Our differences make us stronger

Diversity and Inclusion at Henley

Henley Business School is fully committed to fair and equitable treatment of all its employees and students, and to making Henley a welcoming and inclusive environment. The school has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, chaired by Prof Claire Collins, which meets on a termly basis to discuss the implementation of diversity-related policies and initiatives.

See below quotes from our committee members reflecting their values and commitment to foster Diversity and Inclusion.

Claire Collins, Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Chair of the D&I Committee at Henley

‘Our differences are our strengths!’

‘Everyone has the right to bring their true authentic self to work or study and feel safe, valued and celebrated’

The above two statements speak about Henley’s beliefs for diversity and inclusion. Whether it is our place of study or our place of work, we should all feel that we can be exactly who we are, that our differences are welcomed and that they add to the quality and value of what we do.

No-one should ever feel threatened or be insulted because of who they are. If they are, we need to know about it and do something about it, so that we ensure that everyone can go about their lives safe and protected.

At Henley, we are building a business school that recognises diversity of thinking, maximising our performance through listening to different points of view and harnessing the many talents that are on offer. We are a global business school and we need global ideas to achieve our best.

Everyone is welcome, everyone has a part to play, everyone can give their best work to ensure that we all flourish together.

Jordan Wrigley, Senior Programme Administrator

“As a queer person who grew up in possibly the least diverse town in the UK, I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of representation, diversity, and a society that embraces and celebrates our differences. Only when everyone is free to be themselves and remain equal and included can we truly succeed as a community, as a school, and as human beings.”

Emma Street, Associate Professor in Real Estate and Planning

Working in a diverse and inclusive environment brings so many benefits for our staff and student community. Having a workplace where caring responsibilities are not a barrier to success and which supports policies such as flexible working resonates with my personal struggle to achieve work-life balance since becoming a mother. I have experienced mental health issues and think supporting good mental health among our staff and students is vital. In my teaching, I have looked into the experiences and achievements of our international students in a group work module as part of a wider review of our UG programmes. I also have an interest in promoting greater diversity in the Property and Planning professions.”

Aleksandra Petelina, PhD Candidate in Marketing and Reputation

Being an international student myself, it is a great honour for me to represent a diverse community of PhD students at Diversity & Inclusion Committee. PhD Community at Henley is a diverse group of researchers who come from all parts of the world. Being a part of Diversity & Inclusion Committee gives an opportunity to create an inclusive environment where students can voice their opinions and know that their opinions matter.”

Neil O’Brien, Senior Library Assistant

I’ve worked as Senior Library Assistant in the Henley Business School Library for 6 years.I’ve often heard the library described as ‘the heart’ of an institution and I believe this is so for the Business Library. I’m most proud that we have created an inclusive, vibrant library space where all our students and staff are welcomed and supported in their studies and research. Every year, the library team assists 1000’s of students from all over the world from Undergrads to Postgrads. Only recently, I answered enquiries from students in Finland, Cyprus and South Africa alongside home students - all in one morning! We are certainly a diverse and global community.The best advice I can give when helping students and staff with individual differences is to have ‘patience.’ This is something I have in plentiful supply. Taking the time to listen and truly understand is an integral step in enabling an individual’s requirements.”

The Committee’s objectives are:

  • Set a strategy for achieving greater diversity and inclusion at Henley Business School through the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010
  • Implement and communicate these actions effectively to build awareness for both staff and students
  • Identify channels for support
  • Harness ideas for activities/improvements to be heard and acted upon
  • Work towards accreditation in relevant areas, such as Athena SWAN for gender equality.

Henley Diversity and Inclusion News & Initiatives

  • We are applying for an Athena SWAN Bronze charter mark for gender equality in higher education. The application has been submitted and is being considered.
  • Henley was recently ranked amongst the top five business schools in the country for including diversity content in its core undergraduate curriculum: read more about the research here.
  • Women in Leadership: A forum which speaks to Henley’s external audience on key gender diversity matters through a series of events centered on current issues and trends.
  • Pathways to Property – Launched in 2012, the Pathways to Property project aims to widen access to the real estate profession by raising awareness of and aspirations about the vast range of careers within the property sector. Led by the Reading Real Estate Foundation at Henley Business School, the project was established as a response to the recognised lack of diversity in the industry. With a successful outreach programme, the project exposes students from less advantaged and non-traditional backgrounds to property, highlighting the careers available and supporting them to access the sector. To learn more about the projects successes, please find the 2018 Review here
  • For the past six years, the Business School, in partnership with the FT and the 30% Club, has awarded a Women in Leadership Scholarship, which offers full funding for the Executive MBA. The Scholarship is designed to offer practical support for the development of strong female talent: see here for details of the next competition.
  • Henley Hives, a new project in which Henley staff have volunteered to take part in six different working groups (Hives) to come up with solutions to staff engagement issues. Currently, the Hives focus on six key areas:
  • Social Collaboration
  • Learning and Development
  • New starters and collaboration
  • Stress and wellbeing
  • Cross-team collaboration

For more information on joining a Hive, please contact Stephanie Shaw

Research by Henley staff and students

D&I blogs

Our student and staff community discuss the D&I issues through blogs: