If you have been thinking ‘I want to do something about equality and diversity but I don’t know what’ – you are not alone! It can be easy to want to do something but harder to know exactly what you can do. Never fear, help is at hand! Here are some ideas of what you can do from knowing where to read up on topics to joining a working group to effect change.
Knowledge is Power
One of the simplest actions you can do is to become more aware of equality and diversity issues. Keep an eye out for articles in the press, make an effort to read any equality and diversity updates in work newsletters, and look at social media about issues that appear on your timeline. If you’re looking for something bite sized to start off with BBC Three have a range of short videos entitled ‘Things not to Say’ which could be a could place to start http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/tag/things-not-to-say .
The Equality and Diversity Group offers a resources page on our website with links to further reading at https://equalityanddiversitygroup.wordpress.com/resources/ . We’re always looking for resources to add so do get in touch if you have any suggestions. We also share information via our Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/CIfA_Equality) so it is worth following for news and resources.
It is also really important to listen to others, especially when they share their experiences with you. It could be a friend, relative or colleague. It could even be a speaker at a conference. By listening first it may help you avoid making assumptions about the equality and diversity issues out there.
Being more aware of the topic and the issues involved makes it easier to support friends and colleagues and advocate for greater equality and diversity in general. Your growing awareness will help you to recognise discrimination more easily. It is not always easy to spot – you may not be aware it is even happening.
At our CIfA workshop in 2016 we looked at the different levels actions need to occur at. It can be all too easy to wait for organisational or sector change rather than enacting change within your own network. There are individual actions we can all take such as being more considerate, supporting others when we see discrimination happening and helping to signpost relevant material so that others can learn more about the issues too. Our workshop participants helped put together a list of possible actions you can do now, within a year and the in the future. These can all be found in our workshop write-up at https://equalityanddiversitygroup.wordpress.com/cifa-2016-conference-phase-1-write-up/ .
Join the Equality and Diversity Group
Another way to get involved is to join the Equality and Diversity Group. Membership is open to all. It is free for CIfA members and £10 per year for non-CIfA members. Members received regular updates and can participate in our working groups. Members also get a discount on any fee-paying events we run such as our upcoming Mental Health First Aid Course (see www.archaeologists.net/groups/equality for more details).
CIfA members who would like to join just need to e-mail email@example.com and ask to be added to the list. Non-CIfA members who want to join can do so through the Groups page (we’re under Groups A-J) http://www.archaeologists.net/groups .
Join a working group
There is a lot of work that needs doing on equality and diversity issues. We need more than just the committee to move things forward. Therefore we have started to set up working groups to help us take forward specific pieces of work. In 2017 we have decided to concentrate on the theme of disability and so our working group is a Disability working group. At the moment the group is focusing on:-
- Enhancing the resources available on the Equality and Diversity Group website relating to Disability
- Assisting with revising the CIfA guidance on disability in the workplace.
Depending on capacity we may also undertake other tasks as they year progresses.
Membership of the working group is open to anyone who has joined the Equality and Diversity Group – you don’t need to be a CIfA member to do this (see above). If you are interested in joining or would like to know more contact our secretary Sarah.MacLean@HistoricEngland.org.uk .
Join the Equality and Diversity Group committee
We currently have openings on the committee, especially for the position of Treasurer. If you would like to be more involved and help steer the group – this is your opportunity! You have to be a CIfA member in order to apply. If you are interested you need to complete and return a nomination form by 17th February so that it can go to vote at our AGM on 7th March. For more details, and to get a copy of the nomination form, visit http://www.archaeologists.net/equality-diversity-group .
These are just a few ideas of how you can become more involved in equality and diversity. If you have any other ideas please add them to the comments below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .