HSE Launches first National Diversity Equality & Inclusion Hub & Strategy
In January this year, the HSE launched a new Learning Hub to provide managers and staff with resources and information on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) topics. Available now on HSeLanD, the Hub will assist managers and staff with day-to-day topics that come up in the workplace relating to diversity, equality and inclusion, including the nine grounds outlined in the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2015 (age, civil status, disability, race, family status, gender, membership of the Traveller community, religion and sexual orientation) and how these protections impact on the workplace. Providing advice and guidance on diversity, equality and inclusion enquiries is a key function of the HSE’s national DEI team.
In 2022, many enquiries were received by the team in relation to a broad range of topics, in particular enquiries relating to support at work for staff with disabilities (also known as Reasonable Accommodations), such as assistive technology, software, workplace ergonomics, communication and literacy support. Other enquiries related to engaging with HSE staff networks, information on organisational policies and guidelines, guidance on inclusive terminology and language and recruitment and selection related enquiries.
“The number and range of enquiries continue to grow each year, highlighting the need for a Learning Hub. Having these resources to hand, all in the same place, will have a really positive impact in supporting staff efforts to create an inclusive and positive workplace culture in the HSE”, said Michele Guerin, HSE Equality Officer. “The DEI team is available to offer support and information to staff and managers on DEI topics and contact with our team is always welcome.”
Commenting on the new Hub, Ray Leonard, Counsellor/Therapist HSE National Counselling Service and CoChair of Reach Out Network, the HSE’s staff network for LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual) staff and their Allies said, “I feel excited by what I see in the DEI Hub. It holds so much potential for supporting a vital element of our working lives, namely a positive Health Service where we are encouraged to contribute to the delivery of the service from within the richness of humanity as it uniquely manifests through each one of us. It’s inspiring.”
“I think the Hub will prove a game changer in terms of shining a light into unexplored areas of bias and marginalisation and promoting cultural change throughout the HSE. The Hub will give a voice to highly able staff who feel they have no voice. I would highly recommend it to staff and managers in the HSE” said Dr. Patricia Walsh, Consultant Psychiatrist and Multi-Disciplinary Team Lead.
The Hub supports the HSE’s first National Diversity, Equality and Inclusion - Staff Site (hse.ie), which was launched in January this year. Developed to help implement the HSE’s People Strategy 2019-2024, this strategy sets out the main priorities and actions to enhance diversity, equality and inclusion in the HSE. The six strategic priorities outlined in the DEI Strategy collectively support the development of an organisational culture where employees are valued and supported, and work in an environment free from discrimination.
Before the Hub was launched, an internal accessibility audit was carried out on the functionality of the platform by members of the HSE’s Digital team. “The Hub contains information and resources which are relevant for all staff in the HSE, regardless of grade, position or geography” said Maria Barry, Diversity Equality and Inclusion Manager. Maria added, “Topics relating to diversity, equality and inclusion are constantly evolving so we encourage all staff to regularly dip in and out of the Hub. The Hub will be updated on an ongoing basis as new information becomes available”.
The DEI Hub can be found here. Go to Hubs & Resources > Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Hub. If you have any feedback on the Hub or would like to share any resources for inclusion on the Hub, please contact email@example.com