We started our work in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in August 2020 by specifically looking at member representation in our voluntary roles, commissioning a report with external input and producing an action plan in July 2020.
We then looked at how the College could position itself to address wider issues across the protected characteristics. We started to focus on matters raised by members, including differential attainment and career progression, as well as in the work paediatricians do to support children and young people.
When we published our Working for change reports, we arranged our work into four workstreams. We produced a detailed report for each, setting out the key areas of activity taking part in the College and the work that is needed for the future.
In March 2022, one year on from the reports' publication, we hold ourselves accountable and report against the actions that we committed to implement.
Although we are taking an ‘always on’ approach with our EDI communication to members, and there will be regular updates.
Our work on EDI is not a finite project – we are dedicated to working for change. It will be a longstanding area of focus for us and the following underscore the College’s commitments to ensure the ethos of this work is embedded at all levels and in everything that we do.
We will be accountable
We will be a voice for change
We will continue to engage deeply and widely
Working for change - an update on our progress
Working for change
Our overarching report summarises the findings across each of our focused workstreams. It also identifies the key themes of the next stage of our EDI work.
Working lives of paediatricians
In this report, we review the EDI work currently taking place at the College that focuses on the working lives of paediatricians. This covers the full breadth of the career journey and looks at the workforce as a whole and current systems of career progression. If this can be improved centrally it will allow the College to report against it across all divisions and teams for those undertaking training.
Whilst reporting on the data of any such differentials in attainment should be a key focus, often what is also required is better support structures and therefore an area the College should give due consideration to is looking at how it can better support groups like international medical graduates (IMGs) within the paediatric workforce.
There may also be a need to look at the wider experiences of our members in relation to EDI in addition to internally focusing on what the College can and should do.
Health outcomes for children and young people
Our EDI commitments must also extend to the health outcomes of children and young people in our care. Health outcomes are affected by a broad range of factors including socio-economic determinants and geographical locations.
While the College has long advocated for child health equality, recent events have brought health inequality and racism front and centre: the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. To ensure meaningful improvements in child health outcomes and to enable us to work towards ending child health inequalities, the College needs to examine the full spectrum of drivers in determining health outcomes, including ethnic background.
Separation of geographical inequalities from socio-economic deprivations, advocating for underrepresented groups and examining unconscious bias will be key as we move this work forward.
Volunteering and awards
Representation within volunteer roles was the first step of our recent journey in EDI. The work and ambition of the College in the area was set out in our Action Plan (see EDI and members' voluntary roles) and work on the recommendations is continuing at pace.
Improving the data we collect must be central to any ongoing EDI work across both awards and volunteers. Encouraging more of our members to share their data is an important step and will allow us to really assess our ambition that by 2030 those in voluntary roles will reflect the diversity of the membership.
Nominations and awards happen across the College in different departments and teams and a holistic overview of the way in which these awards map the career path of our members is needed.
We are not be able to advocate for better health outcomes, ensure a more representative volunteer base or minimise the impact of differential attainment if we are operating from a place of inequity.
Operational elements within the remit of the College, from the panels at our events to the data we collect on members are important foundations for our wider EDI work. In terms of our internal EDI activity, much of the work will be delivered by our ongoing People Strategy.
Shaping our College for the future and ensuring a better approach to EDI will depend on better data collection and sharing. Across a wide range of areas we need to evidence our progress on EDI and share this information with members – this ranges from our membership to the speakers at our events to the media spokespeople that we use.