Employees taking time out to have supported conversations about diversity, equality and inclusion topics for learning.
|Does it work?||
Diversity and inclusion
Ethics and values
Leadership, development and learning
Organisation including workforce
|Stage of practice||
The practice is implemented.
|Scale of initiative||
The initiative aims to provide a platform for:
- raising awareness around key topics of diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI)
- stimulating conversations and group learning
- mainstreaming and embedding equality outcomes
The initiative aims to put inclusion at the heart of policing by making it part of usual work. It aims to ensure local and individual accountability and ownership of DEI issues.
- To create a safe space for open conversations about DEI-related topics – resulting in increased awareness and understanding, and changed perceptions.
- Employees feeling valued, having an increased sense of belonging, and becoming better allies.
- Ensuring employees are provided with effective and practical tools to support diverse needs. This includes improving skills to confidently identify and address DEI-related barriers, as well as to support progression opportunities and promote inclusion.
- Increased ability for employees to challenge any form of discrimination – including their own and other’s behaviours, attitudes and actions.
- Positive change in how employees engage with communities and other workforce staff, empowering employees to consider DEI in day-to-day work.
- To provide a toolkit to support implementation of the initiative and be used as part of collective efforts to increase awareness of DEI-related topics, through learning and conversations.
- To change how ownership is taken of DEI-related issues, ensuring this is everyone’s responsibility – irrespective of rank or role – and contributing towards change in behaviours.
Inclusion moments consist of groups of 5 to 15 employees – at every level of an organisation – taking time out to have a conversation about a DEI-related topic as a platform for learning, discovery, conversation and change.
A pack is used to support the facilitation of inclusion moments.
The pack is available for sharing. It is a living document, so it can be amended to suit unique needs and reflect the most up-to-date information.
The pack includes information, links and videos to introduce a variety of DEI-related topics, including:
- gender issues
- ethnic minorities
- unconscious bias
- inclusive language
- how to be a good ally
- mental health stigma
Subsequent associated questions are provided to be used as prompts for group discussion. The pack has interactive elements throughout, which adds to the user experience and engagement, and has additional resource sections for employees to access further learning material.
Inclusion moments are adaptable. They can range from 10 minutes to an hour long, depending on the circumstances – for example, how much time is available, the department and the situation.
They can be facilitated:
- regularly during a dedicated time slot, such as for 45-minute monthly dedicated meetings as protected time
- as part of training programmes
- on an ad hoc basis
It is recommended for inclusion moments to be conducted consistently and sustainably to ensure long-term engagement and impact.
Who can take part
Anyone can participate in and facilitate an inclusion moment. Facilitators can vary and do not need to be subject matter experts, nor do those participating.
Topic and focus
The focus is to encourage conversation and human interaction rather than telling people about DEI-related topics. If an answer is not known, it is about learning together.
Facilitators and topics can be selected informally – some employees may have particular interests, lived experiences or may know less about particular areas with a desire to learn more.
Inclusion moments begin with a values statement. This covers aspects such as respectfulness and being mindful during conversations, in addition to wellbeing support available if required given the sensitive nature of the discussions.
Supported by the resource pack, the chosen topic is discussed. This provides an understanding and starts conversation, such as asking people about their emotions and what they thought of the content covered.
It's encouraged to follow the natural flow of conversation, while the resource pack provides prompts and questions to stimulate discussion. People often talk about lived experiences, which subsequently generates more conversation.
Towards the end, the conversation is brought back to a policing context to summarise what the situation is and how improvement can be made. Suggestions for improvement have been personally employed by those who have participated, and attendees are encouraged to do so. For example, increasing the use of pronouns and asking people for their preferred pronoun.
Inclusion moments finish by:
- reiterating the learning and points raised
- reminding those involved of the wellbeing support available
- talking about brief details of the next inclusion moment
Working group monthly review
A working group – comprising members of staff networks, unions and police representatives – holds a monthly review. The group gives feedback on the resource pack, allowing it to evolve as required. For example, feedback can cover the language and content.
The resource pack is built in Adobe InDesign. This software is needed and has associated costs if not already in use. An understanding of the software is required to be able to update the pack. Someone needs to have responsibility for and commit time to updating and maintaining the pack.
An engagement survey was previously conducted with people who had participated in the pilot initiative. It asked about their:
- awareness before and after participation
- thoughts on the initiative and resource pack
- confidence having DEI-related conversations
Upon completion of the pilot phase and formal adoption of the initiative, Police Scotland will evaluate the initiative to measure impact and performance. This is in the planning stage. Engagement with the resource pack is additionally monitored.
Approximately 80 people completed the pilot engagement survey, covering before and after knowledge.
Feedback was generally positive about the initiative and resource pack. It was found that people who had experienced an inclusion moment felt their awareness had increased and they felt more confident having conversations about DEI-related topics after participation.
Feedback was also provided from respondents detailing the impact that their new awareness and confidence had. This included individual changes in behaviour, such as increased use of pronouns.
The resource pack has been accessed thousands of times by individual users. It is regularly used for an average of more than 10 mins per session.
Inclusion moments provides a safe space for open conversations about DEI-related topics.
Engagement survey results from the pilot demonstrated increased awareness of and confidence having DEI-related conversations, and self-reported evidence of behaviour change. This is likely to have a positive impact on employees feeling valued, having an increased sense of belonging, and becoming better allies.
It also helps ensure employees are provided with effective and practical tools to:
- support diverse needs
- challenge discrimination
- feel empowered to consider DEI in day-to-day work
- improve interactions with internal and external personnel
The initiative provides a toolkit to support implementation and is used as part of a broader DEI strategy. The inclusive nature of the initiative ensures everyone can get involved, striving towards everyone taking responsibility for DEI-related issues, irrespective of rank or role.
Mechanisms that make the initiative successful
- The use of the resource pack provides links to further learning, giving the opportunity for employees to revisit or self-learn.
- It is useful to have inclusion moments champions to drive the initiative. These should be people who have a passion for DEI and positive change.
- Inclusion moments are best facilitated by people who are good talkers and have facilitating skills.
- Access to Adobe InDesign software is required for the use of the resource pack. This has associated costs if the software is not already in place. An understanding of this software is also required for maintenance of the pack.
- Time investment is required in terms of driving the initiative, to maintain it and ensure regular participation.
- This initiative will only work as part of a broader DEI strategy and is not a standalone resolution.
Challenges requiring consideration
The ability to deliver inclusion moments is a challenge against the requirements of operational policing. This is due to the resourcing, demand and time constraints faced by response and community policing.
People can be hesitant and may fear having DEI-related conversations. However, the resource pack is designed to support people through the conversations to assist with this.