Equality in the workplace is worth fighting for

    Equality in the workplace is worth fighting for

     This week is Race Equality Week; an annual UK movement which aims to unite organisations and workers who are addressing race inequality in the workplace. This year’s theme is #ActionNotJustWords.

    Fair enough; but of course the theme gives a sense of the frustration felt by many of us over the past few decades where ‘talking the talk’ has been a lot more evident than actually doing something about a situation which clearly needed change. The ‘tick box’ culture which spread through HR departments nationwide effectively allowed employers to trumpet their commitment to diversity and inclusion… by using a rather tacky version of tokenism.

    Government after government published their commitment to racial equality in the workplace but how did their supposed commitment compare to actual achievement?

    Well, as you’d expect there was a fair amount of hot air and not a whole lot of substance!

    Almost four per cent of the working age population comes from a Black background, but the percentage of Black individuals in top jobs in the private sector rose just 0.1 per cent in seven years, up to 1.5 per cent. In the public sector there has been no progress at all and the figure stubbornly stays at one per cent.

    And for Black and Minority Ethnic workers at all employment levels, race discrimination, harassment and victimisation are still sadly evident as HDN’s Action learning group has vividly revealed.

    Inequality and prejudice exists in all sectors of industry and last week the Independent reported the scale of racism in the health service, revealing that the 60 per cent of ethnic minority doctors who have experienced racial discrimination have consequently suffered mental health conditions. The Independent was reporting on the findings of the British Medical Association’s recent Racism in Medicine survey, which showed that 71 per cent of doctors chose not to report racism, often due to a fear of being labeled a poor team player.

    Every week is Race Equality Week here at HDN, but any heightened profile always helps.

    Our Board Diversity Programme is trying hard to address the imbalance in leadership groups in the housing sector. We draw on leading diversity practice to make a real and lasting impact on the development of diversity at board level. Housing boards in the UK do not reflect the diverse make-up of the population or, perhaps more crucially, the communities they serve.

    Only seven per cent of housing board members are BAME and that’s only half way to equality in pure percentage terms. We are doing our very best to change this statistic on our programme, by helping boards to prepare for improved diversity and searching for candidates we can recruit, mentor and retain.

    We passionately believe that a diverse board will improve an organisation from top to bottom. Diverse minds formulate better strategy, and success within any company or association goes hand in hand with improved morale, staff retention and customer service.

    Come on!

    We can lead on this and show the nation what equality really looks like.https://hdnstage.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/EDI-.png

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