Equality is about ensuring that all people are given the same opportunities, rights and status. Diversity is about embracing everyone’s differences and understanding that every individual is unique. Inclusion is an extension of all these things. It means that all people, without exception, have the right to be included, respected and appreciated as valuable members of the community.
It goes without saying, but it would not be possible for organisations to accomplish anything without their employees. In order to help employees work to the best of their abilities, organisations need to create an environment where employees feel safe, happy and secure; where they can work without the pressure of trying to hide who they are; and where they feel nurtured, valued, and able to flourish. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult to achieve.
Organisations that promote and nurture a culture of positive Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion will naturally find themselves reaping a number of benefits.
And the topic of EDI seems to be attracting more attention in recent years. Alex Wilkins, Head of Business Development at iHASCO says, “As a provider of HR and compliance training, we’ve noticed a huge increase in the number of training sessions for our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Training course, particularly over the last couple of years. It’s fantastic to know that EDI is rightly rising up the agenda for business leaders, so many workplaces are npw actively training their staff and raising awareness of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in workplaces.”
iHASCO’s experts have created a free-to-download guide to equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace for employees. It includes an actionable checklist to help employees promote and raise awareness of EDI at work.
It is crucial for both employers and employees to promote EDI in the workplace for a number of reasons. Good EDI in a business can lead to better business performance, increased employee engagement, and better recruitment and employee retention. In fact, those with more ethnically diverse senior leadership teams are on average 36% more profitable!
Additionally, it’s not only important because of the benefits it can bring to a business, but it also forms part of your legal obligations as an employer.
The Equality Act 2010 & upcoming changes to EDI legislation
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.
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.
It is also crucial that both employers and employees are kept informed on updates to legislation.
There are a number of changes to expect surrounding employment law in the coming years. For example, The Equality Act 2010 is expected to make adjustments surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, pay gap reporting, sexual harassment and menopause in the workplace.
Under a new Equality and Human Rights Commission Code of Practice, employers will soon be facing increased legal pressures to show what steps they're taking to prevent sexual harassment and harassment in the workplace - which makes workplace equality training more important than ever.
How can training help promote EDI in the workplace?
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to ensure you’re working towards compliance with EDI legislation is by providing your staff with high-quality and up-to-date training materials.
EDI Training can help to raise awareness by addressing everyday workplace issues surrounding EDI. 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. The solution is simple - by staff simply taking 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. This type of training helps 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, as well as improving everyone’s commitment, loyalty, productivity, mental health, and their understanding of your customers' and clients’ needs.
Training also helps employers ensure 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.