Skip to main content

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are extremely proud of our dental school community, which is made up of staff and students from across the world, who bring valuable experiences, opinions and ideas to our learning environment.

We are committed to offering an inclusive, inspiring learning and working environment where every individual feels supported, heard and valued.

Students and staff at the Lunar New Year food festival
Students and staff at the School of Dentistry's Lunar New Year food festival in 2023

Celebrating diversity

Our food festivals, organised by students in the dental school with the support of university staff, are a brilliant opportunity to celebrate cultural festivals from around the world.

Celebrating festivals such as Pride, Diwali, the Lunar New Year, St. David's Day and Eid are a great opportunity for our staff and students to  learn about different cultures, network with peers and sample some delicious food.

"Moving away from home is hard for everyone, but for me it was made so much easier by making an amazing network of friends. We are all very supportive of each other and help each other if anyone is struggling"
Shreeya, current BDS Dental Surgery student

School of Dentistry community engagement event
Students and staff taking part in a community engagement event to promote oral health in 2022

Engaging with the community

Our vision is that all students, regardless of their background or personal experience, are inspired to consider higher education and a career as a dental professional.

Our staff and students use their wide range of expertise to support and deliver oral health promotion events in local schools and communities, including those which are socio-economically deprived, and under represented in the dental field. We focus on oral health prevention workshops and introduce young people to careers in the field of dentistry to encourage widening participation.

This includes our 'Talking Teeth' project, a staff and student collaborative project established by Dr Shannu Bhatia. The volunteers, which include current dental students, visit primary schools to deliver fun and interactive oral health workshops. They also visit secondary schools across Cardiff to introduce careers in dentistry, dental hygiene and dental therapy, and why it is such a rewarding career path.

Athena SWAN Award

We were awarded Athena SWAN Silver in 2021, which built upon our Bronze Awards in 2015 and 2010.

Our current Athena SWAN Silver Award was given in recognising our continuing commitment to providing a supportive environment for all staff to achieve their potential, recognising the role they play in the School, and support them in taking ownership of their career.

Looking ahead to the future, we will work towards:

  • developing career development routes so that staff can professionally grow and value the role they play in the School
  • supporting career development and progression of all research staff and students, to cultivate a friendly, inclusive and supportive research environment
  • promoting an ethos for life-long learning, employability and wellbeing in the dental workplace
  • ensuring new members of staff and those returning to work after extended leave feel supported
  • ensure students and staff feel they are part of a friendly, welcoming and inclusive culture, that values opinions and listens to concerns

"The silver award demonstrates the support given to staff undertaking research, teaching or administrative support activities. Our application was strongly based around our school vision and strategy, and our plan for continuing actions to support all staff in achieving to their full potential"
Professor Rachel Waddington Director for Staff Development, Professor of Oral Biochemistry

Staff and students in the School of Dentistry celebrating Diwali in 2022.
Staff and students in the School of Dentistry celebrating Diwali in 2022.

Supporting our staff and students

The wellbeing of our staff and students is very important to us, and we are dedicated to cultivating a working and learning environment where feel supported and listened to at all times.

The School has appointed a Director of Staff and Student Matters, a Return-to-Work Champion, and a Disability Champion to support staff and students across our School.

A team of Dignity and Wellbeing contacts are also on hand to offer advice and guidance to staff, and we have a dedicated system in place to support the pastoral care of our students, including the provision of personal tutors for each student.

"We are committed to being an inclusive organisation where equality, diversity and inclusion are encouraged, respected and celebrated. A supportive environment in which every student can thrive, every staff member is respected, and each patient is treated with dignity"
Shannu Bhatia Director of Staff and Student Matters, Senior Clinical Lecturer & Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry

Race equality

Our School has no place for racism, and we commit to zero tolerance of racism and discrimination.

Following recommendations from our Race Equality working group, we have actively embedded EDI into our School strategy.

For example, an equality diversity and inclusivity (EDI) committee has been set up within the School, and we have appointed a Race Equality Champion. All staff are also required to complete an EDI and unconscious bias training module.