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Brighton & Sussex Medical School


BSMS > About BSMS > Working here > Inclusivity


At BSMS we are committed to ensuring that our curriculum and values are inclusive and justice oriented, and that our students, staff and broader community feel welcome and respected. We recognise the complex intersecting social issues within which medicine operates, and acknowledge that BSMS has an important role to play in ensuring that medicine is a force for positive change whose benefits are available to all. BSMS is the proud holder of an Athena Swan Silver Award, has recently signed up to the BMA charter against racial harassment and is committed to the broader task of decolonising medicine and building a more diverse academic and professional services workforce.

The school continues to fulfil its commitment to equality and diversity by:

  • Striving to ensure that all staff and students are treated with dignity and with due regard paid to their beliefs and values
  • Challenging oppressive beliefs and behaviours in all aspects of school life
  • Providing and maintaining mechanisms for reporting, monitoring and responding to incidents of discrimination, harassment or bullying 
  • Appointing student and staff representatives as leads for inclusivity
  • Monitoring admissions policies, teaching delivery, school regulations and employment practices to ensure that they take appropriate account of equality and diversity issues
  • Ensuring that the curriculum is decolonised and tackles inequalities across the range of protected characteristics, giving BSMS students a broad and integrated understanding of the social, political and moral determinants of health
  • Working with NHS trusts to help tackle inequalities in its partner organisations. 

(BSMS Equality and Diversity statement, agreed in November 2020)

To support these aims, BSMS has individual subgroups for anti-racism, disability and LBGTQ+ work, which are run as discussion groups and open to all BSMS staff. You can find information about these groups in the separate tabs. Each of these subgroups reports to a wider Inclusivity Committee which is composed of staff and students from all parts of the school. The team promote inclusivity and are integral in devising and implementing initiatives and developing the school’s action plan for the next Athena Swan Charter award in 2023. 

You can read more about the Athena Swan Charter in the Gender Equality section.

Who is involved – staff

BSMS Equality, Diversity and Staff Development (EDSD) Committee  

BSMS have recently launched an Equality, Diversity and staff Development Committee which consists of Senior management, Academic and Professional Services staff across all departments. The committee meets quarterly and aims to share best practice and promote equality throughout the school, develop and deliver a strategy for equality and diversity for students and staff and monitor the implementation of policies, schemes and practices.

EDSD members:

Dr Muna Al-Jawad

Dr Wajeeha Aziz

Kate Bascombe

Darren Beaney

Ceri Butler

Dr Gaurish Chawla - Chair

Dr Alessandro Colasanti

Suze Cruttwell

Dr Stephanie Daley

Peter Dennis

Cindy Eggleton

Dr Chi Eziefula

Dr Elizabeth Ford

Dr Tom Levett

Dr Deeptima Massey

Prof Sarah Newbury

Prof Malcolm Reed

Emily Pitt

Prof Heike Rabe

Prof Sandra Sacre

Dr Arianne Shahvisi

Dr Duncan Shrewsbury

Dr Neil Singh

CJ Taylor

Dr Richard de Visser

Jenni Wilburn

Julie Wilton

Dr Elaney Youssef

Who is involved – students

Student Inclusivity Reps

Six new Student Inclusivity Reps were appointed in October 2022. The reps will work closely with the BSMS inclusivity team helping to promote, support and develop inclusivity initiatives across all intersections. Read their bios below.

Fatima Chawdhery -   
I’m Fatima, I graduated in Biomedical Science and am currently a second-year medical student at BSMS. It is very important to understand that there are many intersectional issues not just within BSMS as an institution but within the curriculum itself. Therefore, I believe that the medical school has a key role in training their students to not only understand the impact of societal inequity but to become advocates and allies, particularly for the marginalised communities that students will go on to work with. The inclusivity team is here to act as a key link between staff and students and I am passionate about promoting, supporting, and developing initiatives to stamp out all forms of harassment and discrimination. Some of the work we will be involved in includes helping to decolonise and bring to the forefront the ‘hidden’ medical curriculum, helping to widen access for under-represented groups into medicine, and challenging oppressive beliefs and behaviours. I am excited to meet all of you and would love to hear your views regarding inclusivity at BSMS, so that together we can bring about even the smallest form of positive change. If you have any concerns, questions, or comments please feel free to get in touch with me or any members of the team. 

Jessica Zhu – 
I am a first year medical student and inclusivity rep. I have been engaging in students’ interest and working in diversity and inclusivity since my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences. My experiences come from my past roles, such as student representative, President of an academic society, and also from my early participation and organsation of Model United Nations conferences and community-based projects throughout high school. I am committed to helping students and to be a contact point for any problem that students might encounter throughout their medical school journey. 

Amelia Priest – 
Hi, I’m Amelia, but feel free to call me Mims! I’m a first year medical student, I’m a huge nerd, and I’m really looking forward to working with the rest of the reps to help improve inclusivity at BSMS. Whilst at secondary school, I did a lot of work on LGBTQ+ issues, and I hope to be a face you can come to about any problem regarding inclusivity. It’s great to be doing this, and I can’t wait to see what we get done over the next year or so! 

Uleeti Al-Sakat – 
I’m Uleeti and I’m a first year medical student at BSMS. I am interested in the welfare of students regarding discrimination and diversity and aim to help maintain and fortify a culture of equality and patience here. I am committed to helping create an accepting and educating space for students, where they feel that their opinions and queries are welcome and listened to. I hope to promote my belief that awareness and continual education about minority groups and discrimination is crucial in practice and will generally make patients feel more comfortable. If you have any concerns or questions regarding inclusivity at BSMS or any suggestions about how to improve or promote it, please feel free to contact me!

