Alongside outgoing members of the Dental Society who formed the committee, all the students involved have a personal interest in ensuring that students and staff members are supported regardless of their individual characteristics.
Mary-Elizabeth Quarshie explains: “By learning to be harmonious to those in the community around you, you can translate that understanding to the work you do with patients and colleagues alike.
“We feel that it is important to create a platform for the network to encourage people to celebrate our shared differences and understand and appreciate each other in our caring responsibilities.
“By getting together those who are interacting with colleagues, patients and strangers every day, we hope to make people more reflective and in turn be responsible for the learning of those around them through their actions.”
Set up in July 2019, the group aims to increase visibility for all protected characteristics that are covered under the Equality Act 2010 and all aspects of peoples’ identity including caring responsibilities and intersectionalites.
The committee is looking to create a safe, welcoming and productive environment for students and staff. Alongside working towards equality of opportunity in an environment of mutual respect and dignity, they hope to also:
- Raise the visibility of underrepresented groups of students and staff
- Promote diversity, equality and inclusivity in the Faculty
- Hold events to raise awareness of diversity, equality and inclusivity
- Provide a regular forum for discussion
- Provide networking opportunities, allowing issues to be raised in a safe environment and contribute to policy development and implementation
“We felt that there had been some concern that we are sometimes not conscious enough of these matters that affect everyone in society and based on feedback we felt that it was possible to create an environment where different attributes can be celebrated”, explains Mary-Elizabeth.