NHS Senior Leadership Onboarding and Support

Diversity and Inclusion

Group discussion

Leading organisations which truly value diversity can listen, process and act on perspectives that are different from their existing norms. This could be challenging for us as individuals – it requires us to give airtime and debate, then demonstrate that those views have been adequately considered and acted on where appropriate.

The processes of listening and acting differently are part of the evidence that staff and patients use to judge whether an organisation feels inclusive, valuing all contributions and enabling everyone to reach their potential. 

The NHS Constitution is a foundation document for diversity and inclusion, framing our NHS values and staff and patients’ rights and responsibilities.

NHS Employers page on Diversity and Inclusion, NHS England/NHS Improvement’s Equality and Health Inequalities Hub, and NHS Leadership Academy Inclusion Equality and Diversity page all have great resources including the latest WRES/WDES data and current policies and tools to support the development of diversity and inclusion in your organisation. There is a close relationship between the resources in the compassionate and inclusive leadership page.

Networks are a powerful way to better understand issues, drive progress and gain energy to continue to model inclusive leadership personally and lead it in our organisations.

This page is divided into in two parts – thought pieces and resources. The thought pieces are designed to support thinking through a different lens and resources will support you in your leadership around diversity and inclusion.

Thought Pieces – In addition to understanding the data on diversity and inclusion in your organisation and more widely, it can be helpful to challenge your own thinking by seeking out thought-provoking reading. Below are some resources that may help you re-frame how you think about diversity and inclusion in relation to your leadership:

Guardian article and 30 min audio version:  ‘Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Video: Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story Robin DeAngelo – Author of White Fragility – 6 minute overview of why white people find it so hard to discuss racism and great companion piece to Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race.

Blog: Dear white people in the UK – Aishnine Benjamin, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead at the Nursing and Midwifery Council – information and tips on being a better ally.

Article: ‘White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack’ By Peggy McIntosh This article is now considered a ‘classic’ by anti-racist educators. It has been used in workshops and classes throughout the United States and Canada for many years. While people of colour have described for years how whites benefit from unearned privileges, this is one of the first articles written by a white person on the topics.

Podcast:Professor David Williams on racism, discrimination, and the impact they have on health – The King’s Fund, December 2019

Article: Deloitte Review, issue 22 – The diversity and inclusion revolution: Eight powerful truths

Video: ‘Intersectionality’ with Professor Kimberlie Crenshaw, who coined the term Intersectionality – specifically around race and gender and the fact that discrimination can come from several different factors at the same time.

Article: Invisibility of Race In Gender Pay Gap DiscussionsForbes June 2019

The King’s Fund blogs: Series of three blogs reflecting on peoples’ experience of diversity and inclusion at The King’s Fund – 2019

TED Talk 2014: Mellody Hobson – “Color Blind or Color Brave” – The subject of race can be very touchy. As finance executive Mellody Hobson says, it’s a “conversational third rail.” “But,” she says, “that’s exactly why we need to start talking about it.” In this engaging, persuasive talk, Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring — makes for better businesses and a better society.

Article: You can read about how Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust approached BAME Reverse mentoring here.

Article: Read the Harvard Business Review’s article about it . These kind of reverse mentoring relationships can support senior leadership insight into how we work to attract and retain younger staff.

Article: ‘Reverse Mentoring for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ReMEDI): building inclusive leadership and culture’. Read about how Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (DHCFT) has been operating in partnership with the University of Nottingham (UoN) and NHS Future Focused Finance’s Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Colleagues Network in order to establish the ‘reverse mentoring’ programme.

Top tips: NHS Horizon’s Top tips for Mentoring and Reverse Mentoring

Book: The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out is Good for Business – John Browne – Drawing on his personal experiences as CEO of BP and the experience of other gay and lesbian business leaders, investigating the research and the social contexts to make the case for inclusive workplaces.

Podcast: Menopause: the ultimate taboo – Chartered Institute of Personal & Development 2019

Report: Megatrends: Ageing gracefully – the opportunities of an older workforce, Oct 2019, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Report

Podcast: Mind the gap: women and leadership in the NHS, The King’s Fund 2018. Following the recent gender pay gap debate, and as part of our wider work on diversity, Helen McKenna talks about leadership and gender in the NHS with Jane Dacre, President of the Royal College of Physicians, Anne-Marie Archard, Director of the London Leadership Academy, Sam Jones, former Director of the New Care Models programme at NHS England, and Deborah Ward, Senior Analyst at The King’s Fund.

Report: Heath and Care Women Leaders Network – Men as Allies The report was compiled following conversations with a number of male senior leaders who shared their views on the barriers facing women getting to leadership roles in the NHS and how those can be overcome.

Resources – The resources below will support moving your organisation forward around diversity and inclusion in practical ways:

Article: Building an inclusive workplace – Harvard Business Review 2019

Best Practice, toolkits & resourcesThe Power of Inclusive Workplaces – Stonewall

Resources: The Workplace Equality Diversity and Inclusion project is a is collaboration between several universities and NHS England / Improvement, and bridges the gap between academic research on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace, and the reality of this in organisations. The website offers resources to empower managers to understand research and implement good practice, and evidence to show why this is important.

NHS Aspire Midlands & East Regional Talent Board Together 10 High Impact Actions for Boards to build inclusion into their talent management processes.

Programme: NHS Employers Diversity and Inclusion programme The programme nurtures and guides board members and other leaders to embed equality and diversity in their organisation. The partners alumni programme aims to enhance the ability of leaders within the alumni to think more strategically about diversity and inclusion issues, and to use their learning in practical applications within the workplace.

Survey findings: NHS provider board membership and diversity survey: findings Measuring and publishing how diverse our boards are is an important step in improving the diversity of NHS senior leadership teams. This report shows there are areas of relative board strength, such as gender diversity, and areas where significant improvement is required such as disability.

Report: A Model Employer – increasing black & minority ethnic representation at senior levels across the NHS, January 2019. In 2016, there were 16 NHS trusts in England with three or more black and minority ethnic (BME) board members, in 2018 this increased to 29 trusts. By 2019, this increased to eight NHS trust chief executives of BME origin, nearly double the numbers of four years ago. Data also show that BME non-executives in London NHS trusts have increased from 19 in 2015, to 50 in 2019.

Webinar: The role of senior leaders in supporting workforce disability This webinar is aimed at senior leaders and board members and highlights the role they can play in advancing workforce disability. Delivered by the Workforce Disability Equality Scheme Webinar.

Case studies: Sharing replicable good practice on workforce race equality and inclusion There is excellent practice going on all over the NHS to improve focus and performance around Workforce Race Equality Standard. These case studies highlight improvements various trusts have made around recruitment, representation at senior levels and closing the gap in experiences between BME and white staff on discrimination.