What does it mean to feel a sense of belonging? A sense of being accepted for who we are? To have the confidence to be true to ourselves without fear of judgement, hostility or ridicule? And what does this mean to the people who use our healthcare services in the hospital and community?
These are all questions we can ask ourselves this National Inclusion Week. This focus is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms and is the ninth year Inclusive Employers has brought organisations together from across the globe to celebrate, share and inspire inclusion practices.
The theme this year is unity.
While there has undoubtedly been progress in the last century for LGBTQ people worldwide, there remains significant variation in rights globally. Many countries are becoming increasingly tolerant, but others are becoming more repressive. There has been significant progress since 1990 – more than 40 countries have outlawed homophobic hate crimes and 30 out of 195 countries have passed laws allowing equal marriage. But the fight for LGBTQ+ Equality is far from over.
As a Straight Ally of Walsall Healthcare’s LGBTQ+ Network I want us all to consider how we can promote LGBTQ+ equality in our organisation, and the individual actions we can all take to support an inclusive workplace environment where LGBTQ+ colleagues have a sense of belonging and can be themselves at work without fear of discrimination.
You can view a message from our LGBTQ+ Network leads here about the brilliant work they are doing to promote LGBTQ Equality.
We have a number of events planned this week to increase awareness about the importance of Inclusion and why it matters, so please do take the time to attend these sessions to improve your own knowledge and understanding about inclusion and the individual actions we can all be taking to support an inclusive workplace culture at Walsall.
To view the events taking place this week please click here.
To watch a video about sexual orientation and the importance of LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace please click here.
Our LGBTQ+ Staff Network is always looking for members from the community (including allies). It holds regular meetings which give an opportunity to discuss issues, plan events, promote positive change, build awareness, support education and plan social events. The network aims:
- To grow a safe and inclusive network for all staff who identify as LGBTQ+, and allies.
- To ensure LGBTQ+ awareness is everyone’s business.
- To promote LGBTQ+ equality in the provision of healthcare services.
- To become a welcoming, safe and inclusive workplace for staff that people can trust.
If you would like to support LBGTQ+ equality and the network (you don’t have to commit to attending meetings), please email our LGBTQ+ Network: LGBTQStaffNetwork@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk
Finally, our Patient Experience Team is running an inclusion survey throughout this week specifically for our patients so please spread the word and encourage and support them to share their views about inclusive services.