Anne Tynan has had a distinguished career in the field of equality and diversity. A UK government adviser for issues of building accessibility, she was instrumental in opening up regulated healthcare professions (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine) to disabled people. Anne has written and published extensively about equality and diversity issues, most recently contributing to the Advertising Week Social Club. She works independently and is always interested in considering new projects.
Last month saw the publication of "Humane, Resourced: A Book of Blogs". This crowd sourced book of blogs (edited by David Souza and with a foreword by Peter Cheese, CEO of CIPD: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) draws on the experience and expertise of over 50 international HR and business professionals. Anne's contribution focused on "Disabled HR Professionals = An Enabled Human Resources Profession". The Big I.D.E.A. asked Anne to scrutinise the other chapters for equality and diversity issues. This is her assessment.
As a contributor, it might seem inappropriate for me to review this book but it was inevitable that I would trawl through it looking for equality and diversity issues. I have therefore selected those chapters that appear to have some relevance. There is no analysis as such; the aim is simply to provide pointers for readers. Chapters are listed in the order they appear in the book, not in hierarchy of preference.
Top Chapters for Equality and Diversity:
1. What is hope? - by Sukh Pabial @sukhpabial
Sukh focuses primarily on hope and his YouTube link to Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech inevitably brings to mind the issue of racial equality. It is just over 50 years since that speech and therefore a neat and timely reference.
2. Human Resources challenges on the U.S.S Enterprise by Lembit: @Lembitopik
Lembit cites diversity training as the first fairly substantial human resources challenge, advising us that â€œtolerance and understanding are the order for the day. Even if he does not go into this any further, it is always good to see diversity put in first place.
3. No need to act like a man. Women in leadership by Vera Woodhead @verawoodhead
This solid chapter lives up to its title. Vera provides good references to back up her discussion but at the same time does not overload the reader with them.
4. A Sense Of Proportion - by Simon Heath @SimonHeath1
The incomparable Simon Heath also designed the fabulous book cover and compiled the Glossary of workplace terms at the end of the book (the glossary does not include any equality or diversity terms but is a real pleasure to dip into).
Simon makes his argument with the bare minimum of recourse to data, statistics and the numbers. That stuff is incredibly useful but is open to interpretation to suit the argument you wish to make. Fair enough.
"Religion. Poverty. Food. Migration." Just some of the headings he uses. If you are a regular reader of Simon's blogs, you will know that he is not one for froth. He digs deep down into subjects and connects issues in the most sophisticated way. Superficial he is not. This is a momentous chapter so approach it with respect: you will not grasp the depths if you read it with your favourite TV programme on in the background.
5. The Simple Key to High Performance Organisations by Inji Duducu @injiduducu
Inju focuses on psychological well-being and stress. Promoting mental health (really promoting it, not just providing a helpline) should be the next big thing in creating high performance organisations. She reminds us that stress can cause long-term medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Preventing disability is as important as dealing with it when it occurs and Inju's blog is an ever-necessary reminder.
6. Part Time or Part Paid? by Louisa de Lange @paperclipgirl
This is another "read it in its entirety" chapter backed up with good references. The terms "women, family friendly, flexible working and maternity" all feature but Louisa advocates more broadly for a fair deal for part time workers.
7. Finding 'friends' you don't like! by Ian Pettigrew @KingfisherCoach
Ian's plea for each one to find diversity in their support network highlights the benefits of diversity for everyone. He has a light but pleasant touch; nevertheless, he advises us against quickly sifting through the egotistical, the arrogant, the awkward, those persistently selling what they're offering, the challenging ones, the ones whose views are diametrically opposed to ours, and the downright rude. That's that sorted then!
8. An insight into UK Culture by Ruchika Abrol @ruchikaabrol
The chapter is an attempt to understand our versatile and dynamic Culture using Hofstede's Dimensions. Terms used include: PDI: Power Distance Index: the degree of tolerance among individuals in an environment where there is an unequal division of power and UAI: Uncertainty Avoidance Index: the degree of tolerance shown by people towards uncertainty and ambiguity in a society, essentially towards the precariousness of future. Perhaps not everyone is comfortable dealing with this type of terminology but it is always useful to see difference described from many different angles.
9. Musings from a cyclist by Simon Stephen @simonstephen109
Simon sprinkles his blog with the terms diversity, equal opportunities, and discrimination. He wants us to forget about the legal "infrastructure" for a minute (he is an employment lawyer) and just think about the consequences before we do something. His blog is (I think) a plea for common sense in employment, equality and diversity issues.
10. Moving the debate forward by Jon Bartlett @projectlibero
Jon Bartlett has been a pioneer in promoting awareness of mental health issues amongst HR professionals. He has helped to break down barriers to understanding, creating a legacy for generations to come. Readers will see why when they read his contribution.
Last but not least:
The Prologue & Notes about the book David Souza @dds180
David was the instigator and driving force behind "Humane, Resourced: A Book of Blogs", which he edited. It was his sparky approach that enabled him to entice what he describes as diverse host of authors, who are all passionate about business and the future of people within business. Read his prologue and notes to get a flavour of his fluid way of working and then mull over whether you could contribute to the next edition already bubbling its way through David's brain. I think it is fair to say that this has been an enjoyable exercise for all concerned: if David approaches you to contribute next time don't hesitate to say yes.
Get access to the full book by clicking here.