Creating the culture

Although much of the Mainstreaming Equalities Organisational Development Programme concentrates on practical tools and actions, true equalities mainstreaming is not possible without a positive organisational culture to sustain it. Everyone from the Management Board to staff, volunteers and service users has a role to play in mainstreaming equalities through their actions and attitudes. Creating the culture takes time, but these factors can help to speed progress:

  • Leadership and ownership of the organisation’s equalities ethos – human rights and equality are everyone’s business
  • Explicit human rights / equality language and practice
  • Ongoing consultation, involvement and engagement
  • Appropriate training and development on equalities and human rights
  • Ensuring that people understand and can effectively use mainstreaming tools
  • Keeping knowledge, policy and practice up to date
  • Treating everyone with dignity, equality, respect, fairness and autonomy

The last of these is particularly important. If staff feel that they are not treated well by the organisation, their managers or colleagues, any attempt to create a true equality and human rights ethos will fail.

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