Here at Huddersfield we're proud to have a really diverse student body, including Black, Asian, Arabic and other minority ethnic (BAME) students. As a Students' Union, we work hard to explore the whole student experience and gain insight into particular challenges students face, so we can support all our students throughout their time at the University of Huddersfield. It's why we helped create the BAME Ambassador scheme last year!
And here in the SU offices, we've also been challenging ourselves to create a more inclusive culture with hiring and progression in our teams - and to make sure that as a workplace we're supporting diversity and inclusion.
We're therefore incredibly proud to announce that today we appeared in the Guardian in a list of workplaces (featuring huge businesses like the BBC and the Bank of England) which are 'Investing in Ethnicity & Race in the Workplace'.
"This is a great way for us to assess our progress in becoming a more inclusive and diverse place to work," says the SU's CEO, Rebekah Smith. "We've still got a lot of work to do, but it's a fantastic start. Well done to everyone involved!"
Mariam Aigbe, a BAME Ambassador who also works as PGR Engagement Assistant at the SU, says: "The challenges of being BAME are ever so true and evolving. As a BAME student, investing in ethnicity and race in a workplace not only makes me feel like I'm being thought about - it also makes me feel my voice is being heard. This is going to make applying for a job as an international student a bit less scary, as I'd know I'll be judged on my abilities and not the colour of my skin or how nappy my hair is."
Of all the businesses who applied, only 50% achieved accreditation from the auditors.
Our SU President, Jonathan Stephen, is thrilled. "The students involved in the BAME Ambassador scheme have rapidly informed the practices of the University and the Students' Union," Jonathan says. "Among their various projects, the BAME Ambassadors have introduced an Inclusive Participation Policy that ensures students groups complete inclusivity training before the start of the academic year, as well as the introduction of the 'Investing in Ethnicity & Race Maturity' Matrix. The BAME Ambassadors have been working with Huddersfield Students' Union's HR, the Board of Trustees and the Chief Executive Officer to develop the matrix, and the skills to meaningfully nurture BAME staff and student staff who enter the organisation - as well as supporting growth throughout an employee's time with the HSU community.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the matrix develop and continue to shape our community, with powerful work from the BAME Ambassadors and our extended campaign networks. This is just the start of the journey!"
If you want to get involved in the BAME Ambassador scheme, we couldn't be happier to welcome you! Find out more about becoming a BAME Ambassador, and the crucial work the Ambassadors are doing, here.