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 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.
Intersectionality means that we all have multiple, overlapping identities that impact on our experience, and therefore multiple ways we can experience discrimination and disadvantage.
It’s important to recognise that a ‘one-size-fits all’ approach to managing people does not achieve fairness and equality of opportunity and outcomes for everyone. People have different personal needs, values and beliefs. Good people management practice needs to be consistently fair but also flexible and inclusive to support both individual and business needs.
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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