Diversity and Inclusion
The Equality Act of 2010 pushes for a consistency across the board, so that employees and employers comply with laws to create fairer workplaces all over the country.
As well as this, the Commission of Equality and Human Rights (EHRC) and Human Rights Act of 1998 exists to reduce inequality and discrimination, both issues withbin the workplace.
The EHRC joined up the work of the previous equality organisations, the Commission of Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission, and the Equal Opportunities Commission.
It challenges prejudice and promotes the importance of human rights, enforcing the equality laws around age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act.
The Commission seeks to maintain and strengthen the UK's history of upholding people's rights, valuing diversity and challenging intolerance, as well as tackling the areas where there is still discrimination and inequality, such as the workplace.
Diversity is about recognising difference. It’s acknowledging the benefit of having a range of perspectives in decision-making and the workforce being representative of the organisation’s customers. Inclusion is where people’s differences are valued and used to enable everyone to thrive at work.
Beyond Minimum Standards
While UK legislation – covering age, disability, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation among others – sets minimum standards, an effective diversity and inclusion strategy goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee well-being and engagement.
It is argued that big organisations can and must generate visibility to the cause of acceptance and tolerance among its employees.
And then there’s us as managers, we would need to actually be trained to support someone with this condition, I would want to be aware of what restrictions there are, so that I can understand and adapt my way of working with that individual.
A Day In The Life Of….
3rd December was International Day for People with Disabilities (IDPWD). In order to understand where they were at in terms of disability inclusion some organisations took the initiative for senior leaders to simulate a sensory impairment for the day and reflect at the end. From Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to Visual Impairment and Hearing Loss, lessons were learned.
We need more training as managers to be sensitive to people’s needs. If you’re not that open and transparent and don’t create a space of trust and safety, people aren’t going to tell you. Managers need training for that. This is not measured in the managers we recruit.
We must do more on promotion, we must talk about disability, grab that recruitment piece and say that this is a great place to work
Organisations stepping beyond the minimum standards are showing their commitment by incorporating diversity and inclusion within their strategic priorities:
Does your organisation have a diversity and inclusion program?
You may or may not be aware of your organisations diversity and inclusion program, however companies that want to promote diversity and inclusion will take the extra step of scrutinising their own policies and strategies to determine whether they are really doing everything they can to create a diverse workforce and in doing so will let their employees bring their best selves to work.