By Lisa Govier – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
I am delighted that today we have launched our new video and brochure to promote equality, celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion. Both resources will be used inside and outside our organisation to make sure the message that Dimensions values me as me is heard loudly and clearly.
We have come a long way since 2011 when changes to equality legislation, namely the Equality Act 2010, meant that we needed to be more proactive in ensuring colleagues were treated fairly, irrespective of age, gender, ethnic background, faith, marital status, sexuality, disability, or whether pregnant or gender reassigned. Back then, we didn’t have processes that ensured we consulted with people to make sure our practices were fair and equitable for all colleagues from all backgrounds. Colleagues were reticent to share information about themselves and that meant we didn’t know what we needed to do.
Last year we asked all colleagues to share their diversity details on a new platform set up by the IT team. This information has enabled us to consider what we need to do to support colleagues. Without it we would be second guessing, so thank you to all our colleagues who have completed it. Please be assured that the information is anonymised, but the numbers are important.Much of the progress we have made in recent years has been because we understand the diversity of our colleagues thanks to the data we have, and we need that to continue so that we are clear where to focus our efforts.
I, together with our dedicated volunteer diversity champions who work in different areas across Dimensions in operations and business support, work to deliver our equality and diversity strategy. The Leadership Group and Executive Team support the agenda and are committed to delivering our equality and diversity objectives, and I know that Chief Executive, Steve Scown, is personally passionate about this. This means that all areas of Dimensions have a part to play in ensuring colleagues and the people we support are respected and valued.We have taken, and continue to take, steps to address the balance of ethnic diversity of our managers. We have championed the rights of the LGBTQ+ communities with having a presence at Pride events across the country. The Board, Executive Team and the Leadership Group have all undertaken unconscious bias awareness training which all managers have access to – and this training is important because unconscious bias is something we all have and must challenge.
We have also developed training on bullying and harassment so that colleagues know how to recognise it, and deal with it, and reduce it. We give every colleague the opportunity in their 1-1s to raise any issues or barriers in their work that relates to their diversity.
We are proud to have achieved Investors in Diversity awards, received Action on Hearing Loss and Louder than Words accreditation, and been recognised as Disability Confident Leaders. In the recent full Great Place to Work survey, the questions relating to diversity were the highest scoring, a fact which demonstrates that colleagues feel able to be themselves and that they are valued not despite their diversity, but because of it.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions about anything to do with equality, diversity or inclusion within Dimensions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or any of our Diversity Matters Champions.