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Two Years of Econ Soc’s EDI

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EdEconSoc EDI) was introduced in the 2020-2021 academic year, making it one of the youngest affiliates of the Economics Society.

The first Head of the EDI Committee, Francesca Pagnotta, was truly devoted to making the Economics Society more inclusive and diversified for its members. During her tenure, she successfully formed a partnership with Edinburgh Women’s Aid (EWA), on behalf of the Economics Society, and organised two fundraisers. She invited speakers from different backgrounds to give events on diversified topics and organised Yoga sessions themed on mental health. She contributed to the organisation of the Equality Panel – a panel discussion focused on equality issues in different job fields, collaborating with other societies. Generous support in launching EDI was provided by the previous president and vice-president of the Economics Society, Sofia De Martin and Jasmine Kazantzis.

At the end of last academic year, I was elected as the Head of EDI for 2021-2022. This academic year, other than securing another year of partnership with EWA, I have formed a partnership on behalf of the society with another local charity, AdvoCard. I also established a stable partnership between EdEconSoc EDI and ESL PALS – a Peer Learning Support scheme designed for helping students who don’t speak English as their first language. We collaborated and organised a range of social events themed on mental health, diversity and inclusion. Other than speaker events, EDI also had its first career event for international students, featuring Angelina Lu – a former McKinsey consultant and Revolut manager, who has a lot of experience interviewing people and knows exactly how international students are struggling with their job applications. This event attracted undergraduate and postgraduate attendees pursuing 20+ degree programmes. In addition, the first EDI research project, which will be investigating the importance of equality on economic growth and business success, has been launched this year. Many thanks to the researchers of this project, especially the Project Lead Sarah Aida Sah-Hadiyatan and the Research Lead Chenchen Zha. Their research outcomes are highlighting the beneficial effect of equality within economies and businesses. Sarah and Chenchen are writing an essay to summarise some of their findings, with a particular focus on the impact of a strong community spirit. We are grateful to Insight magazine for supporting our project – especially the Editor in Chief, Serena Grover, who has been so kindly supportive of EdEconSoc EDI and our research project.

As the second year of EDI is drawing to a close, I would like to give my best wishes to everyone who supported and contributed to EDI in the past two years. I believe EDI will keep growing and giving back to its local community, fostering a more equal, diverse, and inclusive environment at EconSoc and the University of Edinburgh.

Yongxin Guo, Head of the EDI Committee, The University of Edinburgh Economics Society

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