Equality
andChange
L M Chapman 2010
Email eqt@btinternet.com
HANDOUT
Equality & Diversity and Culture Change
Effective tea...
Too many people still
feel a lack of belonging
in our communities. Equal
opportunity in shared
activity begins with an
inv...
The government Equalities Office aims to bring in the new Equality Duty in
April 2011. This is good news for organisations...
Definitions:
Equality and Change - 4
Equity: 	is the overall concept to achieving
fairness, it goes further than the law.
...
This applies to all organisations that
has functions of a public nature,
including parts of private or
voluntary sector or...
The next challenge is to
listen to people, starting with
those among us who already
experience discrimination.
Establishin...
Organisational structures and
pressures that impose pressures on us
all, but also discriminate against
certain groups by t...
Happiness in this context needs to be
defined more clearly than by common
and vague notions of heightened
pleasure or a neu...
In this handout care has
been taken to use respectful
language. This may differ
from some political correct
terms for good...
Related Programmes
	 Equalities
Changing organisational culture - from
compliance to commitment.
Overview:
To help partici...
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New Equality And Diversity handout

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Effective team management within any organisation demands an understanding of equality and diversity issues. Skilful handling of these issues will impact on the personal development of all team members as well as the consequential culture and public image of the organisation as a whole.

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New Equality And Diversity handout

  1. 1. Equality andChange L M Chapman 2010 Email eqt@btinternet.com HANDOUT Equality & Diversity and Culture Change Effective team management within any organisation demands an understanding of equality and diversity issues. Skilful handling of these issues will impact on the personal development of all team members as well as the consequential culture and public image of the organisation as a whole. The path to understanding such issues is a personal one. However, the creation of an inclusive environment is a political issue, as it requires stakeholders to be engaged in change while supported by management, structures and systems. The challenge is to find a process that engages everyone. If team members espouse shared values, we need no longer rely on a charismatic leader. Gone is the need to ‘sell’ the future direction to the organisation, as the members create it themselves. And the vision is no longer unrealistic as it can be firmly grounded in the collective experiences of past and current achievement. Equality and diversity must be mainstream CONTENTS Introduction 2 Culture change 4 Leadership and Equality 5 Career Management 6 Learning and empowerment 7 Findings 8 References 9 Everyone can make a positive contribution to their organisation, by improving their own and their teams performance.
  2. 2. Too many people still feel a lack of belonging in our communities. Equal opportunity in shared activity begins with an invitation. While the situation is improving, many professionals now realise that they need to do things more intentionally to make full inclusion a reality for all. Equity: The principle of equality has to be reinforced and extended by the practice of equity. On the basis of the discussion so far three broad principles about the nature of social justice: Equality: every human being has an absolute and equal right to common dignity and parity of esteem and entitlement to access the benefits of society on equal terms. Equity: every human being has a right to benefit from the outcomes of society on the basis of fairness and according to need. Social justice: justice requires deliberate and specific intervention to secure equality and equity. (West-Burnham & Chapman 2010) Everyone Matters The development of inclusive practice fundamentally tackles the issue of equity - equal outcomes. Changes in practice made to address culture will ultimately secure a better entitlement for all children and ensure an increasing quality and better standards across all provision. Changing culture an important component of a wider move towards enabling environments and positive relationships, one which will ensure everyone can reach and exceed expectation. On the most basic level belonging is nurtured when the culture is accepting and allows each individual to be honest about his or her needs. Getting it right can often be straightforward, if the strategies put in place help people feel they belong. However things go wrong when practice and language do not support acceptance, and people are expected to fit in. Equality and Change - 2 Introduction
  3. 3. The government Equalities Office aims to bring in the new Equality Duty in April 2011. This is good news for organisations already committed to ethical practice. And means that reducing inequality will be understood as an organisations’ core purpose, therefore part of strategic activity. So there will be a need to develop more inclusive practice in and effort to respond more flexibly to people’s needs. The main purpose of current legislation is to bring about a culture change so that equality becomes part of business. This will mean considering the impact of all business decisions on marginalised groups. “The government’s vision is to work towards a fairer society and have set out duties to reduce discrimination based on outcomes and evidence.” Culture Change Compliance → Commitment Tolerance → Acceptance Mindscape → Landscape Single/Other → Diverse Deficits → Assets Barriers → Boundaries Rigid → Flexible Rules → Values Improve → Transform Equality and Change - 3 Culture Change
