requirement that academic units discuss equity, diversity and inclusion in regards to events speakers at departmental meetings on a regular basis. This is at the discretion of the academic unit, but we would propose it as an agenda item for all meetings when forthcoming events are to be discussed.
• A requirement to ensure that chairs for lectures which are part of the public events programme are briefed to take questions (and proactively encourage questions) from a balance of those in the audience, including women and minority groups. We encourage academic units to do the same in their own events.