The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is calling on veterinary teams to appoint an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Champion to encourage open conversations about diversity and keep these important issues high on the agenda in their workplaces.
To aid the appointment and training of EDI Champions within teams, BVA has developed a template role description that can be tailored to suit individual workplaces. Key suggested responsibilities for Champions include raising awareness of the importance of diversity and the impact of discrimination across teams, reviewing workplace policies and culture documents and organising events that discuss and celebrate diversity.
The drive to appoint EDI Champions stems from BVA’s Good Veterinary Workplaces position, which recognised that good workplaces have teams which understand the barriers to equality and diversity, and are empowered to challenge discrimination or poor practice. BVA recommends that workplaces appoint an EDI Champion who should be appropriately trained, resourced and visible in their advocacy, with the capacity to effect organisation change if it is needed.
Malcolm Morley, BVA Junior Vice President, said: “Our Good Veterinary Workplaces activity has really highlighted the importance of encouraging open and honest conversations about equality, diversity and inclusion, hearing all views and empowering everyone to challenge poor practice or suggest improvements where needed. Having an EDI Champion in your workplace is a great way to get colleagues talking about these important issues in the knowledge that their views are being heard and acted on.
“We recognise given the breadth of the veterinary sector that workplaces may want to tailor the Champion role description to their specific needs and ways of operating, but we hope that our template provides a useful starting point for getting Champions primed and ready for the important tasks in hand. We hope to see new EDI Champions springing up across the veterinary community in the months to come.”