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What is an equality and diversity policy?

Put simply, an equality and diversity policy is a written agreement for your business that lays out how your company will avoid discrimination against staff and customers while creating a safe and inclusive workplace culture and environment going forwards.

An equality and diversity policy can be used to help your business manage a situation where an employee or customer has been treated unfairly or disrespectfully.

Why is an equality and diversity policy important?

We all suffer from unconscious bias in the workplace and sadly racism, sexism and ageism are still too common at work. Individuals and groups within the workplace will sadly face discrimination, harassment and exclusion from workplace activities, promotion opportunities, training programmes and even social events outside of the office.  So often, these unconscious bias related incidents happen without others in the office knowing about it yet they ‘cut deep’ and can create a negative working environment which can harm the overall culture of the office.  This is an environment which should be as safe and inclusive as possible.

A equality and diversity policy does not need to be long.  The most important aspect of having a equality and diversity policy is that it begins a conversation about these issues and allows members of the office to think about what needs to be done to create a positive workplace culture for all that embraces equality and diversity.

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What kind of questions should a equality and diversity policy answer?

  • What Unconscious Bias examples can you think of?
  • What acts of discrimination and harassment in the workplace are you aware of?
  • Does any of the employees in the company have any personal experiences of being mistreated or excluded because of who they are?
  • What do you want a equality and diversity policy to achieve?
  • What are the aims of a equality and diversity policy?
  • How will the company react in the event of an employee being excluded or mistreated?
  • How can the equality and diversity policy be implemented and adopted by employees within the company?

Why is equality and diversity in the workplace important?

Equality and diversity are important in the workplace regardless of the company size. It is all part of a companies view on EDI – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  It ensures fair treatment and opportunity for all with the aim of eliminating prejudice and discrimination based on an individual groups character traits.

Any business that wants to create an EDI strategy has to be prepared to embrace a workplace culture change and commit to a long-term, sustainable commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in their work environment.

Everyone is different and difference brings new perspectives, different ideas and a different mindset that helps promote an empowered culture change in the workplace that can deliver increased creativity and innovation.

Gender Diversity most commonly refers to an equal ratio of men and women. Some of the most common industry areas that see a dominance in male employees over female is in STEM Sector computing, engineering, medicine and science.

It is widely agreed that in order to have a fair and productive working environment, diversity is required.

After the Black Lives Matters movement protests, many businesses rushed to address racism in the workplace but overlooked that racism is just one negative attribute that needs to be addressed. Sexism and ageism related issues can run deep in an office environment and for many, they do not know that they are guilty of these unconscious bias traits.

But for Unconscious Bias Training to truly work, it needs to be delivered alongside other key topics such as conscious inclusion, microaggressions and allyship if they are to have any real and lasting effect on the workforce.

This is why our own internal Unconscious Bias Training Programme delivery INCLUDES these subtopics.

By including this, we can deliver a focussed training program that truly delivers on all of these issues to bring about positive change that DOES deliver the intended results.

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About Us

Skills 4 is one of the UK’s leading Diversity and Inclusion Training Providers.

The company was established in 2006, by the current CEO Jayne Little, in response to issues identified in the government-commissioned Report, ‘Shaping a Fairer Future’.

We offer Award Winning training and bespoke interventions which deliver measurable results and enable our clients to attract, retain and progress diverse talent.