Machilu Zimba, Policy Advisor in Equality & Diversity Unit

Picture of Machilu Zimba, Policy Advisor in Equality & Diversity Unit

What inspired you to join the University?

I joined the University because I wanted to be part of an institution that is one of the main leaders in higher education across the world. I also thought that it would be a great move for my career to expose myself to the wide range of things the University does. The University is made up of many kinds of staff. You don’t just have to be an academic or researcher to work at Oxford, there are a number of other roles in museums, communications, IT etc. that I was attracted to.
What was your journey to the position you now hold?

My work at the University began in the Geography department as a project coordinator and policy researcher managing a project on climate change impacts in small islands. I enjoyed my work in the department, but realised that there weren’t many people who looked like me across the University. After meeting some Black and Minority Ethnic staff in the University, I joined the BME staff network and was involved in broader discussions about race equality across the University. When an opportunity came up to work on policy issues in higher education related to Equality and Diversity, I applied for my role as Policy Advisor for race equality, religion and belief.
What are the elements of your job that you enjoy the most?

I mostly enjoy going across the University to speak to staff and students about ways in which they can think about enacting race equality issues in their departments. There are some creative ideas about making Oxford more diverse across the University that constantly being shared and new projects are being planned.
What advice would you give someone thinking about applying to work at the University?

I would say, just go for it. One tip would be to reach out to the HR contact on a job advert if you have any questions about the job. There are a number of opportunities beyond research and academia at the University that you can find at the University.