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Equal Opportunity & Diversity: Making Policy Work in Public and Business Organisations Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE Global Head of Equal Opportunity & Diversity.

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Presentation on theme: "Equal Opportunity & Diversity: Making Policy Work in Public and Business Organisations Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE Global Head of Equal Opportunity & Diversity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Equal Opportunity & Diversity: Making Policy Work in Public and Business Organisations Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE Global Head of Equal Opportunity & Diversity British Council Diversity Unit Central European University, Budapest 20 th October, 2010

2 UK Equality Landscape Wider equality and diversity issues Defining Equality & Diversity The British Council Policy to practice Diversity Unit Presentation Overview

3 Diversity Unit The UK Equality Landscape: Findings of the 2007 Equalities Review UK demographic changes - increasing disability, age and ethnic diversity – hyper diversity Britain more tolerant with strong support for equality but not at ease with its diversity - prejudice widespread, changing targets of prejudice. Lack of awareness and understanding of meaning of equality, how it relates to what organisations do, what is permitted under law and who is responsible for delivering this.

4 Diversity Unit The UK Equality Landscape: Findings of the 2007 Equalities Review Groups most at risk of experiencing large and persistent inequalities - women with children, disabled people, Bangladeshi and Pakistani women. Particular concern about “NEETs” year-olds with no experience of employment, education and training for 6 months or more. Widening pay gap – UK top executives paid 100 times more than average worker, in comparison to 10 years ago when were paid 40 times more.

5 Considerably more diverse than a generation ago. 1 in 10 children growing up in a mixed race household. Changing age structure. Minority groups more confident about expressing identities publically. Society increasingly at ease with idea of diversity and human rights principles. Narrowing gaps in many areas. BUT concerns remain – unevenness of progress, gap between ideals and reality. Diversity Unit The UK Equality Landscape: Triennial Review - How fair is Britain today?

6 Demographic changes Population movements Focus on extremism Polarised and segregated communities Politics of recognition Persistent inequalities Diversity Unit Wider Equality & Diversity Issues

7 Social exclusion Rising expectations of employers and employees in the context of competitive global & business markets Unfair treatment and exploitation at work Increasingly multi-ethnic/cultural, dispersed and virtual workforces Litigious cultures Impact of global recession Diversity Unit Wider Equality & Diversity Issues

8 Ensuring that similarities and differences don’t passively exist, but interpenetrate. Maintaining the balance between diversity and cohesion – how to make sure that one doesn’t undermine the other. How much diversity can and should we accept? Overlapping, intersecting, and occasionally conflicting areas of diversity. Defining corporate/European/global citizen. Diversity Unit Wider Equality & Diversity Issues

9 Diversity Unit BC - Defining Equality & Diversity Equal opportunity - focused on legislating against unjustified discrimination and fair treatment of specific groups The equal opportunity agenda aims to treat people fairly, to remove barriers to this and to redress existing imbalances, so that groups which continue to be disadvantaged gain access to opportunities for full participation in the workplace and wider society.

10 Diversity Unit Diversity - focussed on making the most effective use of the differences and similarities between people for the benefit of organisations and wider society The diversity agenda contributes to creating working environments that value a range of differences believing that understanding and managing these effectively can lead to organisational and societal benefit in rapidly changing local, national and global contexts. Equal opportunity + diversity = Interconnected

11 Diversity Unit EHRC - Defining Equality An equal society protects and promotes equal, real freedoms and substantive opportunity to live in the ways people value and would choose, so that everyone can flourish. An equal society recognises people’s different needs, situations and goals and removes the barriers that limit what people can do and can be.

12 Diversity Unit Sexual identity Work-life balance Disability Gender Religion or belief Ethnicity Age Programme Areas Operational Activity Global Services BusinessLegalMoral Mainstreaming Mainstreaming Supporting Inclusion & Human Rights A process not an event Aligned to our values Achieving impact for the UK

13 Diversity Unit The British Council Approach: Policy to Practice Equal Opportunity Policy Diversity Strategy Equality monitoring and targets Equality Screening & Impact assessment Global Diversity Networks Staff Survey – Equality Index Diversity Assessment Framework

14 Clarity around problems and desired outcomes What do we want to achieve and why do we want to achieve it? Specialist diversity leadership Who is going to set and drive the agenda, and do they have the knowledge and skills to do this? Coherent, sustainable, fit-for-purpose strategy, aligned to the business, and supported by targets and (global) policies. Is the correct framework in place? Diversity Unit Policy to Practice

15 Targeted resources Is money being spent in the right way and in the right places? Senior level buy-in and continued support Is everyone else on board? Are we all working to the same end? Measures and metrics Are we capturing this, evaluating the benefits, and using this to inform future planning? Diversity Unit Policy to Practice

16 Diversity Unit Return on Investment More equitable, consultative relationships & decision making More consistent and transparent organisational processes Improved* reflective diversity, staff motivation and retention Improved understanding & response to our customers Better understanding of the countries & cultures we work in Improved perception of organisation & external acknowledgement Better management of risk

17 Diversity Unit Benefits to wider society More equal societies help growth & economic prosperity to flourish & have higher standards of living & welfare Equality increases level & quality of human capital & creates more stability necessary for growth Focus on groups experiencing persistent disadvantage results in more efficient use of scarce resources Violence, conflict, insecurity, political instability & human rights abuses more likely in unequal societies Social relations and social fabric stretched to breaking point in poorest areas of unequal societies

18 Diversity Unit Köszönöm


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