On 27 June the first module for the partners programme 2019-20 cohort was held in Horizon, Leeds. The theme for the day was equality standards with a focus on gender and workforce disability.
Paul Deemer, head of diversity and inclusion, NHS Employers welcomed delegates and set the scene using the example of quantum physics to explain the uncertainty and fluidity of the environment we all operate in now and how this is likely to continue in the future.
Session 1 - The partners journey and making an impact
Our first two speakers were partners for this year, Mukesh Barot (East Herts NHS Trust) and Ruth Dolby (Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust). Both trusts had been assessed as making the most progress over a period of 12 months as part the partners programme in 2018-19. They shared with the audience how they had used the partners experience to raise awareness, understanding and facilitating their session through conversation and sharing actions made with other initiatives within their organisations.
Session 2 - The gender pay gap - what we know about the NHS and what could make a difference
Professor Dame Jane Dacre shared her findings of the latest ongoing medical gender pay gap review. Explanations for the gaps included age, seniority, the impact of part time working, gender segregation, clinical excellence awards, ethnicity and geography. In addition, some draft recommendations to support NHS trusts to tackle the gender pay gap were highlighted, including the need for senior jobs to be more accessible and attractive, increasing transparency, a focus on behavioural and culture change, reviewing clinical excellence awards submissions and further research.
Session 3 - Gender pay gap and culture
Andrew Cocks from Questback provided feedback on the experience of NHS trusts that took part in a pilot survey which helped them address the cultural factors that may hinder progress on gender pay gap parity. Key areas highlighted included the need to build a fuller picture of talent management, career development and reward across all employee groups, using demographic data and identifying key cultural hotspots and areas to develop appropriate interventions and share best practice. The Gender Pay Gap report summaries results from the survey.
Session 4 - Unconscious bias and disability
The final session of the day explored - with the help of our colleagues from Enact, what unconscious bias training (delivered correctly) could do to tackle and address disability inequality.
Some of the key reflections of the day included:
- the importance of viewing any workplace initiatives in many dimensions and that disability, gender and ethnicity - along with everything else comes into the equation
- the power and importance of data and the critical role that it can play in bringing about change.
- the importance of making sure that those in the room go back to their organisations and ensure that they have the relevant conversations to help fully integrate and facilitate a coordinated approach to diversity across their organisation. This means taking the time to have regular conversations with OD, medical colleagues as well as members of trust boards.
Date of next module
Module two will take place on 12 September 2019 at The Studio in Birmingham.