Thursday, 2 February 2012

We are People NOT boxes

As a Diversity consultant I believe passionately in a fair and people centred society. What you might be shocked to hear is I don't fit my self into a box and I don't like equality "boxes" either.

People are individuals and should be treat as such and not pigeon holed into stereotypical boxes to define their needs.

When we are looking at "Diversity" within the public sector we shouldn't be looking to constantly running women, lgbt, bme and disabled events because we believe all these people are "in need" we should be looking at our local communities and asking are we meeting the demand or wants of our local residents? If the answers no like any good business focus resources and service developments to better meet that demand.

If we deliver truly "personalised" people centred healthcare and public services then the inequalities that exist disappear, people have a fair opportunity to receive services that meet their needs and we save money by not needing to deliver extra "tick box equality processes"

Sounds all very simple and a lot like common sense but unfortunately some people don't see it like that.

Through my work I engage with various individuals from different sectors and backgrounds and all too often when talking about personal services, fairness and localised demand the response is "we do something for the gays" or we run a bme working group" or we have leaflets on "how to deliver a service to a muslim" its as if people actually enjoy "juggling boxes" without delivering improvements to services or outcomes for the local community.

I'm a young women that happens to to have a disability, my sexual orientation is bisexual and I have a trans history too. If I went into a hospital and they had a "manual on delivering care to a disabled trans women" with lists of what I will like and what I won't like I'd tell them to BIN IT

What I want in hospital is to be treat based on my individual needs not what some book or leaflet says all these "trans people" want my sexuality and medical history doesn't define me and shouldn't define the care that I receive. What next leaflets on "how to treat blondes with a broken arm" make sure u talk slowly to them because they are all stupid...

Its common sense that a directly of guides on exactly what "trans and gay people" want is not the answer. The answer is well trained staff, nurses, police officers who are able to meet an individual's needs based on their professional approach. We need to encourage understanding of different people and choices available in local communities so that people can be referred to different services if as an individual they need or want it.

In health care we need to be talking about personalised care not equality protocols, in workforces we need to encourage leaders mentors people who inspire from across an organisation not use positive discrimination to replace one wrong with another.

Knowledge of your local community, ability to meet peoples needs by understanding people are different and having the flexibility to be able to respond to those needs is the language we need to be talking the sooner we do that the sooner we get people on board and move away from the baggage of labours tick box generation.


  1. Boxes in general I dislike, do people need to know I am a conservative, lesbian, feminist who’s right handed and wears glasses? The short answer is no if I want to access a service I want to be treated the same as anyone else who is using that service. So I don’t think in the most part that we should have to divulge this information.

    However in some circumstances I think they are handy, such as when recording hate crime; as that information can be useful.

    I wouldn’t say we should do away with diversity monitoring all together, I just think we need to rethink where it’s actually useful to get that information from. As do we really need to know how many different minority groups took out books from the local library?

  2. All people are diverse but some are more diverse than others.