Launched in 2014, our staff networks are pivotal to our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda. They support staff, increase awareness and engagement and help to ensure we are as inclusive as possible. We recognise the value of our staff networks and promote them widely to encourage attendance. Any member of staff can join our staff networks and in order to create an environment of support for all we ask managers to enable time for attendance.
Diversity and Inclusion are written into our organisational strategy, our core values and are being embedded into our decision-making.
Our Board is highly visible in their support for inclusion and in championing change for staff and patients, and supports a continued emphasis and promotion of our commitment to improve and evolve our organisational culture. We recognise that everyone is different. We also appreciate that ‘inclusion’ means staff feel they belong, are respected, listened to and valued. We are proud of the contribution our staff networks make.
Each network group has a recognised Chair and Co-chair they are supported by the @NuthEqualities team. We recognise that whilst being a Chair is a voluntary role, there are specific responsibilities that take time to complete. Listed below are some of the role responsibilities along with our commitment as a Trust to support this essential function:
Allocation of Time and Support
Work in undertaken on a voluntary basis. In recognition of the additional demands both internally and through requests to contribute to the system, regional and national discussions the Exec. Team has agreed to provide some ‘time’ to facilitate the work of the three staff networks (BAME, Disability and LGBT+).
- Up to three days’ time per month for the Chair and Deputy Chair of each network.
- How the three days will be utilised and shared between the Chair and Deputy Chair will be left to their discretion to focus on their staff network, event planning, progressing and supporting activity etc.
- This time excludes that allocated for participating in the ‘routine’ staff network meetings
- Support for the networks will be provided by EDI colleagues in HR.
Role of Chairs & Co – Chairs
- Work with the HR Equality team to support and encourage membership of your Network
- Agree and circulate an agenda in advance of the meeting and ask for any items for consideration.
- Attend and chair regular meetings with your staff network
- Where you are unable to attend a meeting share your contributions with your Co Chair so they can act on your behalf.
- Liaise regularly with the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Managers team to agree support required to record actions and ensure actions are shared with members who are unable to attend
- Attend and work in partnership to development and deliver an annual awareness and education plan with support from Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Managers
- Attend regularNetwork Chairs meetings to facilitate collaborative working and share good practice
- Help create a safe, positive, and rewarding experience for members.
- Respect & understand confidentially as it applies within the Trust.
- Promote inclusion for all, recognising intersectionality and allies as well as those who share a particular characteristic.
- Treat all members, chairs, and staff with dignity & respect.
- Promote a positive contribution to organisational culture and support members to address concerns using Trust processes.
- Create a culture where members listen to each other’s points of view, recognising that there may be disagreement, and challenge any inflammatory or offensive language or behaviour in line with Trust policy.
- Help, support, signpost any member of the Network to appropriate support when requested. If you are unsure what support is available ask for support from the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Managers
- Proactively develop initiatives, events, and activities that reflect the Network priorities, ensuring you include the Network members in projects and activities.
- Advocate for and “be the voice” of the Network and its members when needed, specifically attending senior engagement meetings as requested on behalf of the network.
- Work with all other staff network co-chairs to provide mutual support to maximise the impact of the networks for those who may share multiple characteristics.
- Communicate with the Network in an accessible way that avoids jargon.