As far as Diversity & Inclusion mistakes go, this one is very straightforward. It’s a mistake that a lot of organisations make, but it’s also one that’s very easy to put right.

Avoid these 5 Big Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Mistakes in 2019:

Mistake Number 1 – Thinking a Robust EDI Policy is Enough

Mistake Number 2 – Focussing on What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

Mistake Number 3 – Limiting Good Practice to the 9 Protected Characteristics

I’m going to describe them to you over the next few issues of FE News so that you can avoid those mistakes in your own organisation.

Mistake Number 3 – Limiting Good Practice to the 9 Protected Characteristics

Let’s start with a quick recap on the 9 Protected Characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

The characteristics are:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender reassignment
  4. Marriage and civil partnership
  5. Pregnancy and maternity
  6. Race
  7. Religion or belief
  8. Sex
  9. Sexual orientation

Discrimination against someone because of one or more of these characteristics is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. We all have some of these characteristics – age, for example, applies to every person on the planet – so the law is for everyone’s protection.

Part of Diversity & Inclusion good practice for training providers involves communicating bite-sized information relating to these characteristics to your teams.

This might include things like:

  • Raising awareness of religious holidays
  • Information on assisting customers with mobility issues or hearing loss
  • A reminder of rights and regs for pregnant staff members
  • Sources of help for people experiencing or witnessing race discrimination

Let’s face it – there are so many topics you could cover. Creating simple, accessible communications that bring everyday reality to the legislation will help to build the kind of knowledge and understanding that makes bad practice less likely.

A fairer environment for EVERYONE

It’s very important to build understanding of the 9 Protected Characteristics, but it’s also important to appreciate that Equality, Diversity & Inclusion good practice doesn’t end there.

As we’ve already discovered, building a good understanding and practice of Equality & Diversity is not about Dos and Don’ts, but about changing everyday culture and thinking a little bit differently, a little more widely.

For a real culture change, words like Equality, Diversity and Inclusion must apply to everyone. There’s actually a lovely, simple formula for to make this happen in any organisation.

Quite simply, the formula is this:

If you apply good Equality, Diversity & Inclusion standards to EVERYONE, you are inevitably applying them to the 9 Protected Characteristics.

Thinking in this broader way not only takes care of the 9 Protected Characteristics without having to think about them in terms of Dos and Don’ts for particular individuals and groups, but it also creates a pleasanter and fairer environment for EVERYONE.

What’s more, consciously applying Equality, Diversity & Inclusion to EVERYONE encourages buy-in of your organisation’s practices from EVERYONE in it.

That’s important for building understanding, cooperation, fairness and for creating a level playing field where no one particular group or characteristic is seen as more entitled to Diversity & Inclusion protection than another.

Advertisement

Diversity Trumps

This level playing field is important because if you don’t have it, you could end up involved in the kind of disputes that are sometimes called ‘Diversity Trumps’.

Diversity Trumps have been a feature of quite a few high-profile legal disputes. Diversity Trumps is when one person’s protection by the Equality Act seems to conflict with another’s.

Whose rights are more important when, for example, a woman’s rights seem to be in conflict with the rights attached to a particular religious practice? Both are protected characteristics (Sex and Religion).

Diversity Trumps can also apply where one side of the argument seems to be protected under the 9 Characteristics and the other side doesn’t. You may think on the face of it, that there is a clearer path to take in such a situation, but this isn’t necessarily so. And this kind of dispute can be just as damaging as one where the conflict appears to be between the rights of two of the Protected Characteristics.

Avoiding Resentment

Limiting practice to the 9 Characteristics can create a ‘them and us’ resentment, with the idea that the rights, feelings and beliefs of some people are more important than those of others. This can actually do the opposite of building a real diversity culture. Instead, it can fuel animosity, cynicism and prejudice amongst those who don’t feel protected.

An essential part of all Equality & Diversity good practice (and any genuinely inclusive workplace culture) is that everyone in an organisation understands that good practice is there for every single person in that organisation. It’s to support and protect EVERYONE. No ifs, no buts.

Limiting Equality, Diversity & Inclusion practice to the 9 Protected Characteristics is no easier than applying good practice to everyone. What you need to do is simple: think about the 9 Protected Characteristics, but also think beyond them.

Remind yourself that EVERYONE in your organisation – including service users – is protected, and act accordingly.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. works with training providers, delivering Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Safeguarding training that’s straightforward and effective.

See also:

Mistake Number 1 – Thinking a Robust EDI Policy is Enough

Mistake Number 2 – Focussing on What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

Mistake Number 3 – Limiting Good Practice to the 9 Protected Characteristics

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page