DSPI reflects its commitment to EDI with appointment of dedicated officer

Mili Kalia

The Department of Social Policy and Intervention (DSPI) has reinforced its commitment to its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) work by welcoming Mili Kalia as EDI Officer.

DSPI values the diverse composition of its community as it continues to develop an inclusive culture where people can thrive and be themselves.

Sophie Gibbons, Head of Administration and Finance, said the department had responded to staff feedback in creating the position. 

She said: ‘We have listened to our staff who have articulated to us the importance to them of developing our work in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.'

'At DSPI, we want and need a strategy and action plan and so we have welcomed Mili to the department in this dedicated position, showing our aim to be proactive and grow our EDI agenda.

We do also recognise that, as a department, improvements could be made and we must reflect on our culture, processes and implicit bias.'

'Having a dedicated EDI Officer will better help us to shine a light on what we do and challenge ourselves’ Sophie Gibbons

Mili was previously the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Project Manager at Oxford City Council. She said that she is committed to building on a culture of inclusion at DSPI and encouraging people to embrace it.

Mili added: ‘Our conversations, research, and institutional arrangements must take place alongside discussions about privileges that we are endowed with, some of these we are not even aware of. 

As in wider society, we need to be introspective, honest, empathetic, and respectful, acknowledging our wrongs, learning from them, forgiving, being accountable, and being just. 

Most importantly, we have to listen and learn from each other’s experiences. It is with this passion and standpoint that I have taken the position of EDI Officer at DSPI.’

Mili will also be working towards the department’s aim to achieve a Bronze Award of the Athena Swan Charter, a framework used worldwide to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.