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FutureLearn culture

Celebrating diversity
and Inclusion

As one of the world’s largest digital learning platforms with over 16 million users, we know that we have a responsibility to leverage our reach and core skills to help educate the world on inclusion – and that work starts with our own teams.

How we're making an impact

Here are some diversity and inclusion initiatives that we’re most proud of:

An inclusive hiring approach

We’re dedicated to improving the overall representation of minority groups across FutureLearn, particularly in leadership roles. 

The challenging task for recruitment teams to hire diverse talent is now measured not by a quota, but by an ambition to include at least one candidate from a minority background on every shortlist. By doing this, we’ve already achieved an 18% minority hires rate over this year. What gets measured, gets improved.

Awareness and upskilling

Our diverse team is what makes us who we are, and because of this we care about having regular conversations around diversity and inclusion. 

As well as regular all hands sessions on diversity and inclusion and more specific forums on topics such as Black Lives Matter, we’ve been fortunate to recently partner with the wonderful people at Fibre Training. They’ve delivered engaging and thought-provoking online sessions unpacking the theory behind the science of the brain and unconscious bias, focusing on real-life examples from micro-inequities to full-on exclusion and discrimination.

Policies and everyday practices

Our policy states that we have zero tolerance to exclusion and we really mean that. There are no nuances, zero is zero. Using the internal speak up channel, FutureLearners feel that they can raise issues without the risk of retaliation and that there is due follow up process. 

We also have appointed a volunteer Diversity and Inclusion champion amongst staff, acting as another impartial route for conversation. This is an expansion on our existing champion programme, which has helped to support colleagues through mental health issues, bereavement, and domestic abuse.

Celebrating diversity 

There are plenty of reasons to be proud of the progress we are making in championing inclusivity, namely our great working environment and the level of diversity in thought and background that FutureLearn attracts:

  • 58% of our staff are female (way above the tech industry average, where the average percentage is 43%)
  • We have successfully hired over 60 people completely remotely and continue to expand our teams across the business
  • We are currently completely remote and have remained that way since March 2020

Championing diversity within the edtech sector 

Our purpose is a commitment  to transform online education at its core.  Through a recent £50k worth of investment, we’ve significantly increased the number of diverse educators and courses on the platform. 

The fund has enabled us to waive fees for partners such as The Black Curriculum, who are developing a course on how to teach Black history. It’s also prompted partners to submit over 20 proposals in courses that cover diversity including D&I training from CIPD, Salary Negotiation for Women from Hustle Crew and A History of Slavery in the British Caribbean from The University of the West Indies and The University of Glasgow. 

We continue to financially support current and new partners who are committed to delivering diversity throughout education. Our courses have the ability to celebrate and amplify diverse voices and this will remain our goal as we develop our course portfolio.

News, blogs and resources on diversity and inclusion

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