It’s no secret that discrimination is illegal, and workplace discrimination should be rooted out and appropriately sanctioned. Discrimination can have long-lasting damaging effects on your employees well-being and your organisations reputation. Therefore, it is important to implement diversity and inclusion policies that actually work.
Here are 5 simple tips that will help you begin improving diversity and inclusion in your organisation:
1. Get familiar with the 9 protected characteristics
Knowing the 9 protected characteristics outlined in the Equality Act 2010, is a great place to start. Any form of discrimination against these 9 protected characteristics could have serious legal ramifications for your organisation or employees. The 9 protected characteristics are:
3. Gender reassignment.
4. Marriage and civil partnership.
5. Pregnancy and maternity.
7. Religion and beliefs.
9. Sexual orientation.
We know that navigating this topic can be a minefield. For help and support on improving diversity and inclusion in your organisation, you should look at engaging with a diversity consultant like Mission Diverse or take a look at our Foundation Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training.
2. Check company policies
Your organisations policies may be directly or indirectly discriminating against a certain group of people who share the same or similar protected characteristic. It’s important to check your company policies to make sure that they do not disadvantage any of your employees.
Examples of this could be your company policy on hair or dress code. Does your organisations’ dress code policy infringe upon your employees’ religious beliefs and customs? Does your organisations’ policy on hair styles discriminate against certain ethnic groups? These are just a few examples of issues that need to be addressed immediately. For more support on how to identify discriminatory policies, take a look at our Advanced EDI training.
3. Check your language
Make sure that your communications do not contain any sexist, racist language or any language that violates the 9 protected characteristics we’ve outlined above, you can also read more the Equality Act 2010 here. However, The Equality Act 2010 can be quite a lot to take in as an employee or employer, this is why our foundation Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Training and support sessions break down step-by-step what you need to know, to meet the needs of all your staff and the law.
4. Pop the Question… Even if it’s awkward
Most people try to prevent causing offense to others by avoiding awkward or uncomfortable conversations. This can often have the opposite affect and lead to causing offense due to a lack of clarity. If you are unsure about approaching a discussion or talking point, here’s a top tip to asking a question… Stating the following. “Sorry, am I okay to ask you (insert talking point here) as I’m not sure? I don’t want to cause offense, and I thought it would be better to ask you instead of assuming”.
This line of questioning helps to create inclusivity amongst people from diverse backgrounds, as well as helping you to gain clarity and address sensitive topics or talking points.
5. Know your discrimination
Make sure you and your employees are aware of these 3 types of discrimination: direct, indirect, and implied discrimination.
Understanding the different types of discrimination will help you to identify discriminatory practices and situations where employees are or have been harassed or disadvantaged based on their characteristic(s). Once you’re able to identify and recognise the types of discrimination that exist in your organisation, you’ll be able to take the appropriate actions.
Although direct and indirect discrimination are more common and more well known, implied discrimination is something that is not readily discussed, yet it happens more often than not in the workplace. This is why our Diversity & Inclusion support takes a detailed and alternative approach to guiding you and your employees in the right direction towards inclusivity.
Need more support on how to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace? Click here to view our Foundation Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training for the essential information on equality, diversity and inclusion.
If you and your team already have a basic level of understanding around diversity and inclusion but want to embed it further into your organisation, take a look at our Advanced Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training here.