How to Promote Equality and Diversity in the Workplace

How to Promote Equality and Diversity in the Workplace

The world is made up of all kinds of people from different backgrounds and different cultures. To ensure that people feel heard, seen and understood, it’s essential that we aim for diversity in our day-to-day environments, and that includes the workplace.

Health and social care is no different. In fact, there’s even more of a need for a fair and accessible system to ensure that people get the right care and support they need. In this article, we’ll look at what a diverse and equal workplace looks like and explore the importance of achieving that goal.

Finally, we’ll explain ways to promote equality and value diversity when working in social care. 

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What Is Diversity In Health and Social Care?

To embrace diversity, it’s crucial to answer the question: What is meant by diversity in health and social care? In a nutshell, it means acknowledging people’s differences, appreciating them and treating everyone with respect. Differences can include values, beliefs and culture. 

Social care is an environment where you’ll find people from all walks of life, both in the people you care for and support and the people you work with. It’s important that people feel confident having conversations around differences. It could include discussing ability and disability, different religions, faith and gender identity. It can feel awkward to have these conversations, which is why learning to respect diversity is crucial.

When approaching diversity openly and respectfully, it ensures that differences are seen as causes for celebrations and as assets. When we appreciate and include a diverse range of people, it allows for different points of view. Seeing the bigger picture with multiple viewpoints can only happen when diversity is integral to a workplace.

In health and social care, it means having a workplace where the system and the people in it don’t discriminate. Everyone from management and the people supported to care and support workers should be allowed to be their authentic selves and treated with dignity.

That will come across in every scenario: in meetings, assessments and when providing care and support. You might even be asked about equality and diversity in your interview for a care and support role. It’s important to remember this when working in a health and social care setting.

Why Diversity Matters

A person’s race, beliefs, abilities, background or lifestyle shouldn’t affect the way they’re treated. Diversity matters because how people are treated in working environments impacts their ability to do their job and their mental health. 

So far this year, it is estimated that around 70,000 have arrived into the UK to work in adult social care. Workforces are already diverse, but how that diversity is acknowledged is crucial to the success of a care setting.

A focus on diversity brings many positive attributes. When people are included, their mental health and overall well-being are better. Whole teams of health and social care workers benefit by learning from other perspectives, which enhances creativity, compassion and problem-solving; attributes that are all essential in health and social care.

Inclusion in Health and Social Care

For a fair, accessible and thriving workplace, diversity needs to be considered alongside inclusion. To dig a little deeper into how that works, we need to ask: What are the principles of equality and diversity?

While diversity means acknowledging and appreciating differences, equality in a care setting means giving everyone an equal opportunity, regardless of their culture or background. Equal access doesn’t mean treating everyone in the same way. It goes hand in hand with diversity so that we acknowledge that for everyone to feel equal, different needs have to be considered.

Equality means equal access to the care system and equal treatment for care and support workers. 

Creating an inclusive culture in the workplace is just the beginning. In health and social care, it’s vital that the principles apply to the people being supported and that this extends to their local communities. Openness, communication and respect instead of judgment allows for better contributions, reduces loneliness and gives everyone a place where they can feel comfortable and feel like themselves.

Actions To Take To Promote Equality and Diversity

Equality and diversity aren’t just beneficial, they’re essential. Promoting inclusion needs to run through everything you do in your work every day, and you might even be asked about how you’ll promote equality and diversity in your care and support interview. Promoting equality and diversity is also included as part of the Care Certificate.

Let’s look at some ways to promote equality, diversity and inclusion that you can think about bringing with you when moving into a new care role.

  • Listen to the stories of workers and those being supported, especially those whose experiences are different from yours
  • Reflect on the work you are doing and consider how you can improve the care and support you give to others
  • Talk to your manager about advice and guidance for promoting equality and diversity
  • See what diversity and inclusivity training is offered, or what you could suggest could be offered
  • When you begin your new role, if you see things you think could be done better, be open and honest with your feedback to your manager