At DMU, we participate in a number of equality and diversity related charter marks. We are Race Equality Charter Bronze holders, Athena Swan Bronze award holders, are ranked 40th in the 2020 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and are a Disability Confident Employer.

The work outlined in our strategy works to progress EDI, and assists us to achieve these charters.

Please see below to find out more about each charter.

Race Equality Charter

The Race Equality Charter (REC) is a charter mark created by the national higher education charity, the Advance HE. The REC ‘provides a framework through which institutions work to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students.’

There are five guiding principles which underpin the Charter. For further information on these and the charter more broadly, please visit the national Race Equality Charter website.

Further, there are three levels of award; bronze, silver and gold. DMU was an early adopter of the REC, participating in the pilot in 2015. Since this, we have successfully renewed our bronze award in 2018, and are currently in the process of making our 2022 application.

The Race Equality Charter aims to inspire a strategic approach to making cultural and systemic changes that will make a real and sustainable difference to BAME staff and students.

At DMU, some work which has supported our REC submissions includes:

View our 2018 submission.


Stonewall is Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality, working to create a world where every single person can be accepted without exception. 

It was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who wanted to break down barriers to equality. Stonewall continues to campaign and lobby government to change laws to ensure everyone, everywhere, is free to be themselves. In 2003, they were granted charitable status, and have become renowned for their campaigning, helping to enable same-sex marriage, civil partnerships, and ensuring that lesbian, gay and bi people are protected in the Equality Act. 

Each year, Stonewall runs the Workplace Equality Index (WEI), which benchmarks participating employers from all sectors as to their progress in LGBT equality. This annual audit celebrates the efforts of leading organisations, to create an inclusive workplace.

Since the university began entering, DMU has featured in the top 100 WEI Employers, and the staff LGBTQ and Allies Network has been highly commended by Stonewall for the support it provides.

Some work we have undertaken which has supported our WEI submissions include:

  • An annual month-long celebration of LGBTQ+ culture every February called DMUPride (LINK)
  • Working with local partners to create an LGBT+ Inclusion Charter for Leicestershire
  • Trans and Non-binary inclusion policy
  • Trans guidance
  • LGBTQ+ Allies training
  • LGBTQ+ microaggressions training
  • Role model profiles
  • Review of our student journey for LGBTQ+ inclusion

Find out more about Stonewall.

Athena Swan

Athena Swan is a gender equality charter mark created by the national higher education charity, Advance HE. The charter recognises the commitment of higher education institutions (and research institutes) to gender equality, and the actions put in place to redress any imbalance.

This national scheme grants bronze, silver and gold awards to organisations and departments that can demonstrate increasing levels of good practice in promoting gender equality in higher education.

There are 10 key principles which underpin the Charter. For further information on these, please visit the national Athena Swan website.

In 2018, DMU’s work in support of gender equality was recognised, with a renewal of our Bronze Athena SWAN award, recognising the university’s commitment to promote and advance gender equality.

Some of the work we have undertaken which advances gender equality includes:

  • We have reviewed our policies and have refreshed our approach to our work life balance and flexible working provisions at DMU.
  • We introduced a women’s network.
  • We introduced programmes such as Developing Diversity, 100 Black Female Professors Now, and the Vice Chancellor’s Promoting Women scheme for aspiring female Professors.
  • We support women to engage in development opportunities to encourage them into more senior and leadership positions; for example, we sponsored a number of women to participate in the Aurora Women's Leadership and the Senior Women’s Leadership development programmes in 2020.
  • Our shared parental leave policy allows fathers (or partners, including same sex partners) access to the same level of enhanced pay during shared parental leave as a woman taking maternity leave.
  • Introduced a range of academic career pathways across the different disciplines of teaching, research and knowledge exchange, from a new early career academic level through to professor. 
  • We ensure that women are actively encouraged to apply for internal pay progression and promotional opportunities.
  • We hold events such as our annual “Aspiring Academics” event in December 2020, which aims to encourage less well represented groups (e.g. female and BAME) to apply for promotion to Associate Professor and Professor.
  • We have developed an internal mentoring scheme which was launched in January 2021.

View our Athena Swan application form.

View submissions and activity from HLS schools.

Disability Confident

Previously known as the Two Ticks scheme, Disability Confident is a government run scheme, which works with employers to “remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations”.

There are three levels of award within the Disability Confident scheme, level 1, level 2 and level 3. DMU has been recognised as a ‘Level 2 Disability Confident Employer’ following work we have undertaken such as:

  • Offering interviews to disabled people who meet the minimum job criteria
  • Ensuring flexibility in our assessments
  • Running internal development opportunities such as Developing Diversity
  • Promoting a culture of being Disability Confident, for example, through our staff network and events which we hold.

The three levels of commitment are as follows:

Level 1 (Disability Confident committed employer): the organisation must commit to the five pledges, and commit to offering disabled people one of numerous activities which will make a difference to disabled people at work.

Level 2 (Disability Confident employer): the organisation must commit to 13 statements, and two activities. These 13 statements are:

  • Actively looking to attract and recruit disabled people
  • Providing a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process
  • Offering an interview to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the job
  • Flexibility when assessing people so disabled job applicants have the best opportunity to demonstrate that they can do the job
  • Proactively offering and making reasonable adjustments as required
  • Encouraging our suppliers and partner firms to be Disability Confident
  • Ensuring employees have appropriate disability equality awareness
  • Promoting a culture of being Disability Confident
  • Supporting employees to manage their disabilities or health conditions
  • Ensuring there are no barriers to the development and progression of disabled staff
  • Ensuring managers are aware of how they can support staff who are sick or absent from work
  • Valuing and listening to feedback from disabled staff
  • Reviewing the Disability Confident employer self-assessment regularly

Level 3 (Disability Confident leader): in addition to the requirements of level 2, the organisation must have its self-assessment validated from outside of the business, and be acting as a champion in the local community.

For further information on Disability Confident, please visit the national website.