Skip to main content

Tackling Underrepresentation of Ethnic Diversity in the Workplace

Short Life Expert Working Group of the Tackling Racism on Campus project

The project will be part of a set of activity taken forward to support both the college and university sectors to address racism in Scottish further and higher education. It is linked to the SFC-funded Tackling Racism on Campus project, developed in response to the feedback provided by the EHRC report ‘Universities Challenged’ (2019). The Tackling Racism on Campus project is underpinned by the Declaration of Anti-Racism endorsed by the university and college sector, 14th August 2020:

Racism exists on our campuses and in our society. Call it what it is and reject it in all its forms. We stand united against racism.’

The Declaration is accompanied by the following Statement of Intent:

  • Fostering an anti-racist culture of understanding
  • Supporting an anti-racist curriculum
  • Constructing systematic, anti-racist development practices
  • Investing in a diverse workforce
  • Recording and responding effectively to racist incidents
  • Monitoring and reviewing organisational race data
  • Consulting with Black** community partners
  • Responsibility and Accountability
3px purple line

Investing in a diverse workforce

The heading ‘Investing in a diverse workforce’ states that the staff in Scotland’s colleges and universities should reflect diversity at all levels. Approaches to recruitment require review in order to achieve this. Some actions will include:

  • complete and useful feedback to unsuccessful applicants
  • transparent promotion processes;
  • published ethnicity data of applications, shortlisting and appointments.

Where necessary, positive action measures will be utilised to reflect commitment to equality. In so doing, we benefit from the talent of the whole population.

The ‘Tackling Underrepresentation of Ethnic Diversity in the Workplace’ project will focus on the underrepresentation of BAME staff amongst senior roles and many job families in Higher Education institutions and colleges.  Recruitment, development and progression processes are broad, culminating in decisions made by interview panels, but encompass a range of barriers from conception to offer making.

Short Life Expert Working Group Members

Sue Clyne (Chair)
Head of HR and Organisational Development, Edinburgh College

Sue Clyne Picture FrameSue Clyne (Chair) is the Chair of the Scottish FE HR Strategic Group, comprising HR Directors/Heads for all of Scotland’s colleges, and she contributes to a number of national projects in the FE sector. She has worked in several public sector and private sector organisations and has set up and chaired Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committees and Fora. Sue is confident in establishing organisational targets to improve diversity in organisations and to monitoring the impact of a range of initiatives, particularly on improving outcomes for BAME students and increasing the proportion of BAME staff.


Suzanne Marshall
Lead in Curriculum and Teaching, College Development Network,

Suzanne Marshall Picture FrameSuzanne Marshall is a Lead in Curriculum and Teaching at the College Development Network, with a background and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusiveness. She has worked in a variety of roles within the tertiary education sector: teacher of French, English and ESOL; manager of an international student advisory service; Head of Advice and Guidance; Equalities Advisor; counsellor, coach and mentor; as well as a number of voluntary roles within race equality and community organisations. Her current role allows her to work in partnership with colleges and other agencies to contribute to education which is accessible to and makes a difference for all learners.


Fiaz Khan
Mainstreaming Race Equality Officer, Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations (CEMVO)

Fiaz Khan is the Mainstreaming Race Equality Officer at the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations (CEMVO) and has worked in the E&D field for the last 30 years. Fiaz’s current work allows him to engage with public bodies in terms of E&D, with a focus on mainstreaming of services as well as employability and recruitment. This is as stipulated as in the Equality Act of 2010.

As part of the CEMVO Scotland Consultancy programme, Fiaz has been involved in working with various Health Boards, Local Authorities, Police Scotland and others to ensure that policies and practices reflect access to employment opportunities for minority ethnic communities as well as opportunities for retention and promotion.


Dr Christian Harrison
Programme Leader MSc Leadership and Management, University of the West of Scotland

Christian Harrison Picture FrameDr Christian Harrison has a PhD in Leadership and has held several teaching, research and administrative positions. He is currently the MSc Leadership and Management programme leader and a lecturer in Management, Strategy and Leadership in the School as well as an external examiner in Manchester Metropolitan University and Heriot-Watt University. Christian is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE (SFHEA) and possesses a PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He is a Certified Management and Business Educator of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CMBE). He is actively involved in research and a major area of interest is leadership. Christian is the Chair of the Leadership and Leadership Development Special Interest Group of the British Academy of Management, an active member of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE), as well as the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), and he has over 45 published journal and conference papers.


