7. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
7.1 The Green Paper and consultations that followed identified that EDI should be consciously placed at the heart of the new Academy.
7.2 Despite many efforts and initiatives, the demographics of the UK mathematical sciences community differ sharply from the demographics of the country as a whole. This deprives the mathematical sciences community of many talents, and negatively affects the experiences of many mathematical scientists. Underrepresentation is due both to systemic barriers that disproportionately affect underrepresented groups, and to the complex messages and prejudices that young people receive about mathematical sciences.
7.3 The Academy will be a strong voice advocating for a diverse, welcoming and open community. It will play a fundamental role to ensure:
- Wider access and participation, including improved mathematical literacy for all.
- Fairer career progression for all mathematical scientists in all career stages and across all communities.
- A culture change that challenges the misconception and stereotype of mathematical sciences as hard and exclusively solitary activity, and instead promotes mathematics as a collaborative and social endeavour, accessible to all of those who are curious, find it fulfilling and have an interest in it.
7.4 Our key priorities are intended to be: tackling misconceptions, encouraging more students to study mathematical sciences at every level and supporting under-represented groups to flourish in mathematical sciences careers.
7.5 By embracing EDI as a core organising principle, we have the unique opportunity to create an Academy that takes up all the lessons learned in the mathematical sciences communities to date, and therefore promotes EDI from the outset, embedding these concepts in all activities and ways of working.
Actions so far
7.6 We believe in ‘EDI by design’, constantly reminding ourselves and others of the centrality of equality and diversity, and the need to embed EDI.
7.7 The EDI Workstream has already:
- Supported the Executive Committee in increasing breadth of representation and diversity in the early career mathematical scientists workstream, the EDI Workstream and other workstreams.
- Engaged with other workstreams (notably Policy, Education, Governance and Fellowship) around EDI priorities.
- Established initial links with the existing groups active in EDI across the mathematical sciences community, including the learned societies and activist groups.
- Is working with EPSRC and other stakeholders (including the London Mathematical Society, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and the Royal Statistical Society), to address barriers to research funding for underrepresented groups. The idea is that EPSRC could join forces with experts in the mathematical sciences community (such as the Royal Statistical Society) to make a ‘more sophisticated intersectional analysis of the portfolio data to reveal further insights and challenges’. See actions 1.4, 2.4 and 4.1 of the EPSRC 3 year EDI Action Plan.
Q14. What are in your opinion the three highest priorities concerning EDI (such as those outlined in 7.3) in the mathematical sciences community in the UK?
Q15. The EDI workstream is eager to engage with groups active in EDI across the mathematical sciences community to seek input from these on a regular basis. Which types of engagement/communication do you think would work best?
Q16. What activities and relationships should the Academy develop to promote a more diverse and inclusive mathematical sciences community in the UK?