We live in a society full of inequalities, oppression and discrimination, some so deeply ingrained that many of us hardly notice them. Cwmpas has always taken Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) seriously, but now we are taking steps to deepen our understanding of how society creates and perpetuates privilege and oppression.
This statement lays out our ambition to become a more equitable, diverse and inclusive organisation, committed to valuing lived experience and challenging established thinking. We are committed to EDI in its widest sense, as a key principle of social justice, which underpins all that we do and are. We strive to be inclusive and to challenge inequality, discrimination and prejudice in whatever form.
This statement is aligned to the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 which protects certain groups against discrimination on the grounds of their protected characteristic:
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Marriage or civil partnerships
- Pregnancy and maternity
What have we done so far?
Our first step was to commission an external organisation to undertake an equity audit for us and offer recommendations as to how we could improve. This was a lengthy exercise that involved detailed analysis of our policies and guidance documents, questionnaires to and interviews with employees and board members.
Based on the findings of the audit, its recommendations and our own internal discussions, we have acted in the following ways:
- We have reviewed our policy and guidance documents and amended them in the light of the advice we received.
- We have made changes to the way we write our job descriptions and how/where we target recruitment.
- We have established an internal EDI steering group.
- We have put EDI at the heart of our strategy, making it one of our cross-cutting goals and setting ambitious targets.
- We have designed and are delivering a series of in-depth training sessions for all employees on the themes of disability equality; LGBTQI+ equality; neurodiversity and anti-racism.
- We are working with our board to deepen understanding of and commitment to EDI.
- We have developed an EDI action plan that is owned and delivered by all of us at Cwmpas.
- We aim to embed anti-discriminatory proactive action into the organisation and work to develop a diverse workforce.
- We have signed up to the Zero Racism Wales pledge, promising to “take a stand against racism and promote a more inclusive and equal workplace and society that gives every individual in Wales the right to feel safe, valued and included.”
As we look to the future of Cwmpas, our pledge to promote equity, diversity and inclusion will not be about glib words written into strategic plans and policy documents, but a commitment that everyone in the organisation understands is integral to their role.
We value our staff highly and recognise that everyone has something to contribute to this conversation. So, we will ensure there are advocates and allies in every corner of the organisation.
We are committed to all aspects of anti-oppression and anti-discrimination practice. We want to be an organisation that doesn’t pay lip service but actively works to make a difference and bring about change. This means some uncomfortable challenging of our processes, culture and behaviours because, although we have always had fairness and equity at our heart, we know we have more to do. We will pay close attention to the demands of Welsh Government’s Anti-racist Wales Action Plan and play our part in making Wales an ant-racist nation.
We will be transparent about our learning and development by sharing case studies and talking openly about our progress and our setbacks
We are committed to achieving five goals that will form the basis of our action plan:
- Culture : Everyone at Cwmpas will understand that a commitment to EDI underpins all our relationships with colleagues, clients and stakeholders. This will be demonstrated in our everyday behaviours. We will monitor the consistency of our approach, regularly checking outcomes against our action plan and strengthening policies and procedures as required.
- Co-production : We will deliver our services in a way that addresses inequality and discrimination, working co-operatively with people with lived experience in our service design. We will monitor who uses our services and make changes if underrepresented people are not accessing them.
- Career: We will recruit, hire, and develop a high-performing diverse workforce that reflects the clients, social businesses and third sector organisations we serve.
- Co-operation : We will promote and encourage EDI in our engagement and partnerships – with our clients, partners, stakeholders and allies.
- Communication: We will demonstrate our commitment to EDI in our internal and external messaging. Employees, clients and stakeholders will understand that this commitment is core to all that we do.
This is our manifesto for change as we continue our journey towards becoming a more equitable, diverse and inclusive organisation.
We are taking this seriously and we will hold ourselves to account.