Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Statement – March 2023

The Learned Society of Wales has a mission to promote excellence and scholarship, inspire learning and benefit the nation. To meet this mission, we will be a Society that is diverse and has equity at the core of its activities.

Equality (equal treatment for all) is not the same thing as equity (a fair outcome for all). Our use of the term equity acknowledges the difference and points to our commitment to the more active intervention which equity requires.

It is our aim to create a culture of inclusion in all our work. We commit to celebrating, inspiring and highlighting the diverse richness of research and innovation in Wales, and working in partnership with our Fellows and the communities to which we belong.

We are strongly committed to challenging systemic inequity and all forms of discrimination and marginalisation, and we will continue to work hard to diversify our Fellowship and our practices.

We have come a long way with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work but we know that there is much more work to do. This is why we continue to challenge our thinking, act on our learning and update our commitments. In 2023 we will increase our investment in DEI in order to develop an action-plan and monitor our ongoing improvements and meaningful change. 

Some of our current commitments include:

  • Improving the gender balance of our Fellowship: we are highlighting the achievements of women Fellows, and we have set a target for a consistent 50/50 split of Fellowship nominations for women and men.
  • Encouraging the nomination of under-represented ethnicities to the Fellowship.
  • Celebrating diverse careers: our Fellowship and research medals recognise different career paths and stages, and we are signatories to the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).
  • Diversity at events: we aim for diverse speaker panels and audiences in all events led by the Society and we work with the organisers of events that we support to address underrepresentation and improve inclusion. 
  • Supporting Early Career Researchers (ECRs): We recognise that research culture is diverse in Wales. We actively promote cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional networking, as demonstrated through our ECR Network, which offers free seminars and other opportunities for ECRs to be included in our work.
  • Governance: we encourage diverse nominations for our Council and committees; our initial aim is that committees will be gender-balanced by May 2023, and we aim for diversity in our recruitment and assessment panels.
  • Improving the DEI data we collect to identify current and future needs, possible inequalities, and areas of improvement for the Society.
  • We will play our active part in the Welsh Government vision to eradicate racism from Wales by 2030.

Recent progress includes:

  • Since 2021, our Council and Committees have been gender-balanced. Eight of our ten Scrutiny Committees are also gender-balanced.
  • In May 2022 we welcomed 66 new Fellows to the society, 32 of whom were women.
  • In Oct 2022 we reviewed our Fellowship nomination forms and guidance and our supported event application forms to ensure the process and the language are inclusive and appropriate to our DEI aspirations.
  • In Nov 2022 we updated our policy to strengthen our commitment to the Welsh Language.

In Jan 2023 we designed a new approach to requesting DEI data, which was trialled on everyone nominated to Fellowship of the Society in 22/23 (rather than only those successfully admitted). This will be issued to all current Fellows (~650) in March 2023.

Please contact the Society if you would like to discuss our work on equity and diversity.

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