Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Our activities and plans to ensure the GCC and the chiropractic profession is
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, or EDI, ensures fair treatment and opportunity for all. It aims to eradicate prejudice and discrimination based on an individual or group of individuals' protected characteristics.
Sadly, although much is written on EDI and its importance, few tangible actions are undertaken by numerous organisations to accept, adopt and integrate EDI into their corporate culture. It is often just a data collection exercise within a company's recruitment processes or employee surveys which can be reported against an agreed set of metrics.
EDI is about integrating and embedding the behaviour of inclusion and diversity into a corporate or professional culture while ensuring all organisation planning, functions, and processes align to advance equality. It is about understanding how internal and/or external activities can be equal and fair to all people. On an individual basis, it is accepting and embracing people and their uniqueness beyond yourself.
For equality, diversity and inclusion to become a living part of corporate culture, all people connected with that organisation must be on the same path and willing to accept and appreciate the cultural and societal mosaic in which we live.
Although EDI has some universal norms, its exact definition varies depending on national and cultural beliefs and values. However, a clear explanation of EDI is:
At its core, equality means fairness: ensuring that individuals, or groups of individuals, are not treated less favourably because of their protected characteristics. Equality relates to the legal obligations in which organisations must not unlawfully discriminate.
Key takeaway: treated less favourably
Diversity is about recognising differences. It’s acknowledging the benefits of having a range of perspectives in an organisation’s operations and decision-making and taking steps to aid that diversity.
Key takeaways: acknowledging benefits, taking steps
Inclusion is where people’s differences are valued and used to thrive in that organisation. An inclusive organisation is one in which everyone feels that they belong without conforming. Their contributions matter, and they can perform to their full potential, no matter their characteristics, background, identity, or circumstances.
Key takeaway: valued and used
The General Chiropractic Council is committed to ensuring that all our activities, as a regulator, a service provider and an employer, provide equality of opportunity. We value diversity and aim to ensure that our work is free from discrimination.
As a health and social care regulator, we have due regard for the need to:
GCC 15-point action plan
The GCC 15-point EDI action plan builds upon the Council's current Equality, Diversity and Inclusion activity. It will help the GCC move further towards realising its EDI goals and ambitions, ie. creating an internal culture of understanding and engagement and influencing and guiding the profession it regulates.
The UK’s protected characteristics stem from the Equality Act 2010, which brought together several pieces of legislation under one act, ie. the Race Relations Act 1976. In essence, they are characteristics of a person’s identity which make them who they are. If a protected characteristic is known or revealed, it is unlawful to treat that person differently.
Protected characteristics vary between nations. The UK protects nine characteristics, while the USA has eight, and not all are the same. In the UK, the protected characteristics are (in alphabetical order):
Unfair or unfavourable actions, language or treatment of people due to their age eg. treating people differently or dismissing/restricting their roles due to their age. This applies to both young and old.
Prejudice against people with long-term (12-month+) mental or physical disabilities alongside a failure to make sufficient adjustments to remove hindrances or barriers caused by the disability.
3. Gender reassignment
The law protects trans men and women regardless of any medical process eg. a trans man who was assigned as female at birth but has a male gender identity and lives as a man.
4. Marriage and civil partnership
This is treating people differently on account of their relationship status, be it between a man and a woman or members of the same sex.
5. Pregnancy and maternity
This is victimising or being unfair to a woman due to their pregnancy or for being on maternity leave.
Discrimination against a person, directly or indirectly, due to their race, colour or nationality. Direct discrimination is, for example, rejecting any application due to nationality, race or colour (real or perceived by name). Indirect discrimination is placing procedures or policy which places people at a disadvantage ie. placing a requirement for a UK-only qualification which then restricts the opportunity for others to apply.
7. Religion or belief
This is where a person is discriminated against due to religious or cultural beliefs eg. not recruiting or dismissing a person due to their religion (direct) or placing barriers to allow a person to practise their religion, such as holding meetings at the same time as prayers (indirect).
This is treating a man or woman differently because of their sex, including positive discrimination. Common examples are, asking job applicants different questions due to their sex or not promoting women due to future pregnancy concerns. Remember, sex is not gender.
9. Sexual orientation
This is where people are discriminated against for being gay, bisexual, heterosexual or asexual ie. treated less favourably due to a person’s emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to another person.
These are not comprehensive definitions of protected characteristics. In addition, types of discrimination go beyond direct and indirect eg. associative (associating with someone with a protected characteristic), perceptive (being thought to have a protected characteristic), victimisation (treated unfairly for supporting a complaint) etc.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is not a simple tick-box exercise. It is an ongoing and ever-evolving behavioural and cultural process, adapting to our changing world.
The GCC has undertaken several projects over the years to realise its EDI ambitions. This GCC 15-point action plan is the next evolutionary step in furthering its work and will help establish greater authority, responsibility and structure in future EDI activity.
The proposed activity within this plan is the start of the process. Its first action is the creation of an EDI Working Group who will be responsible for defining future aims, objectives and strategy.
In line with the new GCC 2022-2024 Strategy and the accompanying strategic and business plans, the GCC EDI 15-point action plan aims to foster a transformational change in culture and behaviour by establishing support internally and securing support externally.
The 15-point action plan should not be considered a numerical step-by-step action plan.
Read our GCC 15-point EDI Action Plan
EDI Policy Statement 2022
In 2021, a draft EDI policy was released by the GCC for consultation.
However, with the creation of an EDI Action Plan and Working Group, the decision has been taken to hold publication of the revised policy. This will allow the Working Group to review and ensure the policy remains fit for purpose.
We plan to publish the new GCC EDI policy by Autumn 2022.
Previous EDI Policy Statements
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