Equality means ensuring everyone in your setting has equal opportunities, regardless of their abilities, their background or their lifestyle. Diversity means appreciating the differences between people and treating people’s values, beliefs, cultures and lifestyles with respect.
Everyone should be encouraged to value diversity and respect the attributes that make people different. Individual care plans should be developed to reflect the likes, dislikes, personal history and beliefs of the individual. The idea of diversity covers acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and knowing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio- economic status, age physical abilities, religious beliefs etc.
It is the consideration of these differences in a safe positive and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple acceptance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity within each individual. Examples Genders – In the past men had more rights than women and were seen as more important. Women still earn less than men for similar work and find difficulty in breaking through the ‘glass ceiling’ to the most senior positions at work. People have different codes of behaviour according to their beliefs, values a behaviour and backgrounds. People may have different codes of behaviour for different aspects of their lives
Inclusion is ‘being included within either a group or society as a whole’. Inclusion links with diversity and equality. It is important to understand someone’s differences so that you can include them and treat them equally and fairly. People can feel excluded if they are not able to join in with activities. Excluding people because of their differences is known as ‘discrimination’. All workers in health and social care must make sure that they work in an inclusive way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to take part when they want to. This is especially true about people taking part in their own care and support so that it is truly centred on them as a person.