Yujun Xu (June)
PhD Student, University of Edinburgh

Yujun Xu Picture FrameDr Yujun Xu is an intercultural researcher. Yujun’s Master's degree subject is in Management of Training and Development. She has worked as a research intern for the Asian Labour Market Project in the Career Service at the University of Edinburgh. Yujun brings additional knowledge and practical experience as a member of the expert steering group in the ‘Tackling Racism On Campus’ project.


Dr. Mohammed Ishaq
Reader in Human Resource Management at the University of the West of Scotland

Dr. Mohammed Ishaq is a Reader in Human Resource Management at the University of the West of Scotland’s School of Business and Creative Industries. Mohammed has been an academic for around 20 years and has engaged in research of a practical and applied nature for almost two decades in the field of equality and diversity, with specific focus on race, religion and gender. Mohammed has experience of serving on boards and committees looking at equality and diversity issues. At present this includes: the SFA Equality and Diversity Board; DEAR Group; UWS BAME Staff Network; and UWS Race Equality Working Group. He has publications in the area of equality and diversity in academic journals, as well as knowledge of working in higher education and the issues facing BAME staff and students.


Yasmeen Hussain

Yasmeen Hussain Picture FrameYasmeen Hussain is advancing diversity in leadership through facilitating opportunities for underrepresented groups to recognise their leadership skills and contribute to boards, steering committees and working groups. Yasmeen is supporting the Sottish Government’s Women in Agriculture Taskforce and influencing the Scottish Government’s Public Appointments Race Equality Action Plan. She is actively working with the Scottish Government Public Appointments Team, Ethical Standards in Public Life and Changing the Chemistry to support diversity on the boards of Scotland’s public bodies and encourage applications from BME professionals within a STEM focused discipline. Yasmeen has made a significant contribution to gender equality charters in academia and industry and progression for people from BME communities. She has delivered activity to increase the number of BME women in particular sectors and leadership roles, advised on recruitment language in job descriptions, websites, policies, procedures and strategies, and focused on capacity building, through training and support, to address skills and development needs. Yasmeen has designed, delivered and contributed to sector-focused professional development programmes, strengthening leadership and management capacity and introduced and launched DELL’s STEM Aspire Mentoring Programme at the University of the West of Scotland.


Uuganaa Ramsay

Uuganaa Ramsey Picture FrameUuganaa Ramsay is a member of Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE) and in the Race Equality Working Group of the University of Strathclyde. Additionally, she is a board member for non-profit organisations promoting equality, diversity and inclusion internationally. Uuganaa is a published author, activist and speaker, talking on topics of equality, disability and race equality. She has made BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service documentaries and was invited to speak at a conference at the United Nations, New York in 2016. She has experience of working in both college and university sectors and is aware of the gaps in recruitment, retention, and promotion in further and higher education institutions. As a migrant in Scotland, Uuganaa has lived experience of racism that has impacted her career decisions, job retention and promotion.


Tahir Mohammed
Qualifications Co-ordinator, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

Tahir Mohammed Picture FrameTahir Mohammed is a Qualifications Co-ordinator at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), with responsibility for leading Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for teachers and lecturers across Scotland. He is also responsible for Business Continuity, dealing with complaints from centres, the General Data Protection Regulation, and a range of other projects. He has extensive experience in policy development (since 2006) and is currently revising and developing a wide range of new policies, including the Equality Impact Assessment of policies and procedures.

Tahir served as a Vice-Chair of the CMI Scotland Board and Communications and Social Media Champion and was involved in the development of professional standards from supervisor to CEO level. He represents the CMI Scotland Board at the Regional and Devolved Nations Board and at institutes such as the Institute of Electrical Engineering. As a community activist, he has served as the Secretary on the Pollokshields Development Agency Board since October 2018, where he is responsible for staff recruitment, staff, and policy development.


Natalie Webster
Policy Officer, Colleges Scotland

Natalie Webster has worked at Colleges Scotland as a Policy Officer since February 2020. Natalie came to Colleges Scotland from Glasgow Colleges’ Regional Board where she worked as the Executive Assistant. Prior to that she lived abroad for 10 years during which time she worked for the British Council and also in the British Embassy. At Colleges Scotland her main policy areas are Digital, CLD and PACE.