Some of the key equality, diversity, and inclusivity issues we’ve identified in relation to fieldwork are sexuality, trans and gender identity, disability, mental health, neurodiversity, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and care obligation (in addition to other protected characteristics).
However, socio-economic status is often one that is forgotten about and links back to things like accommodation and travel. For a fieldtrip I’m arranging, we’re staying in rooms of up to 8 beds in a room because it is £18 per night and the students must pay for that field trip (because it is optional), so I’ve tried to keep costs minimal. However, economic costs of trips can be hard for students, and they have to make decisions like “Do I go to Iceland because that is what I am really interested and passionate studying or do I go on the cheaper local trip because I won’t have to contribute to this so much financially”. Even on trips where we pay for accommodation, transport and food, there is also the costs of outdoor equipment (such as waterproofs). Over the years we have started to get a little pool of equipment but there is a stigma around asking for the kit. There are things that stopping students before the point of the fieldtrip and impacting where they can go and what they can do.