• The BME student experience at a small northern university: An examination of the experiences of minority ethnic students undertaking undergraduate study within a small northern university

      Davies, Chantal; Garrett, Matt; University of Chester (University of Greenwich, 2012-06)
      This article discusses a small-scale study exploring BME student experiences at a small northern England university using focus groups and interview data. The findings were based on the themes of belonging and segregation, academic and social experiences, differential treatment and equal opportunities, and early education and employability.
    • Bridging the gap – an exploration of the use of positive action

      Davies, Chantal; Robison, Muriel; University of Chester (2015-06)
      Despite laws in Britain permitting limited positive action initiatives to combat disadvantage faced by minority groups in employment since the mid-1970s, the subject has notoriously been a neglected and highly controversial area in the UK. Notwithstanding the potential provided by sections 158 and 159 of the Equality Act 2010, it still appears that organizations prefer to steer clear of this opportunity to address disadvantage suffered by protected groups. Whilst there is a body of work considering the theoretical importance of positive action in the UK (see inter alia Barmes, 2011; Burrows & Robison, 2006; Johns et al, 2014; McCrudden 1986; Noon, 2010), there is a lack of empirical exploration of the practical implications of these provisions. Qualitative study to determine the utility of the positive action provisions is considered both timely and necessary as we approach the fifth anniversary of the Equality Act 2010. This paper will explore the theoretical context of the current positive action provisions within England, Scotland and Wales. It will also discuss the early findings of a small-scale qualitative study carried out by the authors looking at the experiences of a purposive sample of public and private organisations in light of the potential for positive action in relation to employment in the UK.
    • Bridging the gap: an exploration of the use and impact of positive action in the UK

      Davies, Chantal; Robison, Muriel; University of Chester (Sage, 2016-06-27)
      Despite laws in Britain permitting limited positive action initiatives to combat disadvantage faced by minority groups in employment since the mid-1970s, the subject has notoriously been a neglected and highly controversial area in the UK. Notwithstanding the potential provided by sections 158 and 159 of the Equality Act 2010, it still appears that organisations prefer to steer clear of this opportunity to address disadvantage suffered by protected groups. Whilst there is a body of work considering the theoretical importance of positive action in the UK, there is a lack of empirical exploration of the practical implications of these provisions. This paper will provide a brief overview of the theoretical context and current positive action legislative provisions within the UK. In light of this context, the early findings of a small-scale qualitative study carried out by the authors will be discussed looking at the experiences of a purposive sample of public and private employers in relation to the positive action provisions of the Equality Act 2010. Early research findings suggest that whilst there was a clear willingness and openness by employers to use of outreach measures in order to redress disadvantage, there was evident wariness regarding a move towards preferential treatment as expounded by section 159. Whilst respondents appeared to appreciate the business case for and utility of the positive action measures under section 158, there was far less enthusiasm for more direct preferential treatment, with many respondents raising serious concerns regarding this. These concerns often reflected a highly sensitive risk-based approach towards any action that could expose their organisation to the possibility of “reverse discrimination”.
    • Conceptions of ‘research’ and their gendered impact on research activity: A UK case study

      Healey, Ruth L.; Davies, Chantal; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2019-08-31)
      The last twenty years have seen an increased emphasis around the world on the quality and quantity of research in response to national research assessments, international league tables, and changes in government funding. The prevailing attitude in higher education embeds research as the ‘gold standard’ in the context of academic activity. However, a key feature of this trend is significant gender differences in research activity. We argue that research productivity is related to identification as a researcher, and that identifying as ‘research-active’ or not would appear to depend upon how an individual academic subjectively defines ‘research’. This article brings together two hitherto separate bodies of work 1) the impact of gender on academic research careers, and 2) academic conceptions of research. Through a combination of interviews, focus groups and questionnaires, we investigate the extent to which interpretations of ‘research’ and ‘research activity’ differ by gender within an institution in the UK and the potential impact of these interpretations. Although the research found that there are many similarities in the interpretations of ‘research activity’ between genders, we found one important difference between male and female participants’ conceptions of research and its relationship to teaching. Significantly, our findings suggest that there is a need to expand our existing conceptualisations of ‘research’ to include ‘research as scholarship’ in order to address the obstacles that current understanding of ‘research’ have placed on some academics. Self-definition as a researcher underlies research activity. A narrow conception of ‘research’ may prevent individuals from identifying as ‘research-active’ and therefore engaging with research.
    • Convention compatible construction: Section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester (Thomson Reuters, 2015-11)
      Section 3 Human Rights Act 1998 and convention compliant interpretation
    • Crossing the rubicon: an exploration of the use of positive action provisions in Higher Education Institutions in the UK

