Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit
What do we mean by equality, diversity and inclusion
- Equality means everyone has the same opportunities and resources to achieve their desired outcomes. They are treated the same regardless of their attributes and circumstances.
- Diversity is about recognising the benefits of different values, abilities, and perspectives, and celebrating people’s differences. This means promoting an environment that welcomes and values diverse backgrounds, thinking, skills and experience.
- Inclusion is providing a space where everyone has equal access to opportunities and resources, and where everyone feels valued and accepted. Everyone should be able to contribute and have a voice. This may mean making reasonable adjustments to facilitate participation.
You may also hear the term equity used in reference to diversity and inclusion. Equity recognises that each individual has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
A helpful explainer article about the difference between equality and equity is available here: https://social-change.co.uk/blog/2019-03-29-equality-and-equity
Alternatively, if you’d prefer an explainer video you can find a good one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCS7Rus4_-Y
We have a full toolkit to help you and your local party support councillors or candidates with disabilities. You can access it on the link below.
This includes practical guides to help you make your support of all councillors and candidates fully inclusive as well as information on grants and extra support that is available.
Why is equality, diversity and inclusion important
First and foremost, we have a legal responsibility to not discriminate as outlined in the Equalities Act 2010. The Act sets out specific characteristics that it is illegal to discriminate against:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy & maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
However, our commitment as a Party to fostering equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels is more than just about fulfilling our legal obligations – it is rooted in our core values as set out in the Preamble to the Constitution. We are commitment to a society where everyone can achieve their full potential and should not be held back by race, ethnicity, caste, heritage, class, religion or belief, age, disability, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.
As well as being a legal requirement and in our core values, we know that developing an inclusive culture will encourage diversity and strengthen your team. This will bring a wider range of skills, capacities and experience in our members. It also brings different voices together and offers the opportunity to hear and understand different experiences. In turn this will make you more effective at serving your communities and ultimately winning elections.
Part of trying to be a more diverse and inclusive local party is being visibility supportive of other cultures and religions, and championing diversity causes, campaigns and awareness days. A great way to do this is by sharing supportive links, graphics, etc on your social media channels.
There are many free resources available online, there is a diversity calendar with some resources provided by the Lib Dem Campaigns Hub here. ALDC will also have a variety of diversity graphics and videos for use over the course of the year.
Becoming a more diverse and inclusive local party
Becoming a more diverse and inclusive local party is a never ending process – the crucial thing is to start on that journey and keep moving forward.
We have a number of articles and resources available to help you to start and process that journey, and are developing more all the time.
Approving and selecting a more diverse slate of candidates
ALDC has some resources to help you select a more diverse slate of candidates to represent the local Lib Dems in your area.
Running Inclusive Events
It can be easy to stick with the same format, location and timings for events because it’s ‘what we’ve always done and it works’. However while it may work, you probably are unaware of how many others would be interested in getting involved but are unable or uncomfortable doing so because of the format, location and/or timings you have chosen.
We encourage you to take stock of the events you run and think about trying new types of events and see what difference that makes to the diversity of the attendees.
For example, always running your local party event on a weekday evening is likely to prevent parents from being able to attend. Similarly, always having events at the local pub will exclude anyone who isn’t comfortable attending a venue where alcohol is served due to religious, health or other personal reasons.
The Liberal Democrats have put together a brief guide to running an inclusive event here.
We are continually adding to this list which is certainly not exhaustive.
Young Liberals are the student and youth wing of the Liberal Democrats – representing the interests of young people within and outside the Liberal Democrats and supporting young candidates to get elected.
You can find out more about Young Liberals here.
You may also find the following links useful to find out more about the organisation – and to see how you can support and involve your local branch.
Find Out More
Events & Training
From July we will be hosting monthly equality, diversity and inclusion events open to all Lib Dem members on a range of topics. For more information make sure you keep an eye on our Training Page and our weekly emails.