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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Sharing your personal information.

It is important to say that you are not required to share any personal equality information if you are not comfortable to do so, this information is intended to help you make a choice and feel confident if you decide to tell us.

Why do we ask for personal information?

There are two main reasons:

  • To ensure that we provide appropriate support when it is needed.
  • To monitor how well we meet our equality commitments and legal responsibilities.

We have a legal duty under the Equality Act (2010) to prevent discrimination and treat people fairly.  We also have a specific legal responsibility to provide reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities. 

Gathering personal information helps us to understand the changing profile of staff and students, identify further actions and monitor our progress to build an accessible University with an inclusive culture which enables everyone to thrive.

In addition, we must meet the reporting requirements of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and other organisations which monitor equality and diversity information across the sector or allow for comparisons between particular institutions. 

Links to information on


Why do we use specific categories?

We use the list of ‘protected characteristics’ which are defined by the Equality Act (2010) as our starting point though we also take account of the HESA requirements, best practice guidance and changes to terminology over time.  We apply a standard set of categories which can be used for multiple purposes as this saves time and provides a consistent approach.

We include a ‘prefer not to say’ option so that you can choose the information you are happy to share or want to withhold.


What happens to the information?

The information you provide is treated in line with the University’s Privacy notices and recognises the requirements of the Equality Act (2010) and GDPR. Follow this link to Privacy Notices - Durham University for more information.

We use anonymised data to meet our reporting requirements, for example our gender pay gap analysis allows us to show the total number or percentage of staff in certain grades but cannot be used to identify individuals.


What difference does it make?

Equality information provides us with additional evidence to make changes or monitoring data to measure the impact of changes. We use equality data to improve our campus facilities, develop specific policies and guidance and celebrate the diversity of people who are part of the Durham University community. 

In practical terms this evidence has supported:

  • physical changes to buildings, including accessible and gender neutral facilities;
  • policy changes, including support for carers and a range of leave arrangements;
  • increased training and awareness raising, including allyship and inclusive leadership;
  • funding for events, including Durham Pride, Black History Month and International Women’s Day;
  • action plans, including Athena Swan and Race Equality Charter.