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Diversity and Inclusion at Epilepsy Scotland

In 2021, a small group of Epilepsy Scotland staff formed a Diversity and Inclusion working group to look at diversity, equality, and inclusion within the organisation. This blog introduces the work of the group.

Diversity, equality, and inclusion are very important at Epilepsy Scotland. At the heart of our work, underpinning everything we do, are our organisation’s values.

  • Honesty
  • Compassion
  • Kindness
  • Equality
  • Trust
  • Empowerment
  • Fairness
  • Transparency
  • Integrity

In 2021, we took an opportunity to look inward, at our own work. We wanted to understand how diverse and inclusive we were as an organisation and in the work that we do.

We wanted to explore how we could strengthen and enable a more diverse and inclusive organisation.

A small working group of Epilepsy Scotland staff was formed to kickstart this work.


Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

The group started by reflecting on what diversity, equality, and inclusion means to Epilepsy Scotland.

They established the following definitions:

  • Diversity: The range of people, for example, might mean people of different ages, sexes, gender identities, religions, ethnicities, and people with disabilities. It also means valuing those differences.
  • Equality: In the workplace means equal job opportunities and fairness for all employees and applicants.
  • Inclusion: An inclusive workplace means everyone feels valued at work.


The Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

The group outlined its vision to make Epilepsy Scotland a more diverse and inclusive organisation.

In doing so, they decided to break down themes of diversity and inclusion, taking time to focus on different protected characteristics in turn.

The decision was made to initially focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion in relation to LGBT+ themes in the workplace.


Our Progress

An anonymous staff survey gathered informative and varied responses suggesting the organisation could be more responsive and make improvements in its approach to diversity and inclusion.

The responses reinforced the idea that the focus on the LGBT+ issues should be the beginning of an ongoing body of work that will explore the importance of diversity and how best to support other protected characteristics such as age, race, religion, belief, and disability.

The group took the views of Epilepsy Scotland employees and used their collective time and skills to research and publish a report outlining recommendations for implementing positive change. The report can be found here.

One of the core recommendations was to enable and encourage all staff and senior managers to attend LGBT+ Awareness Training.

This training was provided by the Equality Network and Scottish Trans Alliance in February 2022.

The group will continue to take the learnings from the training to ensure the other recommendations made in the report are being acted upon.


Our next steps

It is important this work is ongoing. Our Diversity and Inclusion Working Group is continuing to meet.

We will strive to monitor progress and expand our work to look at other aspects of diversity and inclusion, focussing on other protected characteristics each year.