Keeping diversity issues within the context of your business is the key to implementing a successful equality strategy, the Learning and Skills Council has found.
The education and training body gathered valuable feedback from minority groups it serves, using online forums and focus groups, to understand the environment it was working in and help provide a service that better reflected its learners and staff.
Research gathered from more than 400 people helped the council to combine its policies on race, gender and disability into a Single Equality Scheme to improve equal access to learning.
Lee Probert, Learning and Skills Council director of equality and diversity told Personnel Today: “Gathering feedback from our diverse workforce and learners helped us put equality issues into context for our business, keeping them relevant to us.
“We had treated race, gender and disability policies separately, but realised that responding to diversity issues in this way is not that useful – no two ethnic, disabled learners are the same.”
Probert admitted that businesses can fall into the trap of producing diversity strategies simply because of legislative pressures, rather than finding out what is really needed.
“It would be naïve to say that no businesses fall into that trap, but what is needed is very clear responsibility for diversity strategies from the top,” said Probert.