Good veterinary workplaces

Diversity, equality, and inclusion in veterinary workplaces

The importance of diversity, equality, and fair treatment

Successful businesses treat employees fairly. For team members to feel respected and valued at work, it is vital that workplaces are genuinely inclusive, with no tolerance of prejudice or discrimination. Any form of discrimination is illegal, reprehensible, and has no place in society.

We know that discrimination can come from team members and the public and could be either deliberate or unintentional. Regardless of the perpetrator or intent, facing discrimination causes distress. It can also have an impact on how valued and respected team members feel, as well as how well they feel they fit into the workplace or profession.

Our BVA report on discrimination in the veterinary profession previously showed that discrimination is a significant problem in the veterinary profession, with 24% of working vets and vet students having experienced or witnessed discrimination in the past year. However, only 56% of vets said they were concerned about this issue. This needs to change.

How to improve diversity, equality, and fair treatment in veterinary workplaces

Everyone must recognise that they have a role to play in treating members of their team fairly and equally, understanding the barriers to equality and diversity and the consequences of discrimination, and feel empowered to challenge poor practise.


Good workplaces:

  • treat all members of the team fairly and equitably, with no tolerance of prejudice or discrimination;
  • have no tolerance of prejudicial, discriminatory, or offensive language;
  • expect fair and equal treatment of all team members from members of the public, and do not tolerate any inappropriate behaviour;
  • recognise the importance and value of diversity, at all levels;
  • have teams which understand the barriers to equality and diversity, the consequences of discrimination in the workplace, and are empowered to challenge poor practise; and
  • treat all team members fairly and equally, including those requiring parental or adoption leave, and those who may be struggling to start a family.

Read pages 16 to 29 in our position on good veterinary workplaces, to equip yourself with a better understanding of the issues members of the profession face, and how you can help


This session in our Good Workplaces webinar series focused on the topics of equality, diversity and inclusion, with Head of VDS Training Carolyne Crowe in conversation with BVA Senior Vice President Daniella Dos Santos, and Laura Haycock from Pearn Kandola, discussing:

  • how to create a workplace which treats everyone fairly and equitably
  • showing zero tolerance of discrimination,
  • the importance of diversity and empowering team members to challenge poor practice.
Watch the recording

Malcolm Morley led this webinar to discuss the 2021 Voice Survey results related to discrimination in the veterinary profession, with Daniella Dos Santos, Issa Robson (BVEDs), Olivia Anderson-Nathan (BCVIS), Dan Makin (BVLGT+), and Rosie Allister (Vetlife). The session explored:

  • the size and scale of the problem
  • characteristics being discriminated
  • who’s responsible
  • how incidents are reported
  • what we can all do to help.
Watch the recording

Microaggression posters 

Microaggressions are comments or actions which negatively target a marginalised group of people. Start the #BigConversation about discriminatory language and behaviour by displaying our posters in your veterinary workplace. These posters cover comments related to race, gender, mental health, sexuality, and disability.

Download our posters