Promoting and delivering EDI in the workplace is an essential aspect of good people management. It’s about creating working environments and cultures where every individual can feel safe and a sense of belonging, and is empowered to achieve their full potential. 

Whilst legal frameworks vary across different countries, in the UK the Equality Act 2010 provides legal protection for nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

However, an effective EDI strategy should go beyond legal compliance and take an intersectional approach to EDI, which will add value to an organisation, contribute to the wellbeing and equality of outcomes and impact on all employees. Things to consider include: accent, age, caring responsibilities, colour, culture, visible and invisible disability, gender identity and expression, mental health, neurodiversity, physical appearance, political opinion, pregnancy and maternity/paternity and family status and socio-economic circumstances, amongst other personal characteristics and experiences.

This factsheet explores what workplace equality inclusion and diversity (EDI) means, and how an effective strategy is essential to an organisation’s business objectives. It looks at the rationale for action and outlines steps organisations can take to implement and manage a successful EDI strategy, from recruitment, selection, retention, communication and training to addressing workplace behaviour and evaluating progress. 

Explore our viewpoints on age diversity, disability, gender equality, race inclusion, religion and belief, and sexual orientation, gender identity and reassignment

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inclusive workplaces

Our report assesses the evidence on inclusion - what does inclusion look like in practice, and how can people professionals and the wider organisation be more inclusive?

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Diversity management
that works

Discover our practitioner-focused recommendations which come from an evidence-based view of diversity and inclusion

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This factsheet was last updated by Lutfur Ali, Public Policy Advisor, Inclusion and Diversity, CIPD

Lutfur joined the CIPD in October 2021 and is also Non-Executive Director for the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) the professional body for business continuity and resilience experts. With a career spanning over three decades in the public, private and third sector, Lutfur has championed the delivery of social justice, equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and sustainability throughout his life. 

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