From STEP's Chair
Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) matter. By having a broad range of perspectives contributing to decisions, better outcomes are achieved. I speak for all of the Board in saying how much we value diversity in our leadership groups.
At Board and Council we agreed that we would focus on EDI within our governance and volunteering structures before we potentially expand horizons. We welcome members from a range of backgrounds and identities, who can bring different perspectives to our decision making.
We are in the early stages of this important journey and there is a lot of ground to cover. We recognise that we are learning as we go, taking best practice to adapt and adjust along the way. Progress will require energy and consistency – traits that I know we possess in abundance in our STEP community.
Nancy Golding KC TEP, worldwide STEP Chair, January 2022
STEP’s guiding principles
We exist in a global, multicultural world and our membership reflects that.
STEP has a committee of Council members and staff who are dedicated to driving forward EDI improvements within the organisation.
We want all our people – members, volunteers and staff – to grow and thrive through their relationship with STEP. To make that happen we will treat people fairly and equitably. We will ensure equality of opportunity for all our people.
Above all, we will create an environment where all our people, regardless of background or personal circumstance, feel valued and included. Our guiding principles set out a framework for everyone acting for and on behalf of STEP, especially those in leadership roles (Board, Council, committee chairs and the Executive team).
We provide visible and proactive leadership to improve EDI in STEP
- We will be dedicated advocates for EDI in STEP.
- We will promote STEP’s commitment to EDI, both within STEP and externally.
- We will champion colleagues from under-represented groups and, where appropriate, act as an ally or sponsor.
We take EDI seriously at the highest level
- We will ensure that EDI is embedded in the leadership and governance of STEP.
- We will champion EDI on STEP’s Council and through the work of STEP’s committees.
- We will challenge potential bias or discrimination if it is encountered in the leadership or governance of STEP.
- We will encourage senior STEP people to provide visible and proactive leadership on EDI issues.
- We will make sure that EDI is a key factor when making management and governance decisions, by putting the impact on STEP people at the heart of decision making.
- We will measure the success of management and governance in STEP by its contribution to ensuring that STEP is an inclusive membership association.
Embedding and valuing EDI throughout the organisational culture
- We will create and maintain a culture of inclusivity and encourage STEP people, at all levels, to support EDI.
- We will ensure that the development of STEP people includes a focus on EDI and on the importance of STEP being an inclusive membership association.
- We will encourage STEP people to seek out and to value diversity in their teams and committees and to champion under-represented groups.
- We will ensure that EDI is an important consideration when communicating within and beyond STEP.
Building trust throughout the organisation
- We will make it clear that STEP operates a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination and harassment, for STEP people and those who we interact with.
- We will encourage STEP people to be themselves when at STEP, safe in the knowledge that they can speak freely and openly about who they are.
Educating ourselves about EDI issues
- We will learn from those around us, by listening and questioning as appropriate, and employing external developments in thinking and practice.
- We will support STEP people when they identify individual or collective learning opportunities in relation to EDI.
- We will ensure that the induction of STEP people who are new to role includes STEP’s commitment to EDI and how they can help us deliver our objectives.
Insisting on equity
- We will ensure that STEP people are recruited through fair, diversity-enhancing means and that all have the same access to progression and professional enrichment.
- We will recognise that STEP people have different needs and that we must be adaptable and willing to work with our people to ensure we succeed together.