At the University of Southampton, we believe that we can only truly play our part in supporting society, if we are reflective of society. We are therefore passionate about creating a working environment in which you are free to bring your whole self to work.

We are focused on creating supportive workplaces for all where discrimination has no place. The way in which you choose to live your life has no bearing on your ability to do your job. Likewise, your age, gender, sexual preference, religion, social background, ethnicity or any other identifying factor will never be a consideration here. Instead, we are determined to always treat our staff equally, fairly and with respect.

We welcome students from all walks of life, and as such, we champion a uniquely diverse working environment in which every colleague is able to excel, regardless of their background or their life choices. Quite simply, we want to attract likeminded people to the University – people who care about the world, and who share our passion for creating an innovative and forward-thinking learning and research environment.

We are proud to support many staff networks, and we encourage these groups to get involved in helping us create a forward-thinking and desirable workplace. We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and we are immensely proud to have been awarded an institutional Athena SWAN silver award, which underpins our pledge to improve equality for women. We also support flexible working and with an open and supportive working environment, we always want to hear from our staff on how we can create the best possible working experience.

People matter to us in ODAR and we recognise that our activity and success depends on the diversity of voices and experience within our team. What does this look like in practice? Our fundraising starts from the highest ethical standards, and currently one of our two main fundraising priorities is focussed on raising money to encourage and assist underrepresented student groups. Our Volunteering programme supports students and recent graduates from a variety of backgrounds, helping them gain the tools to be personally and professionally successful.

We are actively diversifying our communications and events to truly reflect our community, so that all of our alumni and supporters feel they belong. And we do all we can to ensure our colleagues across the team know they have a safe space to share their views, to be themselves and to be respected for who they are. There is more we can do, and our Equality and Belonging working group supports our team, each day, in improving and strengthening our culture and best practice. We’re still learning how best to achieve this and are supported by the University’s EDI strategy.