From education to employment

Diversity executive sponsors appointed for Imperial’s staff networks

Imperial 600 members at London Pride


@ImperialCollege networks Able@Imperial, Imperial As One and Imperial 600 have welcomed new diversity executive sponsors.

Professor Emma McCoy and Professor Francisco Veloso have been appointed Diversity Executive Sponsors for Imperial As One and Professor Nick Jennings for Imperial 600. College Secretary, John Neilson, has been re-appointed as the sponsor for Able@Imperial.

Each sponsor commits to using their connections and knowledge to support the network in delivering great events, widening membership and inspiring staff across Imperial. Sponsors also work together to feed in the views of the networks to the Provost’s Board.

Acting as a network champion and ally gives senior leaders the chance to meet and learn more about diverse groups of staff and postgraduate students across the College.

The diversity networks aim to represent different staff groups at Imperial. As well as acting as spaces to discuss issues, they organise events, raise awareness and help to inform and develop College policy and procedures. Each network is chaired by two or three members of staff who provide leadership for the networks, develop the strategy, and coordinate, inspire and influence individuals to take part.


Able@Imperial supports and helps staff with disability in the workplace. Members include disabled staff, allies who are supportive of disability equality in the workplace, and managers. Members support each other with networking, events and an informal morning coffee session each Friday, currently on Teams.

Mr John NeilsonRe-appointed Diversity Executive Sponsor John Neilson said: “I’m delighted to continue as Executive Sponsor for Disability and as sponsor of Able@Imperial. Recently Able organised a tremendous event, attended by 100 staff, where speakers outlined their commitment to helping everyone achieve their full potential while working and studying at Imperial. They also highlighted the help available through reasonable adjustments to those with many forms of disability, visible and hidden. I also chair the Disability Action Committee each term, which promotes practical action to support those with disabilities.”

Imperial As One

Imperial As One is the network for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff, postgraduate students and their allies. The network is active in engaging with the College on race equality. They run a vibrant Teams community, host regular activities, discussions, and coffee mornings. Belonging is a weekly webinar series by the network exploring the experiences of BAME staff and students, which is currently hosted online.

Professor Emma McCoyNewly appointed Diversity Executive Sponsor Professor Emma McCoy said: “I am really looking forward to working with the Imperial As One network. Creating an environment at Imperial where all members of our community, regardless of their background, have a sense of belonging, are valued and supported to thrive is really important to me. Imperial As One plays a vital role in identifying where we need to challenge our “cultural norms” and ensure all voices in our community are heard and respected. We all have a responsibility to drive change and I am keen to understand the barriers that exist and do what I can to help eliminate them.”

Professor Francisco VelosoDiversity Executive Sponsor Professor Francisco Veloso said: “Establishing Imperial as a community free from racism, discrimination and prejudice, and as an inclusive place to work and to study, requires understanding and embracing different sensitivities, traditions and practices across campus. Imperial As One plays a key role in this dialogue and effort to establish a more inclusive community and I look forward to learning from and contributing to the network and its important work across Imperial.”

Imperial 600

Imperial 600 is the College’s network for LGBTQ+ staff, postgraduate students and their allies (who currently make up a third of the membership base).

Professor Nick JenningsProfessor Nick Jennings said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the sponsor of Imperial 600 as I believe passionately that our diversity and inclusivity is central to the College’s success. I have enjoyed learning more about the network, and I am looking forward to engaging faculty and academic staff in Imperial 600’s activities. As well as bringing LGBT staff, postgraduate students and straight allies from across the College together, Imperial 600 holds regular events and helps members to connect with aspirational LGBT individuals. I hope to do my bit in connecting up new voices and potential speakers who are willing to share their stories and expertise.”

As well as welcoming Professor Nick Jennings as its Diversity Executive Sponsor, Imperial 600 has appointed a new co-chair, Maeve O’Sullivan from the Public Engagement team. The network runs regular member events, including for LGBT+ History Month in February and International Women’s Day in March. Other high-profile events have focused on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship which featured speakers like the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabi?, and STEM and climate change which featured leaders from the Grantham Institute and the Centre for Climate Finance. All event recordings are available on the Imperial 600 Teams Channel. Imperial 600 is currently developing a reference guide of LGBTQ+ resources available across the College, updating the network’s strategy and preparing for Pride celebrations.

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