Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

NHS trust to grow its own ‘Diversity Champions’

2 min read

In collaboration with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust recently held a training day to raise awareness of the issues faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual & Transgender people (LGBT+).

The training focused on the challenges that people within the LGBT+ community face and gain insight into the role of becoming a ‘Diversity Champion’. This included how to have difficult conversations with colleagues and how to challenge negative cultural behaviour.

Hazel Pither, the Trust’s Operational Lead for Equality and Diversity, said: “We hope that this training will increase staff confidence when working with patients and staff who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual or Transgender, by better understanding their individual needs.”

Hazel continued: “It is important that the Trust continues to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by the LGBT+ community and improve its efforts to be more inclusive.”

What is a Diversity Champion?

They are a designated person within a business who helps to create a diverse and accepting workplace culture. Someone who feels passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion.

What do they do?

There are many things a Diversity Champion could do. Some of these are:

· Start open discussions about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and gather important information about how safe and secure employees feel at work.

· Educate employees on diversity and the effects of discrimination.

· Arrange events that help celebrate diversity and inclusion, such as fun runs or bake sales with donations going to minority charities.

· Help with the reviewing of policies and workplace culture documents to ensure they speak for everyone in the business.

· Identify areas in which the business can improve its efforts to be more inclusive and help it adapt to ensure everyone has the facilities to be comfortable at work.

Why is this role important?

Creating an accepting, inclusive and educated culture is not only important to reduce the chances of discrimination, it will also allow all employees to feel welcome, safe and valued.

Evidence shows that if someone feels happy and secure at work, they’re more likely to stick around for longer and perform better in their role. It goes without saying that an openly diverse, inclusive and welcoming workplace will attract more of the best talent and could even be the reason why someone chooses to work here at the Trust.

Further equality, diversity and inclusion training for Diversity Champions will be offered in the future.