Equality & Diversity


We support the University’s commitment to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected.

Our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion committee, made up of a broad range of staff and students, coordinates with other committees across the School and University to ensure that we keep abreast of new opportunities to help us meet our goals, and advise on where we can improve. We aim to support students and staff at all stages of their career development, through mentorship, training, reviews, research group activities, flexible working and supporting funding applications.


Gender and Intersectional Equality

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We have been awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award. The Athena SWAN Charter encourages and recognises our commitment to advancing gender and intersectional equality.  Our Athena SWAN submission includes a detailed Action Plan for the next 5 years, to help us address the School's main equality and diversity challenges. Our key priorities are: 

  • To address gender inequality within senior roles, professional, technical and operational staff, research seminars and curriculum;
  • To provide improved support for career development;
  • To improve the sense of cohesion and inclusion;
  • To improve well-being and workload.


Anti-racism Commitment

We are an academic community that embraces and values people from all backgrounds and we do not tolerate racism in any form. As individuals and as part of a wider community of archaeologists here at Oxford we acknowledge that we must re-examine the way we approach everything we do and represent. Taking a stand for values of inclusivity and fairness is a continual process. Our discipline, like many others, shares a complex history with race. We must grasp the opportunity to listen carefully to voices both within and without our discipline. 

Members of our School offer a wide range of experiences, skills and inspired ideas for challenging discrimination, which we will continue to draw on and develop.  As a discipline we study the cultural destruction, dispossession and death wrought by colonialism, but also the many other instances in which cultural encounter was a source of creativity. We have collaborated with the Oxford and Colonialism Project working group. Created in the Spring of 2016, the project mobilises efforts to reflect on the University’s historic ties with Great Britain’s colonial past and the ways in which the University’s colonial legacies reflect on the present, and our vision of the University’s future.


Widening Access

We are continually working to improve access to our discipline. One such initiative is our collaboration with IntoUniversity which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain either a university place or another chosen aspiration. Together we offer a programme of archaeological events run for BAME high school students from schools across Oxford and London.

We also run our UNIQ summer schools each July. UNIQ is a free programme for state-educated students from all over the UK who are in their first year of further education, have good grades and are from diverse backgrounds. Its aim is to help them make successful applications to the University of Oxford.

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oxford colonialism project

To see our current curricula for the BA Archaeology & Anthropology click here, for the postgraduate taught courses click here.  

We oversee the content and structure of our curricula through our undergraduate and graduate teaching committees, which meet twice each term, including student representatives. In 2020-21 we are undergoing a process of reviewing our curricula from the perspective of diversity and inclusivity, through a working group making recommendations to the teaching committees. In the longer term this process will be taken forward by our Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity committee, in collaboration with the teaching committees.

Key to our efforts to diversify our curricula is the work of our subject librarian, Helen Worrell, the Archaeology and Tylor Anthropology Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries.


Helen Worrell's Diversifying Portraiture Project

Helen Worrell, the Archaeology and Tylor Anthropology Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries, created this exhibition of posters which debuted at the ASA conference in September, 2018. Helen's academic interests lie in LGBTQ studies, which she specialised in when studying for a MA (Hons) in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh.  She also holds an MA in Information and Library Management.  As well as working in the Bodleian Libraries, she is Vice-Chair of the Oxford University LGBT+ Advisory Group. 

The Tylor Library is part of the Bodleian Libraries and situated in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography.  The Library currently has busts of Evans-Pritchard, Frazer, and Godfrey Lienhardt.  Whilst their contribution to the discipline remains invaluable, the Library and the School are keen to celebrate anthropologists from communities that have been overlooked.

Staff and students were invited to nominate an anthropologist who has inspired them from communities currently under-represented, for example people of colour, women, LGBTIQ+, disabled communities. The posters are now on permanent display throughout the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. 


Helen is currently leading the project Changing the narrative: championing inclusive collection development for the Bodleian Libraries. 

Across the University many Departments are now undergoing changes to rectify historic gaps in teaching and enhance inclusivity.  In addition to top down curricula changes, students and researchers are setting up networks to examine these issues within Oxford University and campaign for change, see for example ‘Common Ground Oxford’ or TORCH’s ‘Queer Studies Network’.   Other GLAM institutions are also addressing the historic bias of their collections, for example the Pitt Rivers’ Public Engagement with Research strategy includes a focus on decolonisation of the museum and its collections, and the Ashmolean has promoted diversity through object-based learning. 

Inspired by this, the Social Sciences and Humanities Libraries wish to take a more proactive approach to collection development that enables us to think critically about the collections we currently hold so that we are aware of the gaps and the narrative these collections tell.  This will ensure the collections we build are used and useful, and continue their transformational impact. 

This project will champion diversifying our collection development across the Social Sciences and Humanities Subject Librarians’ network , and with the aim of enhancing collections in areas such as LGBT+ Studies, Disability Studies, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) Studies and the intersections between these identities.  

The project will seek input from those already working in these areas across the University to help identify gaps and concerns regarding our collections. 

If you have any questions, comments or want further information please email the project lead, Helen Worrell at Helen.Worrell@bodleian.ox.ac.uk   

Training for Staff

LGBT+ Allies Training

The LGBT+ Allies workshop gives non-LGBT+ staff an opportunity to explore what it means to be an ally, time to ask questions and practical advice on how they can be an effective ally.

If you're interested in attending a Role Models training, please fill in the expression of interest form here, and the EDI team will be in touch with the next training date.

Equality and Diversity briefing

This online course is strongly recommended for all University staff. It introduces you to what equality and diversity mean and why they are important both to the University and to you as an individual. It provides an overview of the legislation, your rights and responsibilities, and guidelines for ensuring that equality and diversity are embedded in your work.

You will need your single sign on credentials to access the training - Equality and Diversity Briefing

Estimated course duration - 1 hour


Implicit bias in the workplace

This online course introduces the topic of implicit bias and its origins, considers how it might manifest itself in our behaviour, and provides practical tips and reflections to help you reduce the risk of bias in your own work.

You will need your single sign on credentials to access the training - Implicit Bias in the Workplace


Tackling race bias at work

There is considerable evidence that racial bias and discrimination continue to impact negatively on the working lives of people from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) background across the UK. Developed in partnership with Professor Binna Kandola, Senior Partner and co-founder of leading business psychology consultancy Pearn Kandola, this course takes a bold look at the nature of ‘modern racism’ and its influence in the workplace. It will offer staff the opportunity to better understand racism in the workplace and make key changes to tackle racism and race bias. 

You will need your single sign on credentials to access the training - Tackling Race bias at work


Little things matter: The Impact of micro-behaviours in the workplace

Three short videos that explore micro-behaviours and micro-inequities and the important part they play in our working relationships, and in addressing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Using your single sign-on credentials, view the videos.


Cultural awareness in the workplace

The UK has one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse workforces in Europe and our workplaces are increasingly likely to be a mosaic of races, religions, lifestyles and cultures. Being aware and respectful of other cultures is an essential part of living and working in the UK today.

Our cultural background exerts a powerful influence on how we interpret and interact with the world around us. As well as influencing our own behaviour, it also dictates how we interpret the behaviour of other people.

Problems can arise when we use the rules of our own culture to interpret the behaviour of people from another, and can lead us to the wrong conclusions. This course looks at the problems caused by cultural stereotyping and misunderstandings, the benefits of diversity and the importance of treating everyone with respect.

You will need your single sign on credentials to access the training: Cultural awareness in the workplace

Estimated duration - 15 - 30 mins


Challenging Behaviour: Dealing with bullying and harassment in the workplace

An online training course designed to give you a better understanding of:

  • The legal and moral responsibilities of all staff
  • The knowledge and skills necessary to work successfully as part of a diverse team
  • Why certain behaviours are inappropriate
  • The damage caused by bullying and harassment
  • How to respond to inappropriate behaviour
  • The tools to recognise and put a stop to bullying and harassment

You will need your single sign on credentials to access the training - Challenging Behaviour: Dealing with bullying and harassment in the workplace

Estimated course duration - 1 hour