D & E

It is many years since I trained on Equality of Opportunity – I was involved in a series of sessions for the Voluntary Sector on Teesside. In the interim this has been re-defined as Equality and Diversity, and the statutory framework has moved on, positively. Whilst deeply committed to the underlying principles I was always very uneasy about training on the subject – especially how to get the tone right. This was difficult in the NfP sector as many of those involved were faith motivated volunteers/trustees with, consequently, conscious antipathy to some of the core messages. Whilst, to this day, always prepared to have a hammer and tongs argument of this nature I ended up preferring a “regardless of your personal views the operation of you EO policies is not negotiable”, approach. This was usually accepted without rancor.

This was a pragmatic adaptation, motivated by a wish to achieve important aims, whilst understanding that we were unlikely to change lifelong held beliefs over a couple of afternoons. Others in the training team were unhappy with this – feeling we should be a little more “combative”.

Revisiting this for current SQM/Lexcel purposes, and having reviewed some of the available resources, this tension has reawakened – and is one we are now going to have to resolve. Helen is reviewing the course I sat through this morning for an alternative view (obviously don’t want to say “young persons view” right now).

My inclination remains to put together a focussed, practical session, rather than one taken from the more “hearts and souls” end of the spectrum. Does anyone have any thoughts, either way? Especially those of you have done some CPD in the area recently.

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