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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s purpose is to assure the Advance HE Board on the integration and promotion of matters relating to equality, diversity and inclusion.

The committee has a dual function with oversight of and responsibility for both the internal EDI practice of Advance HE and the integration of EDI within Advance HE’s products and services. This includes the effective operation and strategic development of both Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter.

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Committee Members

Parveen Yaqoob (Chair)

Parveen is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Reading, with leadership across a broad portfolio of activity. She is responsible for implementing the research strategy, fostering a positive research culture and delivering on research-based key performance indicators, and she has played a significant role on national and international research funding panels, particularly in the area of nutrition and health.

She manages several strategic institutional partnerships and is the University’s senior lead for equality, diversity and inclusion. Parveen also has a sector-level presence on equality, diversity and inclusion, having held the role of inaugural Chair of the Athena Swan Governance Committee for three years, overseeing the transformation of the Athena Swan Charter. She was appointed OBE for services to higher education in 2022.

parveen yaqoob

Professor Chantal Davies

After graduating with a Law degree from Oxford University, Chantal Davies qualified as a solicitor with Eversheds in Cardiff specialising in Employment, Human Rights and Discrimination Law. In 1998, she moved to work as a solicitor for the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) in Manchester heading up a Department tackling strategic and wider enforcement of the gender equality legislation. Chantal is now professor of Law, Equality and Diversity in the School of Law at the University of Chester. She has also developed and is Director of the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity. Past research focuses on the experiences of minority ethnic students within HE and the use of positive action by organisations in the UK. Chantal has also completed a funded project looking at the gendered obstacles to research activity faced by academics in the UK. More recently Chantal has been funded by the Young Women’s Trust and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to research the use of positive action in apprenticeships. Chantal has also worked with the Higher Education Authority in Ireland to roll out a ground breaking positive action initiative aimed at increasing female representation within professorships. She has sat on the board of Cheshire Halton and Warrington Race and Equality Centre and the Equality Challenge Unit and in this latter role worked with them to develop institutional confidence in developing positive action initiatives within higher education. Chantal currently sits on the Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Commission and also on the Law Society’s Women’s Law Division Committee.

Professor Chantal Davies

Annette Hay

Annette has recently been appointed as the Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at De Montfort University in Leicester.  She completed her first Degree in Social Studies at the University of Warwick and later completed her Masters Degree in Leadership and Management at Coventry University.  She is also an alumni of Advance HE’s successful, Diversifying Leadership Programme.

De Montfort University is a leading pioneer for EDI initiatives and activities in Higher Education and have recently become the first institutional holders of the Silver Race Equality Chartermark and Annette aims to build on this success by continuing to embed EDI considerations and actions in all aspects of university life for the benefit of all its staff, students and the university as a whole.

Annette is an accomplished manager and leader and who has a demonstrable ability to build and maintain strategic and purposeful relationships and collaborations, on a local, national and global scale.  She is recognised for her strategic influence and input on policy, practice and external engagements.

Annette is able to reflect on over 30 years of leadership and activism around EDI, which she has maintained throughout her working career in Higher Education and has been a passionate advocate for the importance institutional leadership has in tackling racial inequalities and embedding anti-racist practices. 

She is a member of several other Boards and Committees including the esteemed American based ‘National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education’ (NADOHE), which is the leading voice for Senior Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officers.  She is one of the founding members of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group for the Association of Research Management and Administration (ARMA), the Vice-Chair of the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, a member of the Women in Higher Education Network (WHEN) and an alumni of the International focussed leadership Common Purpose programme.

Annette Hay

Professor Osama Khan

Professor Osama Khan is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic, at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. He is the strategic lead for the University's education agenda providing talented and motivated students from all backgrounds with an outstanding education that is inclusive, research-informed, technologically enhanced and professionally enriched with industry partnerships. He holds a Professor in Practice title at the Surrey Business School. He also manages the University's centre of excellence in education: The Surrey Institute of Education, as well as the Library and Learning Services. Currently, he has been leading on the Hybrid Education model at the University as a strategic response to the Covid19 pandemic and driving digital transformation in education and student experience. He is a member of Council, Chair of UEC and serves on the board of Farnborough College of Technology, the TEF Advisory Group, Student Minds Advisory Group, Prevent and the EM3 Skills Advisory Panel.

Osama has 23 years of experience in teaching corporate finance, derivatives, mathematical economics, real estate finance and economics and investment management in various universities including the University of Surrey, University of Cambridge, University of Hong Kong, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Copenhagen Business School and HEC Paris.

Professor Osama Khan

Professor Sara Mole

Sara is Envoy for Gender Equality at University College London (UCL). She has a research interest in Batten disease. She has used the Athena Swan Charter to further gender equality in her department, being awarded the first Silver (2009) and first Gold (2016) awards at UCL, and now supports equality work at institutional level . UCL currently has an institutional silver award and more than 40 academic departments holding Athena Swan awards, including four Golds. As Envoy, Sara chairs the Gender Equality Steering Group.

Sara works with and challenges senior management and the whole institution to advance and deliver UCL’s gender equality priorities, connecting with other Equality Steering Groups and Networks. She shares her expertise with UK Universities, UCL’s international partners and beyond. In her role on the Athena Swan Governance Committee she wants to improve the effective operation and strategic development of the Charter, so that it continues to further gender equality in the UK HE sector, and internationally.


Aloma Onyemah

Aloma Onyemah has over 14 years’ experience leading the development and implementation of diversity change programmes which span workforce and student diversity, ensuring that EDI priorities are central both to workplace culture and service delivery.

Aloma was previously Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at University College London (UCL) and prior to this, Head of EDI at University Hospitals Leicester where she was responsible for designing and delivering EDI programmes affecting 1.4m patients and nearly 20,000 staff.

Before she worked in the NHS, Aloma was Head of EDI at Sheffield Hallam University, where she was responsible for programmes that produced significant diversification of both staff and student bodies, and of senior leadership.

Aloma has advised on key policy development across the HE sector including the ‘Mind the Gap’ framework to improve the BAME student experience and outcomes, the application of the Equality Duty to programme design and development which informed the national QAA Code, advancing race equality through positive action and developed an inclusive decision-making framework (IDMF) to remove the barriers to inclusive decision making.

Aloma Onyemah

Pradeep Passi

Pradeep is at Salford University as Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion). He chairs the university’s EDI Taskforce and is also Director of the Global Race Centre for Equality, focussing on trans-disciplinary research in relation to racial inequalities. Pradeep has also had extensive experience both as a panel member and chairing race equality charter panels. His research and professional interests lie in organisational approaches to creating change through inclusive approaches, drawing on his extensive experience in working across the public sector to enhance approaches in the advancement of inclusion. Pradeep also has research interests relating to awarding gaps and is a founding member of the North West Awards Gap Group. 

Pradeep Passi

Professor Randall Whittaker

South African-born Whittaker studied music at conservatoires in South Africa, the Netherlands and Czechia, where he was a student of the renowned conductor Vladimír Válek. He has more than 20 years of experience in specialist creative higher education, leading significant organisational change and transformation projects.

He worked closely with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education to advance leadership in specialist institutions and has held positions at specialist institutions in South Africa, the Netherlands and the UK. He is known for his work on representation and frequently writes and presents on the topic.

Whittaker has made a contribution to the activities of several specialist institutions acting in an external or non-executive director capacity; these have recently included the Utrecht School of the Arts, the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Christies Education and BIMM Institute.

Randall Whittaker