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Proud to be leading the diversity and inclusion drive at NCFE

Dan Howard Director – Learning for Work and Chair of our Diversity and Inclusion team

11 June 2021

This Pride Month, we are celebrating our colleagues, customers, learners and partners who identify as LGBTQ+, and you’ll see that we’ve changed our logo to reflect the Progress Pride flag, showing our support.

Pride Month is much more than just a celebration, it’s a time to honour and recognise our colleagues, learners, and key partners around the world.

In June each year, LGBTQ+ communities come together worldwide to honour the Stonewall uprising in 1969, and to promote equal justice and equal opportunity.

Of course, simply changing a logo will not result in real change. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion – and driving access to and equality of education for all – goes far beyond this.

I have personally been passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion throughout my career, and I’m now proud to lead NCFE’s Diversity and Inclusion team. Bringing together 20 colleagues from across our departments, all with different backgrounds and perspectives, we’ll be working all year round to champion and encourage diversity and inclusion, both within and outside NCFE. We will be looking much further than the protected characteristics outlined in the Equality Act to ensure that we’re including every individual and their intersectional identities. Difference will be celebrated, not seen as something that divides us.

Our CEO, David Gallagher, and our entire executive team are just as committed as I am to making an impact, and having this support right from the top of the organisation will be invaluable in helping us achieve our diversity and inclusion aims.

Our priorities are two-fold. Internally, we’ll be working in collaboration with colleagues to ensure that NCFE is as diverse and inclusive it can be, with a culture that welcomes everyone and empowers them to develop and succeed in their roles. Having a diverse team in place that reflects the communities we serve gives us diversity of thought, which is crucial in developing the qualifications that will meet the needs of a diverse range of learners.

Externally, we want to lead the way in driving diversity and inclusion in our sector, as well as promoting the importance of education in embracing inclusivity. Our related qualifications, such as the Level 2 Certificate in Equality and Diversity, have been developed to educate learners on the importance of equality and diversity within different contexts and to give them an understanding of the different issues affecting equality and diversity in today’s society, the community and the workplace.

Later this month, we will be hosting an NCFE podcast entitled Diverse spaces: the importance of representation and inclusion, and I’ll be joined by guests from Stonewall, the Education and Training Foundation, and the BAME Apprenticeship Alliance. We’ll be discussing progress made in the education sector so far and the areas for improvement, as well as whether a curriculum shake-up is needed to ensure that our young people are well-versed in diversity and inclusion before leaving education.

There is still a lot of work to do in the sector, and in society more widely, to achieve full inclusion of LGBTQ+ individuals and everyone from underrepresented groups. I’m proud to work in an organisation where difference and diversity are not seen as a divide, but are encouraged and celebrated. Transparency is very important to us, so we’ll be sharing updates on our diversity and inclusion activity and the progress made throughout the year.

Only when everyone can bring their full selves to work and study can they reach their full potential, so I’m looking forward to working with the team and external partners to drive greater equality, diversity and inclusion to create a fairer society for all.