The AHSN Network is actively working to ensure it is recognised for positively promoting and delivering equality and diversity in its leadership, its workforce and in the way it carries out its work. In this blog our HR Manager, Katharine Morley, explains how each AHSN has been involved in developing a series of pledges that demonstrate their commitment to this and to provide a framework to hold ourselves to account and measure progress.
Our equality and diversity work is guided by a national network group, led by our CEO, Richard Stubbs. The diversity pledges are split into three overarching themes:
- A commitment to implement a recognised process to self-assess and improve equality performance in each of our organisation
- A commitment to empower and support staff to be positive role models for equality and diversity
- A commitment to understand the impact of our work on all members of our communities and for our work to reflect the equality and diversity within these communities.
At Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, we have formed an internal group of staff who have volunteered their time to drive the work needed to meet the pledges and to act as champions to lead the way in improving equality across our organisation and the work we do. The staff work across all areas of our organisation and so we are ideally placed to positively influence our programme planning, people polices, communications, project management processes and overall organisation strategy.
The initial focus has been on training for the champions to enable them to become the point of contact for staff who may wish to raise concerns, training for all staff on recognising and guarding against unconscious bias and building equality impact analysis into our work programmes at the planning and scoping stages. The next stage will be to develop strategies to harness and celebrate diversity, challenge bias and inequalities and actively engage with diverse communities.
Each person in the group has their own reasons for volunteering for this work. People working here are passionate about improving the health and prosperity of the people in Yorkshire and the Humber. We have developed values and behaviours as a staff group that illustrate what is important to us and how we want the world to see us. These values speak about prizing and nourishing our networks and relationships, bringing people together, understanding what is happening around us, appreciating individuality and embracing differences as strengths. The work we are doing to embed equality and diversity in our organisation will help us to truly live these values and encourage behaviours that will have a much wider impact beyond the workplace
For me, as the person responsible for the development and implementation of the People policies, the case for equality and diversity in the workplace is clear and undisputable in terms of improvement in organisational performance and attracting the best talent. Embedding inclusivity and diversity in our organisational strategies, planning and current and future workstreams can only result in helping to reduce health inequalities in Yorkshire and the Humber which ultimately benefits everyone.
Read the AHSN Network report on Diversity and Innovation
Watch a video: Richard Stubbs outlining the AHSN Network’s commitment to equality and diversity