Meet the Team: Udeni Salmon, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
I am very excited to join the FLF network in a dual capacity: firstly as board member with a shared responsibility for oversight and governance, and secondly as lead for EDI where I can share my EDI expertise, maintain an EDI focus when project planning and connect the project with EDI experts and social justice networks.
Race and gender within organisations is the current focus of my research. My work has has moved some way since my mixed methods PhD, awarded in 2017 and which examined innovation in family firms. My subsequent research interests apply race and gender theory to issues of social justice, including modern slavery in family firms and precarious labour during the COVID-19 crisis. I am currently working on an EPSRC-funded project investigating barriers to inclusion in STEM research careers at the University of Lincoln. I was a member of the feminist anti-racist collective Building the Anti-Racist Classroom from 2017-2019, which proved to be a crucible for my work and views on activism in academia. I continue to be actively involved in feminist, anti-racist organising.
As a post-doctoral academic, I have worked collaboratively to develop inclusive teaching and learning techniques for UG, PG and Executive Education programmes. Working together with colleagues, students and the wider community, I have contributed to justice initiatives at many academic institutions through initiatives such as the Race Equality Charter, student-led decolonisation work and organising with minoritised staff and students.
Prior to my academic career, I was a senior manager at large, global organisations such as IBM, Deloitte Consulting and Leonard Cheshire Disability. My mixture of public, private, and voluntary sector experience, in addition to my academic career, gives me a unique perspective. On a good day, I relish the a wealth of experience I can bring to the sector. On a bad day, I get imposter syndrome!
I hope to bring issues of justice, equality and accountability to the forefront of FLF planning. As future research leaders, you have the power to change research for the better: to create jobs for those who have been systematically excluded from academia, to destabilise racist, gendered, homophobic and anti-disabled knowledge production, to listen and learn from Black, indigenous and minoritised scholars who have long been critiquing existing power structures. I look forward to a shared journey together in which we will generate a cross-generational shift in thinking and working in the field of academic research. In a time of pandemic, mental health crises, the mainstreaming of far-right thought, and a closing down of borders, your research and actions can be a force for good in the world. I look forward to getting to know you.