Join me in a commitment to breaking down barriers that hold members of our profession back, says Sarine Baz, the new chair of the Equity, Diversity and Belonging (EDB) committee
As a physiotherapist, from time to time I like to reflect on what the physiotherapy profession means to me.
I feel it is a community that binds together to support its patients and peers and helps them flourish; a place where everyone is welcome from all walks of life; and most importantly, a profession that strives to be representative of the patients and population we serve.
My journey within the profession has been both rewarding and challenging at the same time, especially as an individual from a marginalised background.
My personal experiences studying, qualifying and progressing into management always seemed to differ from my peers and I would wonder why this was the case – and what could be done differently. I wanted my hard-work, caring nature and passion to make a real difference to define me and my success as a physiotherapist, not my protected characteristics.
However, the systemic structures and workplace cultures and beliefs in place, seemed, at times, to be working against me rather than supporting me.
I’m not, unfortunately, the first individual that has faced these type of struggles, but I hope my commitment as the chair of the newly established Equity, Diversity and Belonging committee can facilitate meaningful change and foster a physiotherapy community that allows everyone to thrive.
In my previous role, as a team lead physio within neurosciences, I implemented initiatives such as monthly in-service trainings on various topics relating to equity, diversity and belonging, created a resource folder from an array of materials and also added equity, diversity and belonging into supervision sessions. The feature on the rep of the year awards in this issue showcases other members who are also seeking change in their workplaces, too.
I hope I can be a role model to others in the profession, along with the other diverse members of the committee. I would like to break down the barriers that are currently in place, and continue to be faced by many members of the profession, and I hope all of you, as members of the CSP, will join with me in making a commitment to bring about meaningful change.
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