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Engaging diversity in the public sector: Rob Beardall, Oganisational Development Officer at Powys County Council, outlines innovative work done by his organisation to engage with the equality and diversity agenda.(Learning & Development)

AS A COUNCIL,WE EMPLOY OVER 7,000 people with a considerably broader mix of job roles, abilities and backgrounds than other organisations, so raising awareness of diversity en masse was always going to be a challenging undertaking. Our main aim was to give staff a practical understanding of diversity and to help them connect the issues to everyday situations at work.

The issues surrounding diversity are contentious to many people and can be associated with stigma, misconception and strong feeling. Our perception was that people's attitudes at the council towards the subject could be extreme--either they had really strong opinions or did not care. Our approach needed to overcome personal 'barriers' in people's understanding, engage the disinterested and more importantly, leave learners with positive feelings and a sense of empowerment about diversity.

Engaging Diversity Modules

To support us with the process we became partners in a European-funded national Wales project called Engaging Diversity, which was piloting new approaches to diversity learning. …

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