      Davies, Chantal; Robison, Muriel; University of Chester (2016-01)
      Crossing the rubicon: an exploration of the use of positive action provisions in Higher Education Institutions in the UK
    • Defining the future: An exploration of perceptions of employability of undergraduate minority ethnic student

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester (Society for Research into Higher Education, 2014-12)
    • The Equality Act 2010: Five years on

      Davies, Chantal; Ferreira, Nuno; Morris, Debra; Morris, Anne; University of Chester; Sussex University; University of Liverpool (SAGE, 2016-06-22)
      Editorial for a double edition of the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law based on a conference hosted by the University of Chester in collaboration with the University of Liverpool on the Equality Act 2010.
    • Equality at work? positive action in gender segregated apprenticeships

      Davies, Chantal; University of chester (Young Women's Trust, 2018-06)
      This research explores the attitudes towards and the use of positive action aimed at addressing gender inequality in apprenticeships offered in sectors in which women are underrepresented in England. This research has been conducted as a means of following up recommendations made in research undertaken by the Young Women’s Trust (YWT) in 2016. The YWT report recommended that where it can be shown that the number of women undertaking apprenticeships in any given sector is disproportionately low employers should consider whether they can take positive action to increase the participation of women. It was therefore considered that in the context of apprenticeships, the overwhelming gender disparity in certain sectors and in particular the attitudes towards and use of positive action in resolving this gender disparity required further exploration. The engineering, ICT and construction sectors have therefore been chosen by the researcher and the YWT due to the stark underrepresentation of women in these sectors in England. This research concludes with appropriate specific recommendations on positive action in relation to gender segregated apprenticeships in England within the particular sectors explored. However, it is hoped that these may provide a foundation for the development of wider recommendations in relation to the effective use of positive action initiatives more generally across the protected characteristics and beyond apprenticeships in the UK.
    • Equality at work? positive action in gender segregated apprenticeships (summary report)

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester (Young Women's Trust, 2018-06)
      Some of Britain’s crucial industries are struggling to recruit the staff they need. As part of the Government’s commitment to meeting this skills gap, a target was set in 2015 of three million new apprenticeship starts by 2020. However, it is questionable whether the Government will meet this target or its wider aspiration to make apprenticeships more accessible. Despite this skills gap, women continue to be significantly under-represented in many parts of the economy – with little progress having been made in recent years. While there are more female than male apprentices, women remain locked out of sectors with significant skills gaps and which offer good pay and good prospects. The percentage of female engineering apprentices actually declined from 4.6% in 2002 to 3.1% in 2015.1 In construction there are just three female to every 98 male apprentices; and in Information Technology (IT) 35 females to 186 males. Addressing this chronic under-representation will give women more opportunities to enter areas of work with better quality apprenticeships, prospects and pay2 than where they are currently working – such as in the retail or caring sectors. Given this background and building on our key 2016 report, Making Apprenticeships Work for Young Women, YWT commissioned Professor Chantal Davies of the University of Chester to carry out research into the use of Positive Action (PA), with a special focus on its use in apprenticeships within engineering, construction and IT.3 The research consisted of: • A survey of over 4,000 young people aged 18-30 carried out by Populus Data Solutions; • A survey of 800 HR decision-makers carried out by YouGov to understand attitudes towards use of Positive Action in apprenticeships; • Series of focus groups and semi structured interviews with sector bodies, apprentices and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) representatives.4 • Data triangulation with literature and data from a roundtable discussion in March 2018 hosted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC roundtable) looking at the use of Positive Action in relation to under- representation on the grounds of disability, race and gender in apprenticeships across England, Scotland and Wales. Through this research we found that there is very significant confusion about Positive Action and whether and how it can be used – despite the fact that the majority of employers were committed to measures to bring about gender equality. While not a panacea or suf cient in isolation, our research suggests Positive Action is being chronically under-utilised, which in turn is acting as a barrier to addressing the under-representation of women in key sectors within apprenticeships and beyond.
    • Exploring positive action as a tool to address under-representation in apprenticeships

