At Relate we recognise that structural inequalities exist within its workplace and as an organisation we are committed to achieving equality, diversity, and inclusion.
The purpose of our EDI strategy is to articulate how we drive systemic change and work to ensure that we bring to life our pledges, remain committed to our values and ‘I’ statements as we embed a diverse and inclusive culture that provides an opportunity for all to realise their potential.
We have a responsibility to reflect on the impact we have on the people that we support, our partners, our employees, and wider society. Embracing EDI in the workplace broadens the mindset in Relate and plays a key role in retaining and attracting very talented and capable people.
As an organisation we are reliant on a mix of skills and expertise to maximise our effectiveness. Therefore, we have every reason to ensure that our employees feel valued and empowered when they come to work. This in turn improves employee well-being, greater employee retention, increases employee trust, motivation, satisfaction, and productivity.
Whilst ensuring a happy and more productive workplace, we should also be the most inclusive employer in our industry sector. Embedding a workplace culture that offers dignity and respect to all, that encourages the sharing of ideas and perspectives, and values differences is of benefit to all employees.
There is more work to be done and we aim to continue making progress towards shaping a fully inclusive environment and increasing diversity at all levels so that we widen our appeal to people and become an employer of choice.
This EDI Strategy envisions that we all assume direct responsibility for its implementation, recognising that promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and ensuring opportunity are both individual and collective responsibility and should be the pillar of everything that we do and the culture of the organisation.
Defining equality, diversity & inclusion (EDI)
Equality is about ensuring a fairer society where individuals or groups of people are not treated less favourably, and where everyone can participate and have the same opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Diversity is about recognising the value of difference. It means considering and appreciating all the unique characteristics that make people who they are. This includes, but not limited to, national origins, language, race, colour, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and family structure. Diversity also encompasses diversity of thought and life experiences.
Inclusion is about creating and maintaining a culture where people feel welcomed and valued for who they are as an individual or group.
EDI are tangible things, and they are critical to our success as an organisation. They are outcomes and they are measurable. The combination of the three give greater impact and change that can be established on our EDI journey.
We have made much progress already but there is more work to be done in shaping a fully inclusive environment and we want to renew our commitment to all elements of equality, diversity, and inclusion.
- Equality – Equal access to opportunities.
- Diversity – Everyone is individual and different.
- Inclusion – A sense of belonging, feeling accepted and valued for who you are; feeling supportive as you bring your authentic self to work.
The work we have done so far
People and groups
- Relate National have an EDI Lead, to lead on all our EDI work.
- We have developed up to date training as part of our induction and ongoing CPD.
Statements of intent / policy
- We have a commitment to tackle equality and diversity.
- In conjunction with our Federation, we have an established equality, diversity, and inclusion policy, which is reviewed fully every 3 years and monitored annually.
Relate Federation have developed a;
- Checklist for services that has been implemented across our services so that we offer culturally appropriate services.
- Relate Federation look at equality, diversity and inclusion when preparing new policies/procedures.
Management Information and monitoring
- We have employee baseline data on equality and diversity, including data on Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, that enables us to look at trends and report progress.
- We have an annual competency check for all staff to assess understanding and application of equality, diversity, and human rights in their role.
- Equality, diversity, and inclusion is covered during induction and is embedded in all training.
- New training was rolled out in November 2022 for all staff and volunteers.
Analysing our data gives us the opportunity to address issues of underrepresentation in certain areas or roles. It gives an indication of potential or actual bias and barriers facing our employees. The use of the data will also give us an understanding where we are currently and where we want to be in the future. We will present our data on an annual basis.
- Female – 83.8%
- Male – 16.2%
- LGBT+ – 1.1%
- Disability – 2.36%
- Minority ethnic – 1.2%
- Black – 0%
- Aged 55 + 56%
Our equality, diversity & inclusion vision
Our vision is to be a charitable organisation that exemplifies excellence in equality, diversity, and inclusion in all that we do, and influences others through our thought leadership, best practices and tools based on EDI principles.
Our strategic priorities 2023-2025
- Maximise opportunities to attract, develop, support, and retain diverse representation across all job levels within our workforce.
- Continue to develop and embed an inclusive culture.
- Analyse barriers to accessing our services across the service area that we provide them.
- Analyse barriers to becoming and Counsellor providing the services across our area.
All colleagues at Relate have a responsibility to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion and to challenge unfairness and discrimination.
Our trustees and executive team will ensure that EDI is core to the business planning and that it is embedded into our core strategy, policies, and procedures.
We will ensure that our trustees and executive team show leadership and commitment to advance equality and challenge inequality and that they have the responsibility to lead, learn, understand, and support the delivery of this strategy.
Objective 1 – Maximise opportunities to attract, develop, support and retain diverse representation across all job levels within our workforce.
We want those applying for roles to be provided equality of opportunity in all aspects of our recruitment and selection process. We want our employees to reflect the communities we service and the people that we support. To ensure this our recruitment strategy must reach candidates regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic background.
We will continue to build inclusive recruitment practices that will enable us to;
- Better attract more diverse candidates for our vacancies by implementing equality, diversity, and inclusion principles in the planning of our recruitment campaigns.
- Enhance our recruitment processes on an on-going basis to reduce the potential for bias and unintended barriers.
- Ensure that succession planning improves our talent pipeline by focusing/targeting development.
- Continue to establish and maintain partnerships with minority, disabled and other diverse professional organisations.
Objective 2 – Develop and embed an inclusive culture.
We want to get the best out of our people and equally support them so as they feel included, supported, and treated fairly.
We recognise and comply with the relevant legislation and aim to ensure that our practice in EDI is embedded in everything we do. We also aim to foster a culture that promotes wellbeing and mental health and provides support to enable all our colleagues to thrive and achieve their potential.
The Equality Act (2010) is the guiding legislation that protects individuals from discrimination in the workplace and the law defines nine protected characteristics; Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Marriage and civil partnership, Pregnancy and maternity, Race, Religion or belief, Sex, Sexual Orientation.
We will aim to do this by;
- Delivering internal communications that support EDI.
- Increased visibility of diversity issues.
- Provide mandatory training and education to all staff on equality, diversity, and inclusion matters.
- Ensure completion and recording of annual competency checks for equality, diversity, and human rights.
- Broaden and deepen understanding of EDI through promotion of awareness events.
- Offer opportunities for all-employee and targeted discussions (e.g. Employee Open meetings, roundtable, and small group discussions) on issues related to diversity and inclusion, such as unconscious bias, disability inclusion and other critical topics.
How will we measure success?
We will use our employee diversity data to measure our progress on increased recruitment, retention, and staff development of those from under- represented groups. We will work together to agree a set of KPIs to measure our progress.
We will compare our data to external sources to evidence how reflective we are of the communities we serve.
2. Employee Feedback
Our employee surveys will include EDI indicators which will give a baseline measurement and better understanding of employee experiences; therefore, allowing us to find out if people feel that we are making progress.
Our equality, diversity, and inclusion Strategy 2023–2025
Our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2023 to 2025 is a working document that will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that Relate Hull and East Yorkshire and Relate Federation objectives remain relevant and achievable.
On an annual basis we will provide updates that include equality data as well as providing a summary of our progress in meeting our statutory duty and the actions outlined in the strategy (reviewed by exec team and board).