What is Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging?

HR Recruitment Consultant, and Founder and MD of HR Heads, Jennifer Gaster look at what Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging really is.

Today I want to talk about ED&I, initially, ED&I started as Equality and Diversity, it added and evolved to have Equality, Diversity & Inclusion – and even today we find ourselves talking about EDIB, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging.

When we talk about equality, fundamentally we’re talking about fair treatment and opportunity for all.

Obviously, we’ve got eight characteristics that are protected in that space and have to be taken into account.

Looking at diversity, we’re talking much more about recognising, respecting and even celebrating the differences that we bring to the table, from our backgrounds our experiences, our thought trains, everything that leads us to who we are to today and really understanding that everyone has a contribution to make.

When we talk about inclusion, we are really talking about the environment we create to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and valued in the space they operate, that’s why it’s really important.

We are creating environments at work that are now hybrid that really need to create a culture of belonging in and it’s important people whether people choose to work wholly remotely, or wholly in the office, or a mixture of the two that they are valued and respected for the choices they make and that is welcomed by the organization they work for.

What are the eight protected characteristics?

The eight protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The reason those things are really important today is it’s all about the culture of the organisation that we create.

The fact that people are subsequently really loyal to that organisation and that fundamentally it shapes the EVP that that organisation is able to take to the market.

  • What are they famous for?
  • What are they known for?
  • What do people say when they talk about that business?

We’ve got two complimentary events coming up in September and October that will really focus on different areas of ED&I and drive the conversation around some of those protected characteristics.

The first is on the 30th of September and we are delighted to welcome Key4Life. We will look at the diversity of talent pool, diversity of background and experience and how many FTSE businesses have been successful in hiring young men who have an offending record and have been rehabilitated and successfully placed into those organisations.

The second event is on the 14th of October and features Joanne Conway from EY talking about how they have created a culture of belonging.

About the author

Co-founder of Heads Resourcing Group and the three brands that operate within it, Jennifer Gaster has more than 20 years of experience specialising in consulting with and placing senior HR professionals in a range of environments predominantly across the South of the UK.

Jennifer works with ambitious, growth-orientated businesses to ensure their people appointments align with both the organisations’ goals and cultural aspirations moving forward.

Nurturing a passive network of exceptional HR talent, her success has supported businesses in transforming their most valuable resource – their workforce; from Personnel to HR and more recently to People and Organisational specialists.

As well as supporting with the resourcing of exceptional HR talent, Jennifer is a qualified Coach, mentoring individuals within HR and Recruitment professions, as well as wider business roles. Passionate about employer brand, EVP and personal profile development, she ensures clients are considering the full holistic picture when enticing the best talent to their opportunities.

Click here to find out more about protected characteristics.