Inequality in the representation of people from diverse social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds is a continuing problem that is symptomatic of issues surrounding institutional racism, social inequality, and bias at the core of our institutions. Everyone has a responsibility in doing what they can to instigate positive change in their research communities, and in doing so we can exercise inherent skills for which we have been trained as research scientists.
- Collect data and do research into how widening participation programmes operate in your environment. Expose yourself to new opinions and first-hand experiences of bias through reading and listening to articles and other sources of information.
- Share information with your colleagues and be open about what you have learnt, even if this feels uncomfortable. If you have found an interesting article/book/podcast/website/video that has changed your viewpoint in a positive way, share it: it will likely impact others in your surroundings too.
- Communicate your findings to the appropriate institution or group in order to facilitate real change. Contribute to, or advocate for, existing schemes that you think make a positive impact on widening participation in academia. Where there are gaps in your research communities and institutions, call them out and suggest positive ways forward based on your research findings.
This is a problem that we all share. It is up to each one of us to use our skills to find solutions that will benefit our teaching and research environments by making them more accessible, diverse and engaged.
Books and podcasts
Presumed Incompetent. The intersections of race and class for women in academia. Editors: Gabriella Gutiérrez Y. Muhs ; Carmen G. González ; Yolanda Flores Niemann
Taking up Space. Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi
Cambridge University Support and BME campaign-