A short guide to equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace

What is Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI)?

Equality is all about making sure everyone has the same opportunities and rights. It means giving everyone a fair chance, regardless of where they come from, their beliefs, gender, skin colour, or if they have a disability. Diversity is about celebrating our differences and recognising that every person is unique. Finally, inclusion is an extension of both of these things. It means every single person, without any exceptions, has the right to be included, respected, and valued in our community. Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) at work is a big deal. It’s crucial to understand why it’s important and how it benefits us all. In this short guide, we’ll walk you through how to handle it, explain why it’s a big deal, and even toss in a handy checklist to keep you in the loop about EDI in your workplace.

We all deserve to be treated with respect

We all deserve to be treated with respect, kindness, and dignity at work. And when you treat your colleagues with respect, you’ll be able to better collaborate and demonstrate your skills and talents, contributing to both personal and business success. Embracing EDI means looking beyond our stereotypes and the categories we often put people in; instead, seeing each person as an individual with a unique mixture of skills, talents, and ideas. When we do this in the workplace, we can turn these individual differences into very real advantages! Being open and inclusive has huge benefits for both the organisation and the individuals who work there. By building a diverse workforce, where individuals come from a variety of backgrounds, you can benefit from your team’s wide range of skills.

Recognise different perspectives and approaches

Recognising and using these skills and talents, as well as recognising people’s different perspectives and approaches, helps businesses to become more innovative and creative, as well as being able to better solve problems. Having a diverse crew can also help an organisation to have a better understanding of the needs and desires of their customers, and it enables them to tailor and market their products more effectively, especially if members of the team are also in the same demographic as the target audience. But the cherry on top is that a workplace that respects and appreciates everyone, no matter who they are, leads to increased staff commitment, improved staff retention, increased return on training investment, and a more supportive culture where everyone can thrive.

Ultimately, it creates a happier environment which encourages innovation, loyalty and greater success!

Why is it important to promote EDI in the workplace?

The Equality Act 2010 was created to simplify, strengthen, and harmonise existing legislation to provide Britain with a new discrimination law; not only to help protect individuals from inequitable treatment but also to provide and promote a fair and equal society. Originally there were around 9 major equality laws, and 100 or so smaller versions.

The latest legislation seeks to move away from this complicated mess of multiple legislation and provide one coherent set of guidelines for employers and employees to follow.

The Equality Act 2010 Employee Actions

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Pregnancy and Maternity (including breastfeeding mothers)
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex

Sexual orientation ‘Protected characteristics’ form the basis of the Equality Act – to discriminate against any of the following characteristics is a breach of the law. Under the Act, employers and employees both have responsibilities that they must adhere to. Therefore, it is crucial that actions are taken to ensure that the law is not breached by either party.

What can you do to promote EDI at work?

  • Read your organisations Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policies. These might be broken down into focused policies like Anti-Bullying & Harassment, Grievance, and Anti-Racism policies, procedures & strategies.
  • Work in accordance with your company values. These should be in place to ensure that your place of work is a safe and friendly environment.
  • Support your colleagues. It’s so important that everyone feels comfortable, safe, happy, and valued at work. This responsibility is with each and every one of you – leaders and employees alike – to treat one another with kindness and respect.
  • Undertake training. It’s crucial for you and the team to learn about communicating openly and respectfully, maintaining personal wellbeing, understanding current social issues, and complying with the law.

The importance of EDI training in the workplace

As a leading provider of workplace training, we understand the importance of EDI training in the workplace as we’ve noticed a huge increase in the number of training sessions for our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Training course over the last couple of years. It’s great to know that so many workplaces are actively training their staff and raising awareness of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in workplaces. But you might be wondering why it’s so important to provide EDI training in the workplace …

Many people may not be aware of the unfair treatment or discrimination that their colleagues are facing, or perhaps someone is suffering in silence and doesn’t know how to address the issue. By offering staff a high-quality training course, the common issues that many people face at work are highlighted and learners are advised on how to address these issues, helping all employees to see the true value of an inclusive workplace (and how to create one).

Training gives everyone a solid understanding of what good practice is and how to implement it. It suggests what improvements can be made at your place of work and how these improvements will benefit your organisation financially. It also supports improving everyone’s commitment, loyalty, productivity, mental health, and their understanding of your customers’ and clients’ needs. Training also helps employers with making sure that no one behaves unlawfully at work. If an organisation ever does have to defend its position regarding a discrimination or harassment claim, they will have to show that they took all reasonably practicable steps to prevent any wrongdoing – and one of these steps is ensuring that all employees have undergone training!

Online EDI training at Complisafe

Here are just some of our EDI appropriate training at Complisafe:

You can also find out about our other online training courses.

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