There has been talk of equality in the workplace for a long time. Many businesses and industries have dedicated significant effort to the subject, analysing the state of play in their company and putting people, policies and programmes in place to make improvements to their business. However, real, tangible and appreciable changes appear to be slow in arriving and often low on impact.

In this Board Briefing we will look at many of the issues about equality and diversity in the workplace. We will discuss the terminology used and why it is important to understand them properly. We will discuss the difficult topic of equality of opportunity, and how some measures to address the disparities of opportunity can seem good whilst actually being problematic and, through the right intentions, actually exacerbate the problems. We will look at ways to go about making changes in the business, and how measurement may be the most helpful approach to understanding the problems and ensuring the changes you make actually do improve things. And, to conclude, we will offer a number of practical suggestions for things you may need to do to improve the diversity, inclusion and equity of your business.

But, before we examine the subject in depth, first we shall take a short look back at how we got to where we are today.

A short history of equality and diversity in the workplace