How to Ensure Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is for Everyone

A new report on EDI co-led by the University of Oxford has found that most people support Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives, but believe improvements are needed to ensure they are relevant to their everyday experiences.

The report is based on a study by the University of Oxford, UCL Policy Lab and More in Common which examined the British public opinion about EDI by looking at a sample of over 6,000 people and focus groups who took part in the research.

Building a More Stable Future for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

This report explores how to ensure EDI benefits everyone and fosters a more stable future. It acknowledges a growing public desire for an innovative approach – “EDI 2.0” – that emphasises practicality and avoids political divisiveness.

The report focuses on a new and improved EDI approach with some recommendations listed below:

Recommendations for EDI 2.0

The report suggests these steps to build and maintain public support for EDI 2.0:

  • Tailor to Specific Needs: Link EDI activities to daily work roles and how to excel in them.
  • Focus on People: Use real-world experiences and stories to appeal to shared values of fairness and decency.
  • Promote Curiosity: Create spaces for open questions and learning without fear of mistakes.
  • Distinguish Between Work and Outside World: Codes of conduct may be more acceptable in workplaces.
  • Champion Merit: Highlight how EDI removes barriers and creates fairer outcomes for everyone.
  • Inclusive Framing: Avoid “us vs. them” narratives and emphasize benefits to all of society.
  • Diverse Messengers: Broaden the range of voices advocating for EDI to reach a wider audience.
  • Balance Free Speech and Safety: Encourage exposure to diverse viewpoints while recognizing the dangers of extreme speech.
  • Explain History: Provide a comprehensive understanding of history, even the challenging aspects.
  • Strategic Intervention: Focus commentary and engagement on issues directly relevant to the institution.

The Public’s Role

The report finds the public supports EDI when it’s well-implemented and leads to fairer outcomes. Importantly, businesses and universities are seen as having more leeway to speak out on various social issues compared to actively promoting one side of a divisive debate.

There is an emphasis on the importance of practical, inclusive, and respectful approaches to ensure EDI benefits everyone and builds a more stable future.

Please CLICK HERE to read the full report.

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