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Tackling racial discrimination in the workplace Nicola Power & Verity Lewis.

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Presentation on theme: "Tackling racial discrimination in the workplace Nicola Power & Verity Lewis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tackling racial discrimination in the workplace Nicola Power & Verity Lewis

2 Research into working lives experiences of black British nurses by the Working Lives Research Institute – key findings u Stereotypical assumptions has categorised BME nurses as not having the potential to achieve supervisor or manager status. Consequently, black nurses have found it more difficult to achieve promotion and many have been actively discouraged from seeking it. u Participants strongly believed that procedures for promotion were more rigorously applied to black nurses than to white nurses and that there is a lack of transparency in how promotion takes place. u Examples were provided of appraisals not being carried out for black nurses or of white staff being more likely to be appraised regularly. u The working lives of the majority of the nurses that participated in this study had, to one degree or another, been structured by racism: most significantly racist stereotyping by colleagues and the public and institutionalised racism meaning that work cultures, particularly relations with colleagues and managers, operated to exclude them.

3 Workshop held on 16 th May u To present the WLRI research u To build ownership internally and externally u Develop support for carrying forward co-ordinated activities UK wide. u Demonstrate to the research participants and the wider BME membership that the RCN is interested in their experiences, is prepared to take action on their behalf and support ways of increasing BME activism in the RCN. u So members could help develop the priorities for action. u And ensure that the work that is taken forward is relevant and is membership driven.

4 10 priorities for action 1. The RCN must put its own house in order in representing diversity in its staff internally 2. Conduct equality impact assessments internally and externally with health care employers 3. Host an international event at Congress 4. Improve the profile of BME activism in organisations 5. Guide BME members on how they can become more active in the RCN 6. Formalise the role of diversity champions as equality representatives 7. The RCN must make a strong, zero tolerance statement about racial discrimination in the workplace 8. Review the RCN image, in order to appeal to a cross-section of the community 9. Profile a 21st century icon 10. Better collaborative working with other organisations, such as Unison, NMC

5 The actions points fall mainly into three different categories: u Internally focused actions which relate mainly to HR’s domain; u Actions relating to the RCN brand which relate to the marketing and communications and member recruitment functions; u Actions relating to membership structures and access to the decision making processes which relate to the work of governance support and legal.

6 Project’s objectives and outcomes u to assist the RCN to better support, represent and communicate effectively with its members; u so that the RCN is perceived as the union/professional organisation of choice for all nurses and healthcare assistants irrespective of ethnicity; u that existing BME members are encouraged, supported and motivated to engage in activism in the RCN in greater numbers; u that Asian members are encouraged and supported to become representatives, as this group is particularly underrepresented in activism. (see slide) u this project will create a ground swell of BME members becoming active in geographic areas which currently have none or very few BME activists, which can then be sustained and further developed.

7 Profile of activists and members by ethnicity Confidential information & not for circulation

8 Project’s objectives and outcomes continued u BME members will be empowered in their working lives and that they will have a sense of being better supported by the RCN. u the outputs from this project will support and encourage all RCN activists and members to be more confident in addressing racial discrimination in the workplace. u it will result in an increase in the RCN’s membership in proportion to the increasing diversity of the nursing workforce. In particular that more HCAs will become members and activists. u having more BME activists will help the RCN to better support BME members, empower themselves as well as change the prevailing culture. u this project will help to influence the managers of the future to address racial discrimination and actively promote diversity and equality in the workplace.

9 Monitoring & Evaluation u a review of membership and activist data in 2010 to see if the profile has improved u a new membership survey in 2009 will allow comparison with previous years u further qualitative research with BME members to find out if the work has had a positive impact u qualitative work with activists to assess their confidence and perceived knowledge and skills in addressing racism in the workplace

10 Support/Action from MRDC u Attend on 23 rd October if possible u Advice and support for staff involved in working on any of the action points u Awareness raising and support for the project across the organisation and membership

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