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Cultural illustrations

RCN Cultural Ambassador Programme

Previous and recent research demonstrate that employees from the Global Majority experienced inequality, discrimination, and prejudice in the workplace across all sectors.

In 2014 at a local level, activists from the Global Majority carried out a Freedom of Information request to several NHS Trusts in the West Midlands region. Analysis of this data alerted RCN West Midlands to the over-representation of Global Majority staff in the employee relation process. This is as true today as it was then as the regular reports of the Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES) and the Workforce Disability Equality Standards (WDES) reports demonstrate. In addition, further research by Roger Kline, Discrimination by Appointment and Snowy White Peaks of the NHS also captured the disproportionate impact on staff from the Global Majority in relation the recruitment, appointment, development and progression in the NHS. Furthermore the Too Hot to Handle 2024 and Broken Ladders – The Myth of meritocracy for women in the workplace in 2024 shows that there remains serious issues in supporting, reporting and management of discrimination in the workplace effectively.


To support organisations in addressing these issues, the RCN developed an innovative programme in collaboration with its West Midlands Global Majority Stakeholder Group.

The Cultural Ambassadors (CA) programme is designed to support organisations to reduce the occurrence of discrimination in employment relations and recruitment processes by implementing policy changes and embedding CAs as an integral part of these processes. Volunteers from the organisation are trained to identify and explore potential areas of bias or discrimination that may negatively impact on the outcome of the processes. The CAs role is to be curious about potential issues, make them transparent and create space for dialogue to establish the potential impact on the outcome.


Although the programme was initially designed to address potential discrimination for Global Majority staff in the NHS and the employment relations process, it has been adapted to meet the needs of public, private and voluntary sector organisations, and expanded to cover all protected characteristics in both the employment relations and recruitment processes.


The CA Programme is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • Support organisation in improving their differential outcomes of their reports and surveys
  • Improve the experience of staff involved in any informal or formal processes
  • Reduction in the severity of the sanctions awarded staff from the Global Majority or any other protected characteristics
  • Reduce the number of staff from the Global Majority or any other protected characteristics referred to a formal process
  • Support organisations in improving their outcomes in relation to the WRES, WDES, the Equality Delivery System (EDS) and the NHS Staff Survey.


Learning outcomes from the training

  • Understand the role of a Cultural Ambassador.
  • Greater understanding of how discrimination, prejudice and bias can manifest in the workplace, organisational systems and processes
  • Understand Equality, Diversity and Human Rights legislation
  • Managing challenging conversations and spaces
  • How to influence others and promote fair treatment of staff from the Global Majority and all other protected characteristics
  • Developing effective working relationships in partnership to influence and promote inclusivity
  • How to advocate and be an Ally
  • Gain skills and knowledge that are transferable across a variety of roles
The RCN Cultural Ambassador offer

  • Four half days of interactive online sessions
  • Monthly support meetings with the project lead for the organisations
  • Bi-monthly facilitated Action Learning Sets with Cultural Ambassadors
  • Advice and support on selfcare and wellbeing

To be confirmed on application. To find out more, please email the team: