Empower Diversity and Inclusion policy

Empower Diversity and Equality policy

Diversity and Inclusion policy

We value people as individuals with diverse opinions, cultures, lifestyles and circumstances. 

Whether that be your gender, your sexual orientation, neurodiversity, choice of pronouns, race or belief, we’re committed to promote a strong culture of openness and equality in which our people are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. 

And this applies to all parts of your employment, from recruitment to career development and promotions.  

If you feel something’s not right, then please make sure you let us know, because above all else our goal is for a truly inclusive place to work.

We want all our staff to be able to work in a culture in which they feel valued for their contribution, where they can utilise their talents so they can reach their full potential.  

We’ve embraced the principle of creating ‘Manuals of Me’ which is a tool we use to help each of us articulate our unique differences so we understand and celebrate each other.

This also makes sure that everyone is treated fairly by developing and maintaining positive working relationships with each other.

Empower is fully committed to the elimination of unlawful and unfair discrimination and values the differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation.

All employees are responsible for the promotion and advancement of this policy. Behaviour, actions or words that transgress the policy will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in line with the organisation’s disciplinary policy.

The policy is applicable to all employees, secondees, agency staff, clients, communities, suppliers and contractors, whether permanent or temporary. The policy applies to all processes relating to employment and training and to any dealings with customers and clients. Decisions relating to customers and communities will be based on business-related criteria only and any irrelevant information will not form part of the process.

The policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to reflect changes in the law, demographics and internal business requirements. 

Procedure wording: The publication of a diversity policy enables the organisation to send out a strong message of commitment, both internally and externally. Although the diversity policy is a fundamental part of the organisation’s diversity strategy, it will be brought to life only if it is reinforced by a focused and structured strategic diversity plan. In order to do this the organisation is committed to the following processes.


The organisation commits to:

  • Empower leaders and boards to drive representation and inclusivity by being a core part of the leadership team’s strategic priorities with clear KPIs, actions and objectives, transparently communicated. 
  • Senior leaders must step up, speak secure top-level ownership and sponsorship for the programme; 
  • develop and cascade a diversity vision statement.
  • create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued. 


The organisation will:

  • undertake a full audit in relation to policies and procedures, practice of policy and perception of policy and process;
  • obtain workforce metrics and compare them with sector and best practice organisations; and
  • produce a report for board members to act as a catalyst for future activity across the business.
  • The audit will include a review of all the processes to establish the organisation’s position with regard to compliance and best practice. This will be done by administering a questionnaire to all staff, undertaking one-to-one interviews with key leaders and stakeholders, and facilitating focus groups to establish employees’ perception in relation to key areas of the questionnaire.

Policy Development

The organisation will:

  • benchmark existing policy statements from other organisations and advisory groups;
  • develop human resources and other policies (outlining vision, scope, responsibility, accountability and measurements); and

Training and Education

The organisation will:

  • Enable employees to understand their own privileges (especially white privilege) and biases to help them become accountable allies and activists.
  • conduct a full training needs analysis relating to the understanding and management of diversity;
  • evaluate suppliers’ training and secure budget for training design and delivery;
  • integrate diversity into mainstream training and development programmes;
  • establish education programmes for all staff (including programmes that move from awareness to behavioural change); and
  • integrate diversity competencies into development programmes and assessment and selection processes.
  • Create safe and inclusive spaces to have open and frank conversations about racism.

Communication and Consultation

The organisation will:

  • Call out racism whenever it is encountered. Everyone is responsible for this, from the Directors to all staff across your organisation. Building trust creates solidarity in the workforce and provides a psychologically safe space to work. This can allow for issues such as micro-aggressions (subtle acts of discrimination) to be addressed.
  • establish key lines of communication across the business through consultation with key stakeholders;
  • undertake an audit of existing communications channels so that compliance and inclusiveness are assured;
  • ensure that communication imagery and graphics are inclusive, and reflect and reinforce the words within the documentation;
  • distribute a top-level communications plan to senior management for team briefings, and develop “reporting back” communication lines to ensure feedback;
  • ensure that mainstream business communications reinforce the inclusive messages and become mainstreamed into day-to-day processes; and
  • communicate and celebrate the organisation’s successes in diversity.


The organisation will:

  • establish formal reporting lines for monitoring progress against targets and objectives;
  • select and establish a diversity steering council with representatives from across all parts of the organisation;
  • report progress to the diversity council on a quarterly basis; and
  • secure financial sign-off from the chief executive to enable related activities to be undertaken (for example reasonable adjustments to comply with the Equality Act 2010, and communication and training programmes).


The organisation will:

  • capture all available workforce metrics from existing databases to benchmark against sector companies, demographics and best practice standards;
  • establish formal measurement tools to assess the climate in the organisation (for example regular staff surveys, 360° feedback mechanisms and diversity perception audits);
  • assess progress in achieving its diversity targets;
  • develop relationships with external benchmarking bodies to assess progress (with, for example, Business in the Community, the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, Stonewall, Business Disability Forum and the Equality and Human Rights Commission); and
  • evaluate network fairness (both in and out of sector) to assess value for benchmarking purposes.

External Profile

The organisation will:

  • join appropriate organisations in order to network, exchange best practice and generally raise the organisation’s profile;
  • build relationships with trade, and the local and national press to develop a good external image and to position the organisation at the leading edge;
  • develop relationships externally in order to mainstream the diversity context into business.


The organisation will:

  • seek to give all employees the opportunity for planned training and development. Career progression decisions will be made on the basis of merit and capability.
  • to ensure that all employees have equal access to relevant opportunities.
  • Ensure development plans are designed to meet specific individual needs, increase performance in the current role and help to develop knowledge, skills and experience for potential future roles
  • Be open and transparent about career progression at Empower


The organisation will:

  • recruit the best person for the job. Candidates will be sourced, and the interviewing processes will be conducted fairly, objectively and without bias.
  • avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying to our job advertisements.
  • Commit to managing a diverse pipeline of candidates to produce balanced shortlists for hiring managers.
  • targeting more specific diverse networks when advertising roles
  • Carry out recruitment monitoring – to ensure the policy is working effectively with respect to recruitment and selection Empower may monitor job applicants’ racial group, gender, disability, and age as part of the recruitment procedure. Provision of this information is voluntary and will not adversely affect an individual’s chances of recruitment or any other decision related to their employment. We will maintain records of this data (in an anonymised format) as part of the HR system solely for the purposes stated in this policy. Hiring managers & decision makers will not be privy to this information. 
  • Not be asked questions about health and disability before a job offer is made –There are limited exceptions, for example where questions are necessary to establish if an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job (subject to reasonable adjustments) or to establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or needs adjustments to be made during the interview process. If in doubt seek advice before relying on an exception.
  • Where we are advised, we will make reasonable adjustments (if needed) during the interview process or to ensure the office can be accessed.


Pronouns are connected to gender expression and are used in language all the time when we refer to ourselves or other people. Examples of pronouns you might use to refer to others are:

  • He/him/his (for someone who might identify as male)
  • She/her/hers (for someone who might identify as female)
  • They/them/their (for someone who might not identify as male or female, these pronouns are ‘gender neutral’; they are also used when referring to multiple people).

An inclusive community is made up of lots of small acts of respect between individuals on a day-to-day basis. Telling someone what gender pronouns you prefer or having pronouns in your email signature is just one of those acts.

Disability Confident Committed