“We believe in the dignity of all people and their right to respect and equality of opportunity. We value the strength that comes with difference and the positive contribution that diversity brings to our community. Our aspiration is for Cambridge and the wider region to be safe, welcoming and inclusive.”
In 2015 Cambridge hosted the national showcase for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History Month 2016. As part of the preparations for this day, local organisers wanted to develop an initiative that would provide a legacy for whole community.
The Equality Pledge was the result – a simple pledge that commits signatory organisations to appreciate and value the benefits that different communities contribute to Cambridge and the surrounding region. You can sign up as an organisation or as an individual.
For organisations, the pledge provides a simple but effective way to demonstrate support for all communities.
For individuals, the pledge is an opportunity to demonstrate personal commitment to equality and inclusion for all communities.
All organisations in Cambridgeshire, whether from the public, voluntary or private sector, are welcome to sign up to the Equality Pledge.
By publicly stating this commitment, organisations can then identify how to make the Equality Pledge a reality in the work that they do. This approach recognises that organisations vary by size, sector and capacity. However, all are united in recognising the importance of principles of the Equality Pledge.
What your organisation needs to do
In order to get the most out of the Equality Pledge, organisations need to reflect and consider what can be done to make our community safer and more inclusive for all.
The first steps are to consider what signing-up to the Equality Pledge means. This could include thinking about how to:
- Publicise signing up to the Equality Pledge
- Provide equal opportunities in your recruitment practices and actively support under-represented groups to enter the labour market/ take up volunteering opportunities
- Make your services and information more accessible to the community, especially socially excluded groups
- Support or engage with initiatives that exist across our area to support different protected groups.
- Share your success with others. Sharing success and good practice is helpful to both your organisation and to others that are considering ideas for initiatives or actions.
Examples of actions that can be taken:
- Participating in national or local initiatives to promote inclusion. For instance, you could hold events or support initiatives that are part of Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Mental Health Awareness Week, International Day of Persons with Disabilities and/or LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History Month).
- Providing information and training to all staff that can support awareness of local initiatives and different communities.
- Promoting the Equality Pledge logo in organisational literature.
- Partnering or sponsoring initiatives with local community groups.
- Implementing ideas to promote a more diverse workforce, for example by undertaking positive action. For example, you could participate in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index or Disability Confident.
- Engaging senior organisational colleagues to promote the Equality Pledge or initiatives.
- Sharing information on local events with staff and other stakeholders.
Anyone who supports the principles of the Equality Pledge is welcome to sign up to it. By doing so, you are publicly stating your commitment to an inclusive and welcoming community for all.
When you sign up to the Equality Pledge, it would be helpful if you explained why so we can post this on our comments page. Your reasons can helps us understand concerns of members of the community, how you champion equality and diversity already and what you hope the Equality Pledge might achieve.
What you can do next
To get the most out of the Equality Pledge, you are encouraged to think about ways to get involved, including:
- Sharing information on the Equality Pledge with family, friends, colleagues, schools or other community groups.
- Staying informed about ideas, issues and initiatives taking place locally. For example, events for Black History Month, LGB&T History Month, or the Safe Spaces campaign.
- Know how to report and access services for different protected groups.