Although sometimes used interchangeably, the terms ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ are not the same.
Equality is about creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. By eliminating prejudice and discrimination, SMCare can deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse and a society that is healthier and happier.
An equalities approach understands who we are, based on social categories such as gender, race, disability, age, social class, sexuality and religion – will impact on our life experiences.
Diversity literally means difference. When it is used as a contrast or addition to equality, it is about recognising individual as well as group differences, treating people as individuals, and placing positive value on diversity in the community and in the workforce.
These approaches recognise that in order to provide accessible services and to ensure we promote inclusive working environments organisations may need to respond differently to both individuals and to groups.
A holistic approach means making a commitment to equality through the recognition of diversity.
Why is equality and diversity important?
Equality and diversity is becoming more important in all aspects of our lives and work for a number of reasons:
We live in an increasingly diverse society and need to be able to respond appropriately and sensitively to this diversity. Learners in the healthcare setting will reflect this diversity around gender, race and ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, class and age.
Your organisation believes that successful implementation of equality and diversity in all aspects of work ensures that colleagues, staff and students are valued, motivated and treated fairly.
We have an equality and human rights legal framework covering employment practices and service delivery and we need to ensure we work within this and avoid discrimination.