Reflecting on the work of the BASES Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group

25th March 2021

Reflecting on the work of the BASES Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group

BASES is committed to widening participation in scientific research, education, practice and the workplace. In May 2020, BASES established a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (now the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group (EDI AG). In July 2020, the Board of BASES appointed a Board Diversity Champion, Mrs Satvinder (Vinny) Kaur Leach. Dr Kotryna Fraser was appointed the EDI AG’s first Chair in January 2021.

By promoting EDI, BASES will create greater opportunity for any individual in sport and exercise science to fulfil their potential, irrespective of their background or circumstances. In so doing it will also help to better serve society by attracting the widest possible talent to the sport and exercise science workforce, fostering a greater diversity of scientific ideas, research, practice and technology.

In less than ten months, the BASES EDI AG has started to make inroads. Some early achievements include;

  • Creating a new EDI page in the member-only website to share key documents and updates.
  • Creating an EDI definitions document as a support tool for current BASES members, which can be viewed via the Members' Area.
  • Submission of the Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework 2.0 to the Science Council; this enables the assessment of BASES’ progress on becoming a more diverse and inclusive organisation. Further information can be found here.
  • Undertaking the first BASES Diversity monitoring survey in Autumn 2020, a summary of which can be seen in the infographic via Members' Area.
  • Introducing a short, anonymised diversity survey for new and renewing members to better capture and understand the diverse membership of BASES.
  • Taking part in National Inclusion Week 2020 by sharing individual stories of the members of the EDI AG, one example of which is here.
  • Promoting some of our inspiring female members for International Women’s Day 2021.
  • The approval by the BASES Board of a new bursary for students in hardship ('Supervised Experience Candidate Support Programme'), which is due to go live in April 2021.
  • Student members of the EDI AG sharing their experiences of student-staff working relationships and advice on how teaching staff can create inclusive learning environments. You can find these experiences in The Sport and Exercise Scientist Summer 2021 edition.
  • Using the new OpenDyslexic font to prepare infographics on diversity data to increase its readability for readers with dyslexia. This has resulted in wider consideration of some larger documents and their readability/accessibility for members with dyslexia.
  • The addition of a gender-neutral title (Mx) on BASES membership application form.

Moving forwards, key projects to be developed by the group over the coming year include;

  • EDI training for BASES’ members, some of which has already commenced. This will start with developing overall awareness of language used/should be used in daily and scientific communications to create equitable, diverse and inclusive spaces. The project will also include developing policies and position stands, including guidelines to BASES’ members on how to create more inclusive and safe spaces.
  • Establishing a clear support and complaint system if BASES’ members feel they have experienced discrimination.
  • Amplifying the voices of under-represented groups through establishing mentoring schemes and highlighting diverse role models in Sport and Exercises Sciences.
  • Considering and implementing changes to the Ethics Code to better reflect members’ responsibilities in EDI and social justice.
  • Agreeing and planning campaigns for any key diversity days / weeks that BASES should be actively promoting.

Commenting on the above, Dr Kotryna Fraser, Chair of the EDI AG said:

“In such a relatively short time, we have accomplished some quick wins, but there is so much more we, as an Association, can do to promote EDI. The new projects will be a great starting point, while we continue to discuss and consider other projects for future years. We are aware that members of BASES are already doing lots of great work, and if members would like to get involved with some of these projects please reach out through enquiries@bases.org.uk.

Finally, it is really important that new members and those renewing their membership do spend a couple of minutes to complete the brief diversity monitoring form. We gather and analyse diversity data to assess the extent to which we are achieving our diversity and inclusion aims. We then use this information to review our processes to ensure they are fair and transparent, and do not have an adverse impact on any particular group. So, when becoming a new member or when renewing your BASES membership, please complete the short survey through the link in the respective welcome/reminder email. Help us to help you. Thank you.”

Details of the members of the BASES EDI AG can be found here.

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