Equality Diversity and Inclusion

Futures is committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality, diversity and British Values in everything we do. We aim to establish an inclusive culture, free from discrimination and based on the values of fairness, dignity and respect as defined in the Equality Act 2010 and associated regulations, and Public Sector Equality Duty 2011. 

We seek to create the conditions whereby customers and staff are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, age, socio-economic background, disability, religious or political beliefs, trade union membership, family circumstance, sexual orientation or other irrelevant distinction. 

Our Strategy 

Futures Equality and Diversity Strategy and Policy shows our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Futures Impact Plan sets out what steps we will take to ensure equality is achieved. These documents can be found in our policies.

Equality: Equality emphasises equal outcomes, including equal opportunities. Equality does not mean that everyone has to be treated in exactly the same way all the time. 

Diversity: Diversity refers to respecting, valuing and celebrating the differences between people. These differences are the things that make us unique, such as our abilities and personality traits, as well as the things that shape our identity, such as our age, sex, race, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.  

Inclusion: Inclusion is about embracing all people in the communities where we work, study or live, and encouraging and valuing their unique contribution to society. Inclusive practices aim to provide equal access and opportunities for everyone, and work towards removing discrimination and intolerance 

The Protected Characteristics 

  • Age 
  • Disability 
  • Gender reassignment 
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership 
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race (includes colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins)
  • Religion and Belief
  • Sex (man or woman)
  • ​​​​​​​Sexual orientation 

​​​​​​​The Equality Act (2010) and Public Sector Equality Duty (2011) outline our legal duties and responsibilities in relation to our work 

Key terms

Equality Act: The Equality Act (2010) legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.​ 

  • Equity: Distributing resources based on the needs of the recipients as opposed to giving everyone the exact same resources.
  • Prejudice: a preconceived opinion or judgement about someone that is not based on reason or actual experience. 
  • Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, often on the grounds of a group they belong/ are perceived to belong to (e.g., discrimination on the basis of someone’s race, age, sex, or disability).​
  • Stereotype: A process which denies people’s uniqueness by applying generalised statements to entire groups of people. ​
  • Bias: an inclination towards, or prejudice against, one person or a group of people, in ways that are considered to be unfair. Sometimes this is intentional, and sometimes we are unaware about how our biases affect our decisions and actions. The latter is known as unconscious bias.
  • Compassionate agitation: a term that emphasises the importance of challenging discriminatory practices and attitudes in a caring and non-judgemental way. This helps people feel supported to understand and address their biases and to make inclusive changes.  ​
  • Intersectionality: the interconnected nature of different protected characteristics as they apply to a given individual or group, which can create further systems of discrimination or disadvantage (e.g., a black, gay woman may be discriminated against because of her race, her sexuality and her sex).​
  • LGBT - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/ or Transgender. You may also see the acronym LGBTQ+ or I, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. 'Q' is for Queer* and/ or Questioning.  I = intersex. The plus is an umbrella symbol that incorporates many different identities and gender expressions. *Please note the term 'queer' should be used with some sensitivity as not everyone feels comfortable with this term being used to describe them. However, as with all aspects of EDI, language can be contentious and, in the case of queer, some people are reclaiming this to describe themselves and their communities. The key is that communities are not homogeneous and people should be open and respectful about how people wish to define themselves and not be afraid to ask.
  • Neurodiversity: a positive term that celebrates the range of differences in our individual brain functions and behavioural traits. A person on the autistic spectrum or someone who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may prefer to describe themselves as part of a neurodivergent group, for example.
  • Privilege: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.