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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We’re proud of our diversity

Middlesex is an open and welcoming community. We value difference because it allows us to explore new perspectives and experiences, learning more than we ever could alone. We believe this richness of diversity enhances the experience of every MDX student.

  • What you can expect from us

    We will provide you with a variety of new perspectives and experiences to explore.

    We will encourage you to share your story, giving you the skills and confidence to do so.

    We will acknowledge where barriers exist and act to ensure that equality, diversity, inclusion and justice are reflected within our ways of working.

    We will listen, seeking to both understand and respect the views of others.

  • What we expect from you

    We expect you to be open to learning from and with others. Treating each other with respect and supporting each other’s success is at the core of how we work together.

    We hope that you will challenge yourself to seek out new ideas, cultures and experiences.

    We hope that you will ultimately become champions for diversity; both within our #TeamMDX community and in the wider world.

Reporting >

We don't tolerate any form of discrimination, bullying, harassment, victimisation or any form of hate (including online). Find out more about how to report this kind of behaviour as well as support on your next steps.

Get involved

We have a number of different groups, networks, societies and initiatives that bring together our students around the topics of diversity, equality and inclusion.

These provide a space for students who face oppression and discrimination, whilst encouraging understanding, empathy and tolerance.

We encourage you to explore these groups:

Changing the Culture Initiative

The CCI has been collaborating with students, staff and community groups to shift attitudes, values and behaviours and help build a more inclusive, tolerant and safe university for all.

Explore our work
  • Athena Swan Charter

About Athena Swan

The Athena Swan Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in the higher education sector, spanning both teaching and research. In 2015, the Charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in non-STEMM subjects, and now includes staff in professional and support roles.

Athena Swan is managed by AdvanceHE. More information about Athena Swan can be found on the AdvanceHE website.

We have been awarded a highly-esteemed Bronze Award by the Athena Swan Charter, which recognises that the University has a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

The Athena Swan internal Self-Assessment Team (SAT) undertook a rigorous self-assessment of data to assess gender equality across Middlesex's staff community. From this insight, the team developed a set of short, medium and longer term actions to help drive forward gender equality and representation across the University, including gender non-conforming individuals.

These actions include:

  • Reviewing the promotion and progression process
  • Further embedding the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in new staff inductions and at local level across teams
  • Enhancing knowledge of the University’s parental leave policies and developing a more robust support mechanism for staff needing to access it
  • Embracing and embedding more engaging and affirmative communications in our approaches to recruitment to encourage applications from underrepresented groups.

Self-Assessment Team

The Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team (SAT) currently meets quarterly. The Athena Swan SAT is working together to identify and implement necessary actions to improve gender equality at MDX, using data and research.

The main focus of the Athena Swan SAT is to:

  • Reflect on a range of quantitative and qualitative data to identify both challenges and opportunities with regards to gender equality
  • Evaluate relevant policies, practices and activities
  • Respond to the findings of the above, and establish gender equality-based priority areas with appropriate aspirations and targets
  • Develop an evidence-based, comprehensive action plan to underpin advancement against the agreed priorities over the whole award period (five years), after which time the University will apply to renew or upgrade our award
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of actions undertaken on an ongoing basis, to ensure actions are delivering desired impact against objectives, and evolve the action plan in response to evaluation.

The Athena Swan SAT has representation from a breadth of career stages and staff types, including professional and support staff, research and academic staff, and students. Membership of the Athena Swan SAT is gender-balanced, taking account of intersectionality in its make-up so far as is practicable, and is representative of the diversity inherent within MDX.

Our approach to Athena Swan SAT activities

Middlesex University is committed to developing a distinctive, inclusive and sustainable research culture which fosters the skills, methods and ethos of practice-oriented, interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange.

Our approach to Athena Swan follows four strands:

  • Recruitment, promotion, picture of institution, supporting trans people and intersectionality
  • Parental leave, care and flexible working
  • Training, outreach, staff development, career progression
  • Senior level, governance, policy.
  • Find out more

  • Stonewall

We received a Gold Award from Stonewall – the world’s second-largest LGBTQ+ charity – for our commitment to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people in the workplace in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2023. Middlesex also ranked 58th (out of 268 institutions) in this Index, and came 8th out of the 30 higher education institutions that took part this year.

Practical support and information

  • Gender: often expressed in terms of masculinity and femininity, gender is largely culturally determined and is assumed from the sex assigned at birth.
  • Gender expression: how a person chooses to outwardly express their gender, within the context of societal expectations of gender. A person who does not conform to societal expectations of gender may not, however, identify as trans.
  • Gender identity: a person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.
  • Sex: assigned to a person on the basis of primary sex characteristics (genitalia) and reproductive functions. Sometimes the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are interchanged to mean ‘male’ or ‘female’
  • Intersex: a term used to describe a person who may have the biological attributes of both sexes or whose biological attributes do not fit with societal assumptions about what constitutes male or female. Intersex people may identify as male, female or non-binary and some intersex people may identify as trans but not all intersex people are automatically trans.
  • Trans: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the gender they were assigned at birth. This can include people who identify as non-binary, but not all non-binary people identify as trans.
  • ‘Coming out’: When a person first tells someone/others about their orientation and/or gender identity.
  • Cisgender: A term for people whose gender identity is consistent with the gender they were assigned at birth.
  • Gender affirming medical treatment: treatment that a trans person may undergo to affirm their gender identity, for example hormone therapy or surgery. It is important to note that this is a very personal choice and not all trans people choose to undergo gender affirming medical treatment. This is also referred to as ‘gender reassignment’ in equality legislation.
  • Non-binary: umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely
  • Sexual orientation: a person’s sexual attraction to other people, or lack thereof. Along with romantic orientation, this forms a person’s orientation identity. The use of the term ‘orientation’ is as an umbrella term covering sexual and romantic orientations.
  • Questioning: the process of exploring your own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
  • Race Equality Charter (REC)

We are a member of Advance HE's Race Equality Charter. Signing up to this charter demonstrates commitment to improving the representation, progression and success of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students within higher education.


In September 2022, Middlesex University film students produced a campaign film as part of the university’s work to tackle a rise in incidents of spiking.

  • Spiking can happen to anyone...
  • Spiking has long-lasting effects...
  • Spiking is removal of consent...
  • Spiking is illegal!

Black Lives Matter >

Now is the time to stand together. Now is the time to use our collective voices for change. We are all part of #TeamMDX and together we say #BlackLivesMatter.

How we’re supporting students’ wellbeing

We offer lots of support, activities and opportunities at MDX. If students have a specific support or wellbeing need, we can help identify the right service for them.

Find out more.

Student Trans Policy

Middlesex is proud to have created a policy for supporting trans students in collaboration with our students’ union. You can find more information about what it means to be trans and how to access support.

View the policy here

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