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Equality diversity and inclusion (EDI) is not a FAD!

“When I was a Police Officer I beat up a group of black boys during the riots in an unprovoked attack.” “He called me and told me he was touching himself whilst on the phone to me”. “I feel I have nPot progressed in the company because of my race not because of ability.”

These are some of the shocking revelations that are born out of our Equally Yours workshops, which focuses on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Shocking yes, but liberating for those who feel they have finally found a safe space to unearth some of their horrifying experiences without judgement.

A national newspaper recently tried to smear us by undermining the need for organisations to have Equality, Diversity and Inclusion workshops, they mocked what we do and even described it as “woke”, not sure what that means and we do not care to find out! What cannot be denied is in the past 10years the landscape of our communities has changed and inadvertently it is impacting organisations, with 8.3million more people living in Britain the population has become older and international. However little progress has been made in the workplace as in 2018 less than 1% of CEO’s in the Fortune 500 list were black and women made up less than 5% of the list. Within the workplace employees see and feel this bias with 35% of LGBTQ+ individuals feeling the need to hide their sexuality for fear of discrimination according to the Equality Group.

A solution to this is not just a tick box training, nor hyper-focus on equality training as this can have an adverse effect. It is taking a holistic approach to understanding the EDI spectrum and what it entails and having an appropriate learning programme (workshop) that is tailored to the organisations needs, this leads to greater impact on individuals and the organisation at large. Our popular workshop Equally Yours takes this approach, fostering an environment in which participants can learn about the Equality Act, scenario-based EDI training and practical tools given to help deal with an ever evolving EDI topic. What we add to the conversation is widening the lens by sharing lived experiences where possible and allowing participants to ask tough questions without fear of judgment, with the added bonus of playfulness.

Our work has greatly impacted over 150 organisations like the City of London Council who engaged us to provide Equally Yours workshops for their staff. Between 2021 and 2022 we ran the workshop again and saw a 35% increase in participants at the City of London Council. The reality is, this matters to staff and it should matter to organisations. A participant shares their experience of attending the Equally Yours workshop, “Really enjoyed learning…learnt how to respond, extremely insightful!”

As organisations take this leap into the EDI space it can be scary, some may even be criticised for desiring to educate and equip their staff on the subject of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. It is not good enough for organisations to have their eyes wide shut, the reality is this is a topic which needs to be addressed and addressed openly. We must not wait for another George Floyd, Child Q incident to happen before organisations act. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion should be at the forefront of each organisations agenda. This is why we stand apologetic and remain resolute in what we do. We will not apologise for supporting people and organisations to become more diverse and inclusive. If any national newspapers ever feel the need to have a session on how to become more diverse and inclusive, we are here ready to support.

Faith Anyanwu