UK Research Excellence Framework: Equality Training Materials Now Available

I don’t think we’ve linked to these before: the Equality Challenge Unit‘s training materials on equality and diversity for the REF process are now available, including a full trainer handbook, customisable powerpoint slides, and scenarios and activities for discussion. Although these resources relate to a very specific UK process, the scenarios might be of wider interest.

There are other useful materials on equality and diversity in research careers on the Vitae ‘Every Researcher Counts‘ page: see links to ‘resources’ and ‘case studies’.

Update: I forgot to say that the Every Researcher Counts page also has a link to the Premia project, which gathered views from disabled postgraduate researchers (aka grad students) and developed guidance materials aimed at helping to improve the quality of their experience.


A small tale of consciousness-raising

We were discussing homosexuality because of an allusion to it in the book we were reading, and several boys made comments such as, “That’s disgusting.” We got into the debate and eventually a boy admitted that he was terrified/disgusted when he was once sharing a taxi and the other male passenger made a pass at him.

The lightbulb went off. “Oh,” I said. “I get it. See, you are afraid, because for the first time in your life you have found yourself a victim of unwanted sexual advances by someone who has the physical ability to use force against you.” The boy nodded and shuddered visibly.

“But,” I continued. “As a woman, you learn to live with that from the time you are fourteen, and it never stops. We live with that fear every day of our lives. Every man walking through the parking garage the same time you are is either just a harmless stranger or a potential rapist. Every time.”

The girls in the room nodded, agreeing. The boys seemed genuinely shocked.

“So think about that the next time you hit on a girl. Maybe, like you in the taxi, she doesn’t actually want you to.”

From here.

(Thanks, Mr Jender!)