  4. 4. Definitions: Equality and Change - 4 Equity: is the overall concept to achieving fairness, it goes further than the law. Equality: is the narrower application of law, enjoying rights and opportunities – a baseline. Diversity: an approach that involves valuing people and their different contribution. Ethical practice: does the organisation have an effect on opportunity within the community? Putting values into practice Inclusive practice: concerns actions, processes and environmental factors that facilitate or impede growth. It is an emergent process: rather than offering an alternative to existing habits, it builds on existing best practice and develops different action that eventually transforms culture. It is vital that inclusive practice is not understood as a tool to ‘mainstream’ the difficult or the needy. Crucially, practice needs to become flexible and person-centred so that it respects and responds to individual needs. Consistent steps towards greater equity through inclusive practice, engages all participants, by creating an environment that fosters belonging. The development of inclusive practice articulates the underpinning philosophies of equality and diversity. It builds on existing success by changing practice and policies in mainstream settings, and ultimately strengthens relationships improving the lives of whole communities. The development of inclusive practice fundamentally tackles the issue of equity - equal outcomes. Changes in practice made to address culture will ultimately secure a better entitlement for all and ensure an increasing quality and better standards across all provision. Inclusive practice is an important component of a wider move towards enabling environments and positive relationships, one which will ensure everybody can reach and exceed expectation, fulfil promise and develop latent potential. At the heart of inclusive practice is the expectation of participation, fulfilment and success. (NCSL West- Burnham 2008). It is the ‘shared and common agreement’ that often is not expressed in language and behaviour, and further reinforced by rigid systems. All too often decisions are made without enough
  5. 5. This applies to all organisations that has functions of a public nature, including parts of private or voluntary sector organisations. Legislation will strengthen existing duties to address treating people fairly irrespective of race, disability, and gender. However it also now covers other groups, including people who have been treated unfairly because of their sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity or gender reassignment. “We believe that involving people, especially people whose voices may not previously have been heard, is at the heart of any effective approach to understanding problems and developing effective approaches to tackling them.” Voices from different groups teach us different things, as have the unique visions of the individuals taking the lead. We should never want to lose the richness and detail of people’s dreams: they are crucial in motivating people and if properly fostered can catalyse rich and varied solutions. Such dreams can be used to build a vision that whole communities will want to achieve. The trick is to acknowledge differences at this stage and not rush the process by focusing on the similarities. This deliberate approach will enable communities to move away from an 'oppress the oppressor’ mentality (a natural reaction to oppression) and towards a common vision. In line with this new strategic angle, and in order to promote shared responsibility at all levels, changes will affect every daily activity of the organisation. This improves on the powers of separate equality schemes, and moves action beyond compliance to a proactive approach to anti- discrimination. Organisations will be required to set out their objectives and the steps they plan to take to achieve them. They will need to show how they take into account evidence of the impact on equality in the design of key policy and service delivery initiatives, and evaluate the difference this has made. Organisations will need to work with their local community in deliberate ways in order to identify areas where they can have the most impact. Legislation Equality and Change - 5
  6. 6. The next challenge is to listen to people, starting with those among us who already experience discrimination. Establishing the balance of power fairly and safely should be a priority and benefits all parties. If we are not aware of how we are influenced we may fail to consider the truly important issues leads us to assess clothes, accents and appearances and to make judgements corrupted by our own prejudices. This in turn will influence our thoughts, direct our actions, and hinder openness and acceptance in each new encounter. We need to be clear in our understanding of stereotype and prejudice. Whilst stereotypes are essential in our ability to process difference and enable a fine-slicing based on experience and instinct. Prejudice means being lead by our stereotypes into making assumptions; we need to be careful to challenge and re-evaluate these assumptions, and hold them up to scrutiny at every