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10th January, 2020

City awarded funding by the Association of Commonwealth Universities Gender Grants programme

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City, University of London has been awarded funding by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) to support initiatives that will boost gender equity and equality.

It will be used to support City’s Empower to Act (EMPACT) project, which aims to improve policies, guidance, procedures, awareness, training, reporting and support mechanisms to prevent and respond effectively to sexual harassment.

The grant will contribute to enabling City staff in key roles to be trained in how to support students who report incidents of sexual harassment to them.

Universities UK’s ‘Changing Culture’ report emphasised the importance of equipping staff to support a student who discloses an incident to them. A follow-up report, released this year, found that training was valuable in providing staff with the confidence to both recognise and respond to incidents of harassment.

At City, the training is designed to equip potential first-line responders with the knowledge and skills to deal with incidents reported to them effectively.

It is an important part of the EMPACT project’s commitment to effectively implement initiatives that prevent, and improve the response to, sexual misconduct, harassment and violence.

Professor Zoe Radnor is Vice-President (Strategy & Planning) at City and the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead. Commenting on the award, she said:

The ACU award will enable more immediate action to upskill our staff in responding effectively to disclosures of sexual harassment, misconduct and violence and provide reporting staff or students with the support they need and deserve.”

ACU Gender Grants are awarded annually to member universities to support initiatives that will boost gender equity and equality. The grants can be used for a diverse range of projects, workshops, and events in areas such as:

  • Supporting women in leadership
  • Raising awareness of sexual harassment and developing anti-sexual harassment initiatives
  • Supporting women in science and research
  • Creating effective institutional policies

City is a member of the ACU which is the world’s first international university network with more than 500 member institutions in over 50 countries. The organisation’s strength lies in its breadth and links to diverse countries, often with a large proportion of young people.Membership of the ACU enables City to extend its global reach, connections and profile through providing access to grants such as this one.

Since re-joining the ACU in 2017, as well as being awarded funding for the EMPACT project, two members of staff from City have been awarded Early Career Conference Grants and a City student received a full bursary to attend the ACU’s Summer School in Hong Kong.  Find out more about ACU funding opportunities

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