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Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committee (WICC)

Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committee (WICC)

Our Wellbeing Inclusion and Culture Committee (WICC) has been created under the theme of ‘Our People’ in the University’s Strategy 2030. It aims to support our strategic priorities and commitments by bringing together colleagues to focus on the delivery of strategies for health and wellbeing, equality, diversity and inclusion, and colleague experience and development.  

The committee, which is co-chaired by the Provost and Executive Divisional Director of HR, has a number of reporting groups that it coordinates with to ensure successful delivery across these strategies. The WICC also brings together the work of the Faculty Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committees which work to deliver WICC priorities across our faculties.

There are a number of themes that sit under the WICC. Find out more about the work taking place across the University within each of the following areas.

WICC priorities for 2023

WICC has a number of key priorities for this year – these include: 

  1. Reviewing organisational workload allocation and equity, refresh of the Exeter Academic, review of Exeter Professional.
  2. Development and rollout of a comprehensive leadership programme for academic and professional services colleagues.
  3. Implementation of actions from the Race Equality Charter Plan.
  4. Moving the dial of the Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap.
  5. Fair Employment for All – including our commitment to the Living Wage and a reduction in the use of casual contracts.
  6. Improving safety, including delivery of the Government's Safer Streets initiative (round 4 funding) and bystander training for all students.
  7. Developing a mental health strategy – a whole institution approach to colleague and student mental wellbeing and development of a Wellbeing Dashboard.
  8. Working towards new institutional and department level Athena SWAN applications.
  9. Developing policy and guidance for Workplace 2030 and embedding global mobility.
  10. Building a better understanding of colleagues’ experiences and our culture through quantitative and qualitative feedback.

The priorities under this theme, include:

  • Consultation and launch of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • Preparatory work for our University Mental Health Charter
  • Ensuring a ‘whole institution’ approach to the prevention of suicide
  • Student wellbeing

More on Colleague Wellbeing

This theme covers the following key areas: 

  • Disability equality
  • Gender equality
  • Race equality
  • Sexual orientation equality
  • Faith and worldwide view equality
  • University of Sanctuary

 The current priorities for this theme are:

  1. Supporting faculty-level Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committees – reviewing data and setting priorities for the year for faculties and departments
  2. Review of recruitment criteria and process – ‘diversity by design’
  3. Building and growing allyship – bystander intervention training, confronting racism, student training and gender safety (male allies and trans awareness)
  4. Supporting change toward inclusive assessments and reasonable adjustments processes
  5. Reviewing and improving the Speak Out reporting tools to ensure timely and appropriate response to concerns raised, raise awareness and encourage reporting
  6. Improving disclosure processes and rates across ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation
  7. Continuing work with organisations and partners in the region to enhance safety and inclusion
  8. Accreditations and change, including: 
    • Delivery of the 2022/23 actions from our Race Equality Action Plan (Race Equity Alumni Network) in tandem with Success for All and Transformative Education

    • External Assessment for ‘Disability Confident Leaders’ and embedding Inclusive Design

    • Submission of institutional Athena SWAN (AS) Silver and reaccreditation of departmental AS awards (due to impact of organisational restructure)

    • Religion and belief guidance and provision

    • Delivery of Sexual Orientation Equality Action Plan to maintain Stonewall Gold award


This theme covers the following areas:

  • Exeter Academic
  • Exeter Professional
  • Leadership development

Overall, this theme has an underpinning commitment for the University to be the best in class for educational practise and research culture. The current priorities for this theme are to review and support the development of the Leadership Difference Programme alongside the Exeter Professional and Exeter Academic – to ensure a complete career and progression programme for all colleagues.

This theme will also explore the future of performance devlopment reviews (PDRs), with a PDR review currently underway.

This theme covers workload allocation and equity across academic and professional services.

A key priority for this theme is to produce a series of academic workload principles with examples of what different workloads may look like, and a recommended process for agreeing workloads with academic colleagues to ensure a fair and transparent process. Approval for these principles is underway and we aim to introduce these to colleagues later this academic year.

In addition, work has begun on workload allocation and equity across our professional services divisions. Initial work has taken place to identity key challenges and solutions. A small task and finish group will report to the Exeter Professional in early summer with the intention of recommendations effective from 2023/24.

This theme covers the following areas:

• Gender and ethnicity pay gaps
• Above and Beyond awards and remuneration
• Salary, grade and pay enhancements

The current priorities for this theme are:

• Resource a programme of work through our Gender Pay Gap Group to investigate gender inequalities affecting our adhoc/claims worker population, as women and black, asian and minority ethnic colleagues form a significant part of this group.
• Working directly with the Student Ambassador recruitment team to diversify the group further as these form a significant part of our claims-worker population
• Evaluate the impact of the Adjusting for the Differential Impact of the coronavirus pandemic policies for both academic and professional services staff on progression.
• Support gender pay gap research proposals through the Gender Pay Gap Working group.
• Investigate gendered, ethnicity-based disparities in the value of Above and Beyond awards.
• Conduct further research into starting salaries and exceptional pay enhancements alongside creating HR capacity for building a rigorous approach to pay exceptions.
• Continue to investigate our data on ‘Time spent in Grade’ to aid challenges around grade clustering – considering particular pivot points e.g. senior lecturer.
• Remuneration for colleagues supporting equality, diversity and inclusion (anti-racism, gender and disability equality work).

This theme covers our future workplaces.

The key aim for this theme has been to support the creation of a set of space design principles which reflect our future cultural and space efficiency aspirations and focus on the environment, our people, and our strategy. The principles were approved by the University Executive Board in March 2023 and can be viewed on the Workplace 2030 dedicated SharePoint site. WICC will continue to work closely with the Workplace 2030 project team as individual building projects progress.