Ellen Pugh is a Senior Consultant in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for Advance HE, specialising in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Ellen has worked to promote EDI in the HE and FE sector since 2004 both nationally and internationally. She previously managed the Equality Challenge Unit’s policy team and has worked as Policy Director at Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities (now Disability Rights UK) and in the governance division at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has worked with research intensive, small and specialist and post 1992 institutions and with a range of sector and government organisations on EDI issues covering staff, students, applicants and alumni.
Ellen provides training to HEIs and undertakes speaking engagements on a range of topics including gender, disability and equality and diversity requirements within the HE sector and undertakes consultancy to support policy and cultural change.
Most recently Ellen has been supporting the work of the Disabled Students Commission and has been working with UKRI on a review of its terms and conditions of grant for studentships. Ellen is currently a gender and social inclusion adviser to the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Offices’ Global Skills for Prosperity Programme. The programme is delivered in Brazil, Egypt, Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines and South Africa. Ellen is also an external member of the University of London World Wide Inclusive Practice Panel and represents Advance HE on the Researcher Development Concordat executive and steering group.
She was an observer and member of the REF 2014 and 2021 Equality and Diversity Advisory Group and Panel and has developed training materials for the HE sector for REF 2014, REF 2021 and REF 2028 designed to support HEIs embed the equality provisions. Ellen was also a member of UUK’s Taskforce on Staff Student Relationships, a member of Genovate’s international advisory group (Horizon 2020 project) and has been involved in several working groups to promote understanding of gender pay issues in the HE sector. She was also responsible for the Gender Equality Charter Mark trial that led to the expansion of Athena Swan to all academic subjects and has worked to support the development of Athena Swan.
Ellen worked with the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the development of the codes of practice and technical guidance on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and has also worked with examination and professional bodies on competence standards and fitness to practise. Ellen has researched and written guidance for the HE sector on the Equality Act, meeting the requirements of disabled students, student pregnancy and maternity and on gender identity. She has also been involved in the development of guidance on equal pay and male student progression and undertook research commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on how to engage all young people in post-16 education.
Ellen’s holds an MSC in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a joint BA Hons in International Relations with Development Studies from the University of Sussex. During her studies and while working in South Africa on a DFID funded scholarship with VSO, she specialised in violence against women and the role of organisations in generating change. Prior to working with the HE sector, she has worked as an advocate for human rights within the Commonwealth and ran the London office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.