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University of East London staff member is nominated for a prestigious award

Ms Clare Matysova, equality, diversity and inclusion manager (EDI) at the University of East London, has been shortlisted in this year’s Forward Ladies (FL) National Awards. Ms Matysova has been shortlisted in the ‘Public Sector/Academia/Not for Profit Leader’ category in the London and South region.

Ms Matysova said, “I’m quite surprised by the nomination but really pleased at the same time. I feel this is an accolade for colleagues across the university as EDI cuts right across all the departments and disciplines. I think it is an acknowledgement of everyone’s commitment to create real change.”

“Working within EDI can be frustrating and rewarding at the same time. Sometimes the focus is on requirements around compliance with equality legislation but meaningful EDI work goes much further than this and is often about culture change. However, cultural change can be slow and full of challenges.”

“The breakthrough moments, however small, can be very rewarding. I am very lucky to work with amazingly dedicated colleagues across the institution who champion equity and inclusion on a daily basis.”

Forward Ladies is a global platform that connects women to opportunities, networks, businesses and expertise which helps to empower women and enable them to achieve their ambitions.

The FL National Awards & Summit recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in the workplace in the UK. These awards are the largest celebration of successful women in the UK.

The government and various regulatory bodies require the University to comply with equality legislation but the University has taken this further and EDI is deeply embedded into its Strategic Vision 2028 as one of the four cross-cutting institutional priorities.

In 2017, the University achieved the Athena SWAN institutional Bronze award aimed at progressing gender equality. In May, the University gained an Advance HE Race Equality Charter (REC) Bronze award, a significant achievement as there are currently only 11 other HEI award holders.

The University is committed to the implementation of the action plans devised in the REC to create real change. For example, since submitting for the REC, the University has seen the launch of its Equity Collective, an inclusive and anti-racist pedagogies community of practice. In addition, the University has hosted staff development workshops aimed at tackling the good honours BME attainment gap.

In relation to its Athena SWAN action plan, the University is committed to developing a more consistently inclusive working environment which recognises the value of flexible working for individuals and the organization – this is key to tackling the gender pay gap.

The EDI team continues to work with colleagues and play a critical role in ensuring the University maintains its focus on widening participation.

The London and the South Regional Final of the FL awards will take place on 27 September and the National Grand Final will be held on 29 November.

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