PSA's Diversity and Equality Working Group
Diversity and equality
The PSA, recognising the value of sustaining an inclusive environment, is committed to opposing discrimination within the discipline on the basis of gender or sexuality, ethnicity, race, nationality, age, physical ability, marital status, family responsibility, class, religion or ideological belief. At present while women and black and minority ethnic (BME) people are not underrepresented among politics undergraduates, the situation is rather different when it comes to postgraduates (especially research postgraduates) and politics staff in university departments, particularly in the case of BME people. In the 2011 census nearly 20 per cent of the population did not describe themselves as ‘White British’ (over 14 per cent belonged to ‘non-white’ ethnic groups or were of mixed ethnic heritage) but only 6 per cent of all politics postgraduates and under 4 per cent of research students and staff have a BME background (Diversity Working Group, ‘Report on diversity in the Politics profession’, 2009). Not only is this unsatisfactory from the perspective of equal access and opportunity but the persistence of patterns of inequality and lack of diversity matter when the business of politics as a social science is about reflecting on the state of public life and society.
Since 2009 the PSA’s Diversity and Equality (DEG) Working Group has been working to make the Association and the political studies community in the UK more accessible to people from across the social spectrum and convert the PSA’s commitment to anti-discriminatory practise into positively working to promote diversity. The DEG has researched the situation of BME politics staff and students and held several forums, meetings and focus groups, liaising with organisations such as Runnymede Trust and the Equalities Challenge Unit.
Members of the Association interested in contributing to the efforts of the DEG are invited to contact the chair, Dr Anil Awesti
The PSA's Diversity and Equality Working Group has produced a number of draft reports that are now available for members to read.
- PSA EXEC Committee Report on Equality and Diversity - Heather Savigny
- Issues faced by women and BME PhDs - Kate Mattocks
The authors would welcome any feedback on the reports as they are still drafts. Comments can be sent to Kate Mattocks for the PhD report (Kate.firstname.lastname@example.org) and Heather Savigny and/or Anil Awesti for the Working Group reports (email@example.com, A.K.Awesti@warwick.ac.uk) respectively.