Race Equality week 7-13 February 2022
In Race Equality Week, we celebrate the diversity of our employees, which extends to over 75 different nationalities. Race Equality Week is a UK-wide initiative that aims to unite organisations and individuals in taking tangible action to help address issues affecting ethnic minority (EM) employees.
We welcome colleagues from diverse countries around the world and do our best to ensure that they feel comfortable and included as soon as they arrive. Recently, we launched an overseas buddy support scheme, which aims to give newly arrived international colleagues peer support through what can be a challenging time living in a new country and adjusting to a new culture.
We asked colleagues to respond to the question: What would race equality look like to you in our organisation?
"Quite simply, a place where fair and equitable treatment, respect, and dignity for people of all races is the norm across every corner and layer of the organisation. Where everyone, irrespective of their race has a voice, and their voice is safely heard."
"A workplace which actively allows respectful expression, compassionate listening, and encourages opportunities for shared learning. We must be awake and proactive; always driving positive change, breaking down barriers of race inequality, and allowing everyone to reach their fullest potential."
"All my colleagues from an ethnic minority describing how things feel different to how they once were; that they feel the diversity which they represent is celebrated, not ignored or a trigger for discrimination; that they not only progress and access opportunities as their non-EM colleagues but that they also feel a sense of belonging."
"It will be amazing when one day there will be no racism, no discrimination, no prejudices instead respect, kindness and equality. This world will be a better place.
"Race equality is very important to me. It means respecting my individuality, my culture, tradition, belief, uniqueness and my value to our NHS organisation."
As part of the week, we are encouraging employees from diverse backgrounds to take part in #MyName, a campaign that began because in a national survey, 73% of respondents from more than 100 organisations said they had their names mispronounced, which made them feel 'not valued or important', 'disrespected' and 'that they didn't belong'.
The #Myname campaign explains that there is nothing wrong with someone getting the pronunciation or spelling of a name wrong if they are unfamiliar with it, but it is useful to correct this, perhaps by adding phonetic spelling to your email signature. To this end, we are promoting the #mynameis guide to our colleagues.
We have a vibrant diversity network, which represents colleagues across the organisation who may face a higher risk of discrimination. The network includes sub-networks for Ethnic Minority colleagues as well as LGBTQ+ and Disability. As well as providing a safe and confidential space to listen, they're also a place to connect with others with similar characteristics and access additional resources and support.
As a Trust, we are working to provide a compassionate, inclusive, and caring environment. We continue to seek and improve the experiences of colleagues within the 9 legally protected characteristic groups, which protect against discrimination at work.
"Race equality is very important to me. It means respecting my individuality, my culture, tradition, belief, uniqueness and my value to our NHS organisation."Catherine Carvajal, Staff Nurse