Learned Society of Wales Commits to a Greater Focus on Equity 

The Learned Society of Wales’ new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) commitment, released on International Women’s Day 2023, shifts our focus from equality to equity. 

‘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.’ 

The revised commitment was drawn up by a working group of Fellows who used the findings of an independent report into our previous record on DEI.

There has been significant progress in recent years in improving the gender balance of new Fellows within the Society. Women made up just under 50% of the intake in 2022. The aim, stated in the new DEI commitment, is to meet a 50/50 split for nominations for Fellowship year-on-year. 

“We’re delighted with the progress the Society has made in a number of areas,” said Chief Executive, Olivia Harrison

“There is, however, more to do and our new DEI statement shows our intent. 

“For example, we know we must dramatically improve our record on under-represented ethnicities within the Society’s Fellowship. 

“The focus on equity is especially important and we’re pleased to see it ties in with the message of this year’s International Women’s Day. There is a growing recognition of the need to redresses the inequities that have built up over the years. We have committed to prioritise and involve under-represented groups in the Society and our work, and to take targeted action where needed to achieve better outcomes for all.” 

The process of improvement will see all Fellows asked to fill in an anonymised DEI survey, which will help provide important data to measure the progress we need to make. 

“Some of the work we are carrying out internally might seem dry and technical,” said Olivia Harrison. “However, the information that we gather is important for us to be accountable and measure whether we are making progress on our commitments.”