Supporting Diversity within The Technical Workforce

20 December 2022

We would like to thank all attendees for their participation in our HEaTED Networking Event – Supporting Diversity within Technical Services on 14th December.

Networking event poster

The engagement from participants created an open, honest and collaborative environment for others to freely share their thoughts, concerns and ideas. With data presented by the NTDC Survey Team, collected from technical staff across 17 institutions, we were able to contextualise the topic and issues around diversity in technical services.

Charts of data from NTDC Technician survey

NTDC Technician Survey Data

The NTDC Survey Team presented data from the NTDC Technician Survey; at the core of the survey is a Technical Skills Database, containing over 3,000 unique technical characteristics. The team collated data from seventeen partner universities who have already completed the survey. The survey allows institutions to see who their technical team are, the demographics and their skills and skills gaps. The data contextualised the session contents to see how important the conversations are for technical services across the UK.

Catalyst for change poster

Keynote: Dr Hannah Roberts

We welcomed Dr Hannah Roberts as Keynote Speaker with her session ‘Catalyst for Change: Fostering Allyship’. Hannah shared techniques and ideas for attendees to implement in their ‘on the ground’ roles, from micro-interventions, to micro-affirmations. She explored unconscious biases and the different levels at which these exist; structurally, culturally and individually.

“I think we should all choose to bring our unconscious biases to consciousness”

Getting the most out of your apprenticeship levy

Technical Apprenticeships

After Hannah’s fantastic session, we heard from Caleb Wright and Karen Bailey-Smith with their session on apprenticeships. The session explored apprenticeships and how institutions can encourage diversity in recruitment through apprenticeships. Caleb and Karen highlighted how employing apprentices can support diversification of the workforce, particularly regarding age, and also in supporting the local community by offering opportunities to underrepresented groups. Karen gave a useful technique on encouraging applicants from local backgrounds, who may have previously felt shut out from some employers:

“Apprenticeships can be a great tool for expanding the diversity of your workforce and developing people from different backgrounds. If you are wanting to hire apprentices from your local area, please consider things such as travel and other restrictions”.

Bubbles containing pros and cons of neurodiversity

Working and Networking with Neurodiversity: A First Hand Perspective

Our final session of the afternoon was delivered by Laurence Dawkins-Hall, Teaching Technician at the University of Leicester, NTDC Specialist Advisor and Science Council Professional Registration Mentor. Laurence’s session was centred around his first-hand experience of working and networking with neurodiversity. Laurence shared his experiences relating to both his personal and professional life and his first session on this topic was extremely well received. Laurence spoke about his self perception before he was aware of his Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):

“I just assumed that I was somebody who was very, very anxious… I had a few idiosyncratic tendencies that made me a little bit different to other people and that have affected my career path”.

Laurence’s comments enlightened people and resonated with many in attendance.

Recording and Questions

Once again, thank you to all the speakers and attendees for such a great networking event, we’re looking forward to the next event. The recording can be found on the NTDC YouTube page. 

The recording will be available until 31/12/22. During the session we had many questions that will be answered by speakers and added to the HEaTED Events Page. 

We hope you all have a wonderful new year and we’re looking forward to seeing you again soon!