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.
How to improve diversity, equality, and fair treatment in veterinary 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
Watch the recording of our webinar on diversity, equality, and inclusion with BVA Senior Vice President Daniella Dos Santos, Head of VDS Training Carolyne Crowe, and Laura Haycock from Pearn Kandola.
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.
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.
- Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Champion job description - We’re calling on all veterinary teams to appoint an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Champion, a designated person responsible for actively promoting a diverse, supportive and inclusive workplace culture. Download this template role description to help you appoint a suitable person. It’s designed to be tailored to your workplace, highlighting the key skills needed, main responsibilities and employer commitments.
- UK undergraduate veterinary education - Veterinary medicine courses must be well-structured and adequately funded to produce well-respected and adaptable vets who are leaders in animal health and welfare. Increasing the number of veterinary students alone won’t provide a holistic, long-term approach to making sure we have enough vets in the workforce. We need to address both recruitment and retention.
- Gender discrimination in the veterinary profession - This study, undertaken with the University of Exeter, demonstrated that there are differences in how some managers perceive, treat, and pay male and female vets. This was based on whether or not they believed women in the profession still face discrimination.
- Discrimination in the veterinary profession 2021 - We’re highlighting the importance of inclusive and supportive workplaces in light of recent Voice survey data revealing that one in six vets and vet students has experienced discrimination in the past year. Despite increased attention on the issue, figures remain largely unchanged since our ground-breaking 2019 discrimination report.
- Discrimination in the veterinary profession - Our ground-breaking research found that 24% of working vets and vet students have experienced or witnessed discrimination in the past year, yet only 56% of the profession said they feel concerned about discrimination.
- BVA legal helpline, providing advice and support on all legal issues
- BVNA members advisory service
- British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society (BVEDS)
- British Veterinary Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (BVLGBT+) Facebook group
- British Veterinary Chronic Illness Support (BVCIS)
- ACAS — free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules, and best practise for employers and employees. ACAS also offers training and dispute resolution
- The BVNA Chronic Illness Toolkit
- Support your colleagues to create an LGBT inclusive workplace by Dan Makin, BVLGBT+
- Inclusivity in the equine profession by Brad Hill
- Equality and diversity: Championing and challenging by Madeleine Campbell
- Living (and vetting) with dyslexia by James Russell
- Autism in a Neurotypical world by Kirstie Pickles
- Discrimination in the veterinary profession exists, so why are many colleagues reluctant to believe it? by Daniella Dos Santos
- “That’s so gay” and other words that sting: Microaggressions that harm LGBT+ colleagues by Ami Sawran
- It still hurts, even if you mean well: Disability microaggressions in practice by Ruth Cawston
- Creating a more supportive culture: Microaggressions in mental health by Rosie Allister
- That’s not very “ladylike”: Microaggressions that harm women by Gudrun Ravetz
- Racial microaggressions - Can we do more? by Navaratnam Partheeban