Nawal Rashid – 
Hi, I’m Nawal, a second-year inclusivity rep. I am very enthusiastic about building an inclusive environment, which I have previously been involved in during my undergraduate degree through undertaking leadership roles such as Welfare Officer and Student Representative. These have allowed me to better understand underlying issues students have in terms of feeling included in such a dynamic environment and gain appropriate experiences which I hope to bring to BSMS. Please feel free to contact me with any issues that you might be having regarding inclusivity and how we can keep working together to improve inclusivity at BSMS. I look forward to working with you all in this upcoming year. 

Rachel Mahony –
Rachel is our first year BSMS Inclusivity rep, please contact her if you are a first year student and have any queries or concerns around equality, diversity or inclusivity. 


BSMS student anonymous Reporting tool

BSMS is committed to challenging racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia and all forms of harassment and discrimination. We encourage students to report incidents they have experienced or witnessed. Ideally, we hope that students will approach the Student Advice Team; however, we recognise that sometimes students prefer to report anonymously.

This form is not a replacement for Student Advice and if you have any urgent concerns or issues you must use our Student Advice channels as your first point of contact, for more information please visit our Student Advice pages here >

View the reporting tool here >


Student advice services offered at the Universities of Brighton and Sussex

University of Brighton  

Disability Coordinator - email 
Careers Service - email 
Counselling Service - email  
Chaplaincy - email 
Students’ Union - email 
International Support team - please click here for further information

University of Sussex 

Careers Service - email 
Psychological & Counselling services - email 
Chaplaincy - email 
Students’ Union - email  

Staff report and support information

Accessing the University of Sussex staff Report and Support Tool

University of Sussex employed staff: If you or someone else has experienced behaviours such as bullying, harassment, a hate incident, sexual violence, domestic abuse or discrimination, you can let the University of Sussex know using this Report and Support tool.

Go to the Report and Support tool here >

Wherever possible, reports will lead to swift and direct action, and all reports contribute to the drive for a more inclusive institution.

In addition to the Report and Support Tool, the University of Sussex has appointed seven 'Dignity and Respect' Champions who are available to anyone in need of advice, support and/or guidance at the University. They provide confidential and informal advice to those experiencing difficult working relationships - including bullying or harassment - or have witnessed such behaviour.

Find out more here >

Accessing the University of Brighton staff disclosure tool

In April 2022, the University of Brighton launched its staff disclosure tool, which has been developed as part of the #NeverOK pledge. The university has developed the tool as a direct result of feedback from colleagues who said that whilst they may not wish to raise issues through formal policies and procedures, they wanted to make the university aware of their experiences. The tool allows you to disclose incidents of bullying and harassment which you have experienced, or which you have observed.

Making a disclosure via this route is not part of formal University procedures. If you would like to make a formal complaint about an incident, please see the Bullying, Harassment and Victimisation Policy & Procedure. Please note this requires staff to login to view.

Gender Equality work

Athena Swan Charter

The Athena Swan Charter is an international framework which promotes and supports work undertaken to address gender equality within higher education and research. The charter recognises commitment to advancing the careers of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) employment. A key principle of the Athena Swan structure is to support the promotion of inclusive working practices that can increase the retention of valued academics and professional and support staff, demonstrating the institution’s commitment to an equitable working environment.

BSMS are committed to the Athena Swan Charter and have received the following awards: 

2014 - Bronze Athena Swan Charter Award submission. The document is available to download here >
2017 - Silver Athena Swan Charter Award submission. The document is available to download here >  

Find out more about the Athena Swan Charter here >


International Women's Day 2021

On 8 March 2021, International Women's Day, BSMS hosted a virtual talk with Dr Rageshri Dhairyawan, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust, who discussed how gender may affect health outcomes for women in all of their diversity, from research to experiences of healthcare. Watch her talk in full below. 


Inspirational women of BSMS

Read the interviews and view the photobook that celebrates the inspirational women who work at BSMS.

READ MORE here >


Resources list

Women in Higher Education Network

The Women in Higher Education Network (WHEN) hosts a platform for women including self-identifying women, trans women and non-binary people from all backgrounds, who work in any role in the higher education sector. WHEN recognises and celebrates women’s differences and is dedicated to equity of opportunity for women in higher education. 

If you would like to find out more about the WHEN network and how to join, visit the website below. 

visit the WHEN website here >  

students in dissection theatre

Anti-racism work

Read about our anti-racism work being developed within the school and our commitment to the BMA Racial Harassment Charter.

Read about our work here >

Disability banner

Disability work

Read more about how the Disability Subgroup aims to make BSMS more progressive and inclusive to our staff and students living with any sort of disability. 

Read more about our work here >


News and Events

BSMS student Abi Foreshaw has had a paper published as part of her Individual Research Project (IRP). The paper was published with Dr Muna Al-Jawad, Senior Lecturer and Lead for Curriculum Development at BSMS, who supervised the IRP and is titled ‘An intersectional participatory action research approach to explore and address class elitism in medical education.’

Read it here >

Visit our events page for upcoming events.

View events here >


Mentoring opportunities for staff

Mentoring plays a key part in career progression so we encourage all staff to take part. BSMS offer a one-to-one mentoring scheme for academic and research staff which is open for applications from both mentees and mentors at the start of each academic year. Please email for further information. 

As well as the internal BSMS scheme which caters for academic and research staff, all staff can apply to be mentees or mentors in the University of Sussex or University of Brighton mentoring schemes. Full details are available via the links below.

University of Brighton Mentoring >

University of Sussex mentoring >