Stephanie Land, chair of the CSP LGBTQIA+ network, highlights why workplace diversity is so important
In nearly two years as chair of the CSP LGBTQIA+ network I’ve met many of our members, all in different stages in their physiotherapy career, from students to professors. We all have one thing in common – that being part of the LGBTQIA+ community can often feel at odds with our professional identity.
When surveying the experience of the LGBTQIA+ community in the UK, Stonewall charity found one in five experienced negative comments from work colleagues and discrimination in job-seeking. One in eight experienced unequal treatment and discrimination when engaging with healthcare services. This is why highlighting these issues, celebrating, and amplifying LGBTQIA+ voices is so very critical.
The CSP has prioritised equity, diversity and belonging within its new strategy. The recently updated Health and Care Professions Council standards have greatly expanded on equality and diversity requirements for all registrants. It is now not sufficient to ‘tick the boxes’ on attending equality and diversity training.
To be compliant with these new standards, members are to actively consider the needs of service-users and to be proactive in addressing any barriers identified. This also includes reflecting on our own biases (which we all have) and how that could impact on our practice. This would be in keeping with the emerging ‘enactive biopsychosocial model’, which favours a humanistic approach centring therapeutic alliance by considering a person’s whole environment and lived experience.
Simon Sinek, a leadership expert, says diversity in the workplace is vital to gain a broad view of different perspectives. He enthused that magic happens when there is a diverse group of people working towards a common set of values and goals.
In this complex, political era when healthcare is cracking under the pressure, we need all the help we can get. Let’s start with diversity, inclusion and belonging.
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