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London Inclusion Solution

Building inclusive workplaces for London's diverse workforce

To build inclusive workplaces, we all must lead

Since the NHS’ was born 70 years ago, it’s become increasingly easy to think about power as something that belongs in the hands of other people with leadership an activity done and controlled by those at the top of the organisational ladder.

In reality, power is something that we all have, and leading is something that we all do on a daily basis. Equally, power is something we all have a duty to challenge when it is abused. One of my wishes on the NHS’ birthday is that over the next 70 years we finally resolve to talk openly and honestly about power and leadership at work.

Throughout my working life, I have come into contact with too many senior leaders who did not understand the power they wielded. They didn’t always inspire or earn respect through their actions and I saw leaders - at all points on the leadership ladder - get their way through bullying, both subtly and sometimes more obviously.  I was often the one supporting colleagues who had borne the brunt of this corrosive behaviour.

On the other hand, it has also been my pleasure to work with some amazing and inspirational leaders.  Some of the most impressive leaders I have witnessed have been health care support workers, administrators, volunteers, nurses and managers. I saw first-hand how these people inspired followers by working hard to earn, build and maintain trust. They acted with credibility, kindness and were unafraid to be the speakers of uncomfortable truths to those in power.

That group of social leaders demonstrated extraordinary ability to influence culture and set the pace of change from the ground up rather than from the top down. They were often the closest to the issues facing patients and the workforce, and were able to think up smart solutions to difficult problems. Looking back, what united them all - despite their diverse roles - was a strong sense of fairness and a refusal to accept anything less than inclusion for everybody.

In London, our health and social care sector has a large community of leaders, both formal and informal, with each as necessary as the other. Our informal leaders are often unseen but continue to work deep within the structures of organisations, shaping culture, making sense of change and pressing for workplace inclusion. If we are to create truly inclusive workplaces in London, we need to listen and learn from these everyday leaders.

That’s why I am inviting you to get involved in the Inclusion Solution, an RCN London initiative that aims to bring health workers, managers, activists, charities and a range of health stakeholders together to learn more about inclusion in the workplace. At our next event on 10 October 2018 here at RCN HQ, we will be looking in depth at what leaders at each and every level of London’s health care organisations can do, to create and sustain inclusive workplace cultures that are fair and safe for everybody.

I hope to see you there.

Jude Diggins, RCN London Regional Director

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How to get involved

  1. Sign up for one the breakfast teleconferences which will focus on working on solutions - see events tab for details
  2. Share your examples of good practice around developing inclusive workplaces through partnership working: Share Your Story
  3. Share your own experience of inequality and discrimination in the workplace. We want to hear about what you have been through so that we can prevent poor experiences from happening to others: Share Your Story

The Inclusion Solution will focus on creating change in five key areas 

  • Accountability: How employers can be both transparent and held accountable to their words and actions on equality and inclusion
  • Leadership: What we as a community of leaders - from all levels - will commit to invest in and do in the short, medium and long-term
  • Metrics: How we make sure we measure what is meaningful; which boils down to improving all our experiences at work
  • Narrative: Improving how we tell stories and more effectively share the information that shows why this work is important
  • Voice: Ensuring that a wide of range of voices of staff, patients and others across the health and social care sector are heard and acted upon

Share your story

Tell us about your experiences of inclusion in London.

Inclusion Solution Sessions

Sessions take place at:

RCN HQ, 20 Cavendish Square, W1G 0RN

10 October 2018, 9am -1pm

If you would like to book your place at our next session

Email Zoe Jammeh to reserve a spot


Upcoming Events

What to look out for in 2018

London Inclusion Solution stakeholder events, Twitter chats, Pride in London, Share your Story with us.