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2019-03-04)
      Apprenticeships are an important route into work, offering paid employment, on-the- job training and a qualification. The UK, Scottish and Welsh governments have all set targets to increase the number of apprenticeships and recognised the need to increase the diversity of those starting, participating in and completing apprenticeships. With the drive towards increasing diversity within apprenticeships, there is a need for employers, governments and policy makers to consider the tools that are available to address long-standing under-representation. This report seeks to evaluate the use of positive action to address under-representation of female apprentices in gender- segregated sectors, and disabled people and ethnic minorities in apprenticeships more broadly.
    • Family-friendly working: The role of the Sex Discrimination Act

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester (2008-10)
      This article discussed how the Sex Discrimation Act 1975 can be used by employees to request flexible and family-friendly working hours.
    • Gendered experiences of academic staff in relation to research activity and the REF2014

      Davies, Chantal; Healey, Ruth L.; Cliffe, Anthony D.; University of Chester (2016-06)
      This report is based on research commissioned by the institutional Research and Knowledge Transfer Office between June 2015 and June 2016. This research has focused on generating qualitative and quantitative data as to the potential reasons why there appears to be a gender disparity in research productivity within the commissioning institution. In particular, the number of women self-selecting for representation in the REF2014 was comparatively low. This research was led by Dr Chantal Davies (as part of her broader remit in relation to the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity) with Dr Ruth Healey as co-researcher and Anthony Cliffe as research assistant. A Steering Group made up of representatives from across the institution oversaw the process.
    • Gendered Perspectives of Research Activity Symposium Report 2016

      Davies, Chantal; Healey, Ruth L.; Manfredi, Simonetta; Vickers, Lucy; University of Chester; Oxford Brookes University (University of Chester, 2016-10-20)
      On the 15th-16th June 2016, The Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity (University of Chester), in partnership with the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice (Oxford Brookes University), hosted the Gendered perspectives of research activity Symposium at the University of Chester, Chester, UK. The Symposium brought 30 representatives and researchers from across Higher Education in the UK, Europe and beyond together with sector bodies and policy drivers in order to workshop the gendered barriers and obstacles to research activity in Higher Education. This report provides a summary of the discussions and findings, as well as the key ideas, themes, questions, challenges and conclusions that came out of the two-day discussion. A further goal of the report is to seek to articulate the participants’ deliberations and considerations in order to contribute to the development of an effective strategy in the UK and beyond seeking to break down gendered barriers in relation to research activity.
    • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities and equality law

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester (2014-05-14)
    • Hacking through the Gordian Knot: can facilitating operational mentoring untangle the gender research productivity puzzle in higher education?

      Davies, Chantal; Healey, Ruth L.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-05-30)
      In spite of a number of drivers for change in the pursuit of gender equality in higher education in the UK and beyond, the gender gap in research activity is still widely recognised across most subject disciplines. Over recent years, mentoring strategies have often been seen as the Alexandrian sword capable of cutting the gender deficit ‘Gordian Knot’. However, analysis of current practice and dialogue points to a lack of a consistent approach in addressing and implementing HE policy in this area with many initiatives providing standardised non-evidence-based provision aimed at addressing an alleged confidence deficit and exhausting an already fatigued group of successful senior women. This paper seeks to triangulate existing literature with an analysis of data collected from a funded UK-based research project ultimately proposing a five-step institutional mentoring approach aimed at providing some inroads into alleviating the gender deficit in research productivity in the academy.
    • Positive Action under the Equality Act 2010 and the implications of the Public Sector Equality Duty for positive action in the UK

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester (W. Green, 2015-08)
      Positive Action under the Equality Act 2010 and the implications of the Public Sector Equality Duty for positive action in the UK
    • Race and the student experience

      Davies, Chantal; Garrett, Matt; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2011-04)
      Introduction to a research project on race and the student experience.