As the UK’s principal cultural relations organisation the British Council is strongly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Our work is centered on building meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships across different cultures. We cannot do this if we do not have a commitment to equality, inclusion and valuing diversity.
Our equality policy and our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy set out how we approach the challenges of mainstreaming equality, diversity and inclusion internationally. Which means we try to make it a part of everything we do. We have developed a range of tools and initiatives to help us build diversity into our work. Some of these are described below.
Equality of opportunity is about treating people fairly and without bias and about creating conditions in the workplace and wider society that encourage and value diversity and promote dignity. It is also about trying to redress past imbalances and ensuring that dealings with clients, customers and suppliers are conducted in a constructive way that supports appropriate inclusion and does not give rise to unjustified discrimination.
Diversity is concerned with creating an inclusive environment and practices which benefit the organisation and those who work in and with it. It takes account of the fact that people differ from one another in many ways. Understanding, valuing and effectively managing these differences can result in greater participation that can be leveraged for success at an individual, team and organisational level.
When we talk about equal opportunity and diversity, we focus on seven main areas:
- gender (which includes transgender)
- religion/belief and culture
- work-life balance
- sexual orientation.
We have developed a number of policies to promote equality and diversity and we use a range of tools to monitor and evaluate our progress in mainstreaming these. We believe the best way to manage equal opportunity and diversity is to ensure that they are built into all processes and functions, considered part of all policy decisions, and present in the planning of all programmes from start to finish. This is what we mean by mainstreaming equality and diversity principles and practices.
OUR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND DIVERSITY INITIATIVES
In addition to implementing formal policies, we also try to ensure that our commitment to equal opportunity and diversity is reflected in our events and activities.