Advancing equality in the Council with colleague campaign

A new campaign building on the City of Edinburgh Council's work to create an inclusive and diverse workplace launches today.

A new campaign building on the City of Edinburgh Council's work to create an inclusive and diverse workplace launches today.

Designed to foster a culture where all people feel their differences are valued, respected and accepted, Inclusivedinburgh will highlight the many benefits that a diverse workforce brings.

Guided by the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy which was approved by elected members last year, the City is working to attract and retain a representative Council workforce which reflects the diversity of Edinburgh's citizens. It is hoped that the internal campaign will help to make sure that everyone's voices are heard and that all employees feel welcome.

Councillor George Gordon, Equalities Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

We've worked extremely hard to grow as an inclusive employer and bring our diversity and inclusion strategy to life. Following many months of meetings, I've seen firsthand how this has involved tremendous efforts by our HR team and our colleague networks plus input from unions. I'm pleased to have been involved and I'd like to thank everyone who has got us to this point.

It's fantastic to now see all of the measures we've put into place brought together under Inclusivedinburgh. We're committed to advancing equalities in everything we do and there is no better place to further foster an inclusive culture than within our own workplace. We are a disability friendly employer and we have solid networks in place to support all colleagues to achieve their best. Our LGBT+ and BAME networks are also thriving.

From developing our understanding of colleagues' personal situations to creating our own benchmarking tool so that we can keep track of progress - we're continuously bettering our policies and recognising the value of a diverse workforce. This campaign is about sharing best practice and helping staff while also striving to be even better.

We're proud of how far we've come and this new campaign helps our ambitions for workplace equality to stand out. For Edinburgh to be a fair City, we must do all we can to improve the quality of life for those who face inequality. Better still, we must aim to stamp out discrimination and prejudice, wherever it occurs.

Councillor Lezley Marion Cameron, Chair of the Council's Cross Party Working Group on Equalities, said:

As the City of Edinburgh Council, and as a major employer, it is vital to listen and to learn from the lived experience of colleagues from groups which are under-represented in our workforce and our city. The enthusiasm and participation of staff in our LGBT+  and our BAME colleague networks has been and continues to be crucial to how well we listen, learn, and respond proactively in our efforts to ensure we are an employer, in both word and deed, which values diversity and difference as a strength and key measure of our organisational health.

I warmly welcome the launch of the Inclusivedinburgh campaign to promote respect and equality within and throughout all management tiers and service areas of the Council. This cements our commitment to attracting and retaining a workforce more reflective of all the Edinburgh citizens we represent and serve. 

Recent progress towards this includes introducing guidance and support for those who are transitioning; and those who are going through the menopause; Unconscious Bias e-learning for Council managers is also happening which supports our aim that no-one experiences discrimination of any sort during our recruitment process; and creating and circulating a colleague calendar which raises awareness of dates and events of particular significance throughout the year, for example, Ramadan and Carers Week.

The Edinburgh City Vision 2050 states that Edinburgh aspires to be a fair, inspired, thriving and connected city. The Inclusivedinburgh campaign aims to work towards that vision and the Council’s ambition to place respect, equality and rights at the heart of the workplace.

Commenting on the brand, Council colleague Bobby Nwanze said:

As the chair of the Council’s BAME colleague Network, it’s refreshing to receive such amazing support. Working closely to promote cultural awareness and tackle discrimination in the workplace will help us to become a truly diverse Council. 

Published: August 24th 2020