opportunity. It is one thing to hold a set of ideas on a subject we know a lot about, through both experience and expertise. It is quite another to jump to an initial reaction to something or someone, based on a lifetime’s accumulation of negative media and biased information. “Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions, by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions… it requires more than a simple commitment to equality. It requires that you change your life so that you are exposed to minorities on a regular basis and become comfortable with them and familiar with the best of their culture, so that when you want to meet, hire, date, or talk with a member of a minority, you aren't betrayed by your hesitation and discomfort.” Malcolm Gladwell, (2005) Blink The power of thinking without thinking. Penguin. There are still too many people who have been subjected to rigid, exclusive systems and negative attitudes. Every one will quickly pick up on even the subtlest signals given out by those around them. Attitudes translate into behaviour and will impact on a person’s feelings of empowerment and their expectations. To feel a sense of belonging enables us to join in with a game, activity, routine, or the life of a community group. Every person has a right to be heard: their strength needs recognition, their expertise needs appreciation and their experience must be valued. If those in power are overly concerned with their own position, will they have the strength to really listen? •Which groups get treated unfairly? •How would you feel if you were treated unfairly? •How does this make you react to unfair treatment? •How does this reaction make you appear to others? Equality and Change - 3 Stereotypes and Prejudice
  7. 7. Organisational structures and pressures that impose pressures on us all, but also discriminate against certain groups by treaing them less fairly. Wellbeing needs to be taken much more seriously to reduce discrimination by enabling greater opportunity for development for all. Factors that enable wellbeing are also more effective as they are not solely aimed at marginalised groups. Pursuing equality: Equal treatment for all: The availability of the same rights, position, and status to all people, regardless of gender, sexual preference, age, race, ethnicity, ability or religion. All individuals need to have equal choices and opportunities regardless of their ability. Enabling environments: “Is an ongoing process of reviewing and developing practice in order to adjust and celebrate diversity. It is the journey not the destination!” Wellbeing: Wellbeing has always been of great concern to all; people know it enhances participation, social interaction and ultimately gets results. However, with wider pressures arising from a culture, there is a fear that new priorities will negatively affect everyone. In view of recent research wellbeing needs to be taken more seriously to enable a better personal experience. Having a positive approach to work and finding pleasure in developing personal skills does a lot more than make the activity enjoyable. Enjoyment literally unlocks creativity, enables flexibility of thought and allows openness to new information, all vital to motivation and making meaning. Ensuring that people’s wellbeing takes top priority necessitates a wider choice and flexibility in practice. Relationships are all-important to this, as teams need to know each other well in order to know their strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Defining happiness Achieving equity through strategic activity Equality and Change - 7
  8. 8. Happiness in this context needs to be defined more clearly than by common and vague notions of heightened pleasure or a neutral state in the absence of pain. It needs to be understood as having quite specific implications for performance, and long-term implications for achievement. Research shows that ‘subjective well- being’ measures correlate closely to feelings of happiness, so settings can determine levels of wellbeing with accuracy by asking people how happy they are. This is essential knowledge in view of recent legislation, as from now organisations will need to assess and evaluate the impact practice, policies, and strategies are having on specific groups wellbeing. According to Seligman (2007), three routes to happiness enable a ‘Full Life’; these are the ‘pleasant’, the ‘good’, and the ‘meaningful’ life. Together they enable people to flourish, as they prevent what he terms an ‘Empty Life’. It is worth noting that they all differ, some can be changed more easily than others through practice and training. However, a person who can engage through all three dimensions will have a ‘fuller life’ than a person who engages with one or two. Essentially, the life satisfaction produced by addressing the three lives combined appears to be greater than the sum of the parts, and is therefore the most successful route to flourishing. A further ‘time’ dimension also needs to be added, as present happiness is critical to future wellbeing. Raising aspirations are needed to realise potential, because imagining a positive future is impossible when presently unhappy. Equality and Change - 8 Happiness
