Diversity and inclusion is an all-pervasive problem and also an all-pervasive solution. Diversity and inclusion affects all areas of society from employment opportunities and healthcare outcomes to elder care and housing.
Understanding diversity and inclusion
We can see diversity as a numbers game: the number of BAME individuals employed by an organisation, experiencing equal health outcomes or equal housing status, for example. Diversity includes all minority or disadvantaged groups. At Diversity Living Services our primary concern regarding diversity is concerned with BAME individuals in the UK.
Inclusion is how we turn the numbers in to authentic equality. Inclusion is the action behind diversity which means we aren’t simply ticking boxes, but actually integrating fully as a society for the benefit of all.
Why does diversity and inclusion matter?
On a moral and ethical level, diversity and inclusion throughout society matters. Everyone has the same entitlement and right to achieve, be safe, be healthy and afford their own family equal opportunities.
However, the true benefits of inclusion go beyond this. Whilst much of the research to date looks predominantly at the workplace, we can see how these benefits would aid society as a whole. It benefits us economically, politically, socially and culturally to be inclusive.
Diversity and inclusion drives creative thinking and innovation; whereby we all achieve more together. For example, where there are diverse management teams there are 19% higher revenues due to innovation. Other research shows that racially diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams by 35%.
The reality of diversity and inclusion in the UK today
Yet we as a society are a long way from realising the potential of diversity and inclusion. This means the BAME individual suffers. It means our communities suffer. And it also means that society as a whole is failing to reap the benefits of diversity and inclusion.
The data is concerning:
• Every ethnic minority group (except ‘Other White’) has a lower employment rate than the White British group . Young black men have historically and consistently experienced more unemployment than young men of other ethnicities . Minority people, including BAME individuals, are often in lower paid jobs .
• There are increased risks of some cancers in BME groups but that awareness is generally lower amongst such groups and uptake for screening programmes is lower than for the population as a whole . Furthermore, BME patients rated their experience of care less positively than white patients on a staggering 25 measures .
• BAME older people are more likely to report poor health . Awareness of this in healthcare settings, and take-up of health and social care, is lower for BAME groups. Furthermore, BME pensioners generally have lower incomes and face higher rates of poverty.
• There is huge disparity in the number of BAME homeless individuals and white homeless individuals compared to the population as a whole .
Yet the BAME community has an enormous amount to contribute and society as a whole will benefit from authentic and proactive inclusion. To achieve diversity and inclusion across the spectrum of our society in terms of healthcare, employment, social care and more, we have to face and address racial inequalities whilst also tackling the barriers to BAME individuals accessing society equally.
This includes how we include marginalised sections of the BAME community including refugee and migrant communities where language and cultural barriers can significantly affect access to services.
It also includes levelling the playing field for women, both within BAME communities and in wider society, because of their particular risk of disadvantage. Women within certain groups are more vulnerable due to their low status and/or caring responsibilities.
We will all benefit from making the UK a place where people can live, learn, socialise and work together regardless of race and ethnicity.
Let’s help the individual. Let’s help society.
Our aims are to challenge and address the issues concerning diversity and inclusion in the UK so that both the individual and society benefits.
We aim to work within the arena of diversity and inclusion to improve and promote diversity and inclusion throughout all sections of society including:
• Educational opportunities
• Employment opportunities
• Social care
• Public services
We believe we need to take concrete steps to ensure that individuals from BAME backgrounds can access and benefit from true inclusion across society.
We are working to take specific actions to address diversity and inclusion issues in the UK:
• Education, information and awareness: We provide education, information and awareness aimed at raising the profile of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) issues. We signpost individuals to the advice they need.
• Influencing public policy: We challenge and influence DEI policies and practices in both the private and the public sector, ensuring that the BAME and refugee community has a voice and that it is heard.
• Research and monitoring: We undertake research and monitoring activities regarding the implementation of DEI policies and initiatives.
• Increase participation, representation and access: We aid awareness to facilitate uptake, access and representation of the BAME community throughout society.
• Provision of services: We specifically work to close the health gap between BAME individuals and the rest of society through awareness, education, removing language barriers, interventions and more.
• Fighting problems: We help to fight discrimination, racism, prejudice, poverty and inequality in varied ways to remove barriers and promote the equal human rights of all.
Diversity Living Services work with diligence and commitment to help us achieve our expected outcomes:
• Advice leads to access: Through the provision of advice we will help improve access of BAME refugee and migrant communities across the fields of welfare rights, housing, immigration and asylum, health, education and employment.
• Legal advice leads to security: We expect to see improvements in the access of people with language or cultural barriers (particularly those of marginalised groups such as the disabled, women and older people) to high quality legal advice.
• Awareness leads to action: Through increasing the awareness of rights, entitlements and availability of legal representation in BAME communities we can expect to see individuals improve their own access through self-awareness and knowledge of their own rights. This in turn improves confidence and self-esteem leading to empowerment to lead independent lives.
• Reduced poverty leads to opportunity: We expect to witness reduced poverty and disadvantage among BAME, refugee and migrant communities.
Diversity Living Services is accredited to UN in Special Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Diversity Living Services is a registered Company and Charity (England and Wales) Registered Company No: 4459816 * Registered Charity No: 1098916