It’s very easy to tell people how very important tackling inequalities is to your organisation. You could say “it’s at the heart of everything we do” or perhaps “we are committed to being allies”. Having worked in diversity for 20 odd years, I’ve developed a good rhetoric radar and like to use the “so what?” test. So, if tackling inequalities is very important, what are you going to do about it?
Telling people the importance of tackling inequalities is easy; showing them you mean it and are going to do something about it is much harder. Showing involves some uncomfortable truths; that there are persistent, entrenched inequalities that have become worse since the pandemic; that there are layers of disadvantage and ignored and underserved communities.
Showing that tackling inequality is important is not about rhetoric – it is about putting your money where your mouth is.
Which is exactly what Sport England has done in the Uniting the Movement implementation plan (2022-25).
I’m a specialist diversity consultant and have recently worked with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Health Education England and the Department for Transport on enhancing alignment with the statutory equality duties. Sport England appointed me to appraise the implementation plan in the context of their strategy, from an equalities perspective.