Research note: Complying with frustration, the experience of equality and diversity practitioners

Kate Sang, Susan Sayce, Josephine Kinge, Simy Joy

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The Equality and Diversity (E&D) role in Higher Education (HE) in the UK ensures that universities are compliant with equalities legislation and that they fulfil their duty to promote equality as these relate to employees and the institution as a whole. Hunter and Swan (2007) call for more research to explore how equality and diversity practitioners handle these complex and contradictory (E&D) duties (Healy et al, 2010). We also argue that, as the UK university context itself faces severe financial challenges, understanding the experiences of HE E&D practitioners/managers becomes more urgent. The purpose of the research is to explain the experience of equality practitioners in the HE context, an under-explored area of equality practice. Meyerson and Scully’s concept (1995) of the ‘tempered radical’ has been used to give us greater insight into how the challenges of this role are played out in the HE context.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalInterdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2015


  • equality
  • diversity
  • university
  • practitioners
  • tempered radical

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