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    Has equality ‘gone too far’?

    Would you feel comfortable if an immigrant lived next door, or if your line manager had a mental health condition? These are some of the questions in a national survey of prejudice and the answers are surprising. How are you tackling prejudice in your organisation?

    Context of the research

    The work of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is framed by the principle that if everyone gets a fair chance in life, we all thrive. They therefore wanted to understand the nature and extent of prejudice and discrimination in Britain in order to tackle the barriers that are holding people back.

    In 2018 the EHRC conducted the first national survey of prejudice for over a decade. It measured prejudice and discrimination in Britain experienced by people with a wide range of protected characteristics: age, disability, race, sex, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment.

    Key findings

    Forty-two per cent of all respondents said they had experienced prejudice, with the experience of prejudice higher in minority groups. For example:


    • 70% of Muslims surveyed experienced religion-based prejudice
    • 64% of people from a black ethnic background experienced race-based prejudice
    • 61% of people with a mental health condition experienced impairment-based prejudice, and
    • 46% of lesbian, gay or bisexual people experienced sexual orientation-based prejudice.
    • Ageism can be experienced by people at any age. In line with previous research, a higher proportion of British adults reported experiencing prejudice based on their age (26%) than on any other characteristic 


    In respect of attitudes:


    • A quarter expressed discomfort with having a person with a mental health condition as their boss (25%) or as a potential family member (29%).
    • Around one-fifth of respondents said they would feel uncomfortable if either an immigrant or a Muslim person lived next door (19% and 18% respectively), and 14% said they would feel uncomfortable if a transgender person lived next door.


    Has equality ‘gone too far’?

    Despite the experiences of prejudice above, the survey also found that some people think efforts to provide equal opportunities for particular groups have ‘gone too far’ in the case of immigrants (37%) and Muslims (33%).

    People’s perceptions of the seriousness of discrimination in Britain in relation to different protected characteristics did not match levels of personal experiences of discrimination. For example, more than half (54%) thought that the issue of discrimination based on age was not at all or only slightly serious, despite more British adults reporting experiences of prejudice based on their age (26%) than any other protected characteristic.

    You can download the report here

    How have you actively tackled prejudice?

    Prejudice is often fueled by Unconscious bias. These are views and opinions that we are unaware of; they are automatically activated and can affect actions, behaviour and decision-making, often without us even realising it. Unconscious bias can have a significant impact on teaching and learning and on working relationships.

    But the good news is that we can do something about it – we can ‘break the thinking habit’. Actively tackling unconscious bias is essential to creating an inclusive ethos and culture; thinking beyond discrimination in its extreme forms to identify and tackle the subtle things that take place in an organisation on a daily basis.

    Training staff in how to tackle unconscious bias is essential if we are to create a work and learning environment where all thrive. Tackling Unconscious Bias is one of my most popular training courses. It can be tailored to job roles and responsibilities, such as :


    • curriculum leads and teaching staff (T&L)
    • managers (for example recruitment and selection, performance management)
    • business support staff (delivering front line services and customer care)
    • progress tutors (dealing with attendance, punctuality and disciplinaries) 


    My two-page training publicity contains course details, key objectives, target audience, training options and organisational benefits of running this workshop.

    You can download publicity on Actively tackling Unconscious Bias; outstanding teaching and learninghere

    You can download publicity ‘Actively tackling Unconscious Bias; improving the staff experiencehere

    Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in having this engaging and practical workshop delivered at your organisation. You can contact me here

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