  9. 9. In this handout care has been taken to use respectful language. This may differ from some political correct terms for good reason, it acknowledges oppression, this is significantly different from labelling ‘others‘ by their characteristics or numbers within communities. It demands an intentional and deliberate change by the speaker to stop the perpetuation of wrong assumptions about difference. The adoption of new terminology should help to challenge thinking that creates discrimination, as it promotes a responsibility to accept difference, rather than shift the individual blame for it onto members of certain groups. Many people from underrepresented groups have felt empowered by the ideas and language of the Rights Movement. Using language reclaimed and owned by group affiliation develops respect and acceptance. It acknowledges that community can change to remove negative terminology in their literature. The nub of the issue does not concern ‘good’ or ‘bad’ words, as respectful language aims to be neither negative nor positive: it aims to describe situations and increase awareness. The aim is to contradict the negative and unhelpful ideas that are often used to describe the lives of those who are labelled according to difference. In fact, there is so much confusion around terminology that often people are too scared to talk about the issues at all. In order to tackle equality issues, we need to move forward from this state. Unfortunately, too many people in power insist on using politically correct - rather than respectful - terminology. Political correctness simply confuses issues, advocating terms such as physically challenged, visually challenged etc. Such expressions detract from the real issue: who is being challenged here? People should feel valued whatever their difference, but they often do feel challenged by other people’s lack of acceptance and by the barriers that make it harder for them to participate. Some examples: Marginalised groups: individuals may be members of minority groups but the accent is on which groups hold on to power, the breath of acceptance in systems that oppress, alienate, or exclude people within society. Systemic marginalisation: refers to the ways institutions work, the systems and structures, that deepen inequality. Creating divisions between groups and lack of opportunity for individual development. ‘the’ black, ‘the’ poor, underachievers; To call any group of people 'the' anything is to dehumanise them. Recognising the labels is key to understanding who faces the oppressive barriers of attitude, structures and environments in society. Black World Majority / Black person: many people from perceived smaller groups are often referred to as minorities, when they may in fact they belong to much larger groups across the Equality and Change - 8 The Power of Language
  10. 10. Related Programmes Equalities Changing organisational culture - from compliance to commitment. Overview: To help participants get a clearer understanding of their role in achieving fairer outcomes in line with the vision proposed in the new equalities bill. This programme will help participant understand the strategic implications for organisational core purpose, and help embed the understanding that ethical practice is ongoing and therefore moves beyond the compliance approach laid out in present legislation. It will help staff become increasingly proactive in the area of inclusive practice using area knowledge specific to the district and more effective in their use of internal resources. Participants will be offered opportunities to refresh their understanding of legislation by examining the key theories underpinning new research and theory. They will have the opportunity to reflect on changes in their own practice and develop new strategies that aim for positive impact on marginalised groups. Equality – Equity, Values, and Inclusive Practice. Overview This programme helps participants gain an understanding of shared leadership that enables individuals to achieve change by responding effectively to inequality. Underpinned by the Equality Bill agenda this workshop aims to create personal motivation by supporting people’s understanding of the vision and commitment needed to achieve ethical practice at operational levels. This programme is specifically designed to bring equality issues to life, the approach is non- didactic and tackles practice based scenarios. The format is one of facilitation, where participants are invited to come up with solutions, whilst being guided by a robust framework of questions. It will enable participants to create an action plan to tackle discrimination within their roles at work. To increase knowledge and expertise by understanding good practice and use this to challenge the prejudice that leads to discrimination. Equalities – Impact Assessment and Service Delivery From consultation to participation - Plan, Do, Review Overview: The use of the equality impact assessment framework has been daunting for many, so we have simplified the initial process to help get participants started. We hope that those involved in this programme will feel empowered to enable change, by increasing their understanding of the learning cycle underpinning Action Research. Through simple steps this session exemplifies the process through activities such as: identifying barriers to be tackled and sharing the development of strategies to enhance participation. Ultimately, participants will gain an understanding of policies as dynamic tools to enable communities to create their own change. References: © L M Chapman - EQuality Training - 2010. For more information on any aspect please do get in touch with us. www.equalitytraining.co.uk 01484 530 321, 0773 792 5573,

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