CSP launches equity, diversity and belonging strategy

The CSP has launched its finalised strategy in a bid to achieve positive and lasting change for members and staff.

Equity, diversity and belonging strategy

Work to develop the CSP’s equity, diversity and belonging strategy began in 2020 in response to important issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities.

The new strategy has been a collaboration between the CSP diversity networks, members and staff with lived (first-hand) experience of the discrimination and disadvantage faced by members, patients and staff.

It is known that middle-class patients find it easier to access physiotherapy, lack of adaptions can drive people with disabilities out of the profession, and LGBTQIA+ physios can face harassment at work.

The chances of successfully graduating as a physiotherapist are greater for white students and you are more likely to be a senior manager at the CSP if you are white. Physiotherapy should not be like this.

CSP chief executive Karen Middleton said: ‘Systematic discrimination throughout society means we need to act and to influence others to act too. I am incredibly proud to be publishing our equity, diversity and belonging strategy, which sets a framework for this action.

We now want all CSP members and staff to commit to the strategy’s aims and join us in our absolute commitment to supporting equity, diversity and belonging while opposing all forms of discrimination

The strategy has a number of ambitious aims and outcomes covering the CSP’s role as a trade union, a professional body and an employer. The strategy will develop and adjust according to progress made and changing circumstances.

Prof Middleton added: ‘I encourage you all to look at the aims and decide which ones mean the most or resonate strongly with you. Where do you think you could have an impact? What small or big changes could you do to help us achieve our vision for the profession?'

Striving for equity not equality

Equity, Diversity and Belonging

Sudhir Daya, convenor of the LGBTQIA+ network, said: ‘This is an important step for our profession that is historically predominantly white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied and middle class.

'This strategy has seen so many colleagues tirelessly and freely give their time, effort and lived experience to bring equity, diversity and belonging into our intra-professional conversations. This creates the space for us to be kind and supportive to our colleagues, of greater service to our patients, and to make the world a more compassionate and equitable place to live in.’

The strategy strives for equity not equality - simply providing the same opportunities to everyone does not make things fair. It aims to achieve equity by recognising that what we need to do to make things fair depends on people’s different needs.

Doreen Caesar, a convenor of the BAME network, said: ‘It’s great to see collaboration and exemplary leadership yielding fruit as our equity, diversity and belonging strategy.’

Greet Janssens, co-convenor of the DisAbility network, added:

In an era of striving for full inclusivity, we can learn to understand and embrace each other’s differences as much as our similarities

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