Our friends in the policing community recognize, value and celebrate the diversity in the world around us. Each force stands together to advocate for a workplace that reflects the communities they serve and protect. In this blog, we share how four policing organizations are making a difference in the diversity and inclusion space.
A diverse workforce is what strengthens any organization. And, Essex Police are championing workplace diversity with their ‘We Value Difference’ recruitment campaign.
Inclusive recruitment is necessary in achieving workplace diversity. How we write our job descriptions, facilitate job applications, adjust the interview process, and indeed, advertise career opportunities, are all elements which affect the diversity of our applicants and successful candidates.
Throughout their ‘We Value Difference’ campaign, Essex Police demonstrate the diversity of their workforce, in an effort to ‘dispel the myths that you have to be a certain ‘type’ of person to be a police officer’. With their slogan, ‘One team. One family. One county. One force’, they highlight that their workforce is simply made up of different people, with the same values. With a focus on shared values, the campaign invites candidates from all walks of life - and really highlights their commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality.
“Our officers don’t let their differences hold them back. They embrace them and use them as strengths – whether it’s their age and experience, their language, their gender, or their cultural background, everyone has something unique to bring to the workforce.” - Essex Police
Take a look at their recent advertisement;
Being a truly inclusive organization is about actively examining your current situation - and being proactive in addressing your identified challenges. The Metropolitan Police have been demonstrating their commitment to inclusion, recently sharing with us how they uncovered, addressed, and improved personal challenges of their own.
Their extensive work began as they aimed to understand how well they were doing, particularly in relation to disability inclusion. A review by the Business Disability Forum found some areas that required improvement. In the time that followed, they talked to their people to understand the cause of the identified challenges. They actively listened, until they had a complete understanding of the challenges, and why they existed.
Finally, they were able to start addressing the challenges with some thoughtful adjustments. Taking into consideration the points raised by their workforce, they began to redesign their policies, processes and procedures.
Today, they’re proactively supporting their workforce with a workplace adjustments process redesigned to meet the needs and desires of their staff. Key elements include workplace adjustment and carers passports; a centralized hub for easier coordination with stakeholders; a tiered system, providing employees with autonomy to self-approve adjustments; and, appointment of a Senior Champion to keep disability confidence high on the agenda.
In addition to taking positive action with your diversity and inclusion initiatives, it’s also important to create a culture of belonging - an environment where employees feel comfortable and confident to be who they are. This can be helped by openly talking about diversity, and celebrating the strengths it brings. Not only do Merseyside Police have a range of staff support networks and associations, they also dedicate time for their organization to share, learn, promote and celebrate inclusivity.
Over National Inclusion Week this year, they kicked off an educational series where the departments across their force came together to inspire one other. They held webinars and talks from key speakers to educate each other on a diverse range of topics. Discussions ranged from unconscious bias, to neurodiversity, and the menopause.
Alongside this, they continued their conversations over social media, sharing the differences that make their employees unique - and sharing why diversity, equality and inclusion is high on their agenda.
“We realize that the organization will only be truly inclusive when each and every Merseyside Police officer and staff member recognizes, appreciates and champions difference so that people across our force, individually and as one team, can do their best work.” - Merseyside Police
Extending their initiatives to the wider community, Hertfordshire Constabulary actively advocate for equality and inclusion for everyone. Last year, they displayed a big presence, and were involved in many initiatives across different groups.
They hosted and took part in a mix of educational and celebratory events, to understand the challenges different groups faced, and identify how better to support inclusion in their community. Working alongside other organizations, they also aimed to support the health, safety and wellbeing of vulnerable groups. Some of these included;
You can hear more about their initiatives in ‘Policing Hertfordshire for everyone Issue 9’
We hope you've been inspired reading about the different approaches to D&I. At Texthelp, we've been supporting the policing community with inclusive technology, designed to empower a diverse workforce. Learn more in our case study with South Yorkshire Police.
P.S We'd love to hear what you're doing to make a difference in diversity, equality and inclusion. Let us know in the comments below!