AS THE leading state advocate on discrimination, the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC/commission) conducts inclusivity training sessions with small, medium and large organisations or businesses in the private and public sectors. The EOC once again welcomes all public and private sector organisations/businesses to request one of our 2023 inclusivity training sessions.
Data at the commission indicate that employment continues to be the category under which most complaints are lodged. Much of our society is reflected in the workplace and it is a formal setting where viable solutions can be proffered. The EOC’s inclusivity training is one of our staple service offerings to affect change within society. The training can be conducted virtually, on-site or as a hybrid. This service is free, as are all the services offered by the EOC up until the stage of conciliation.
Our sessions benefit both the employer and employee. Employers that are familiar with the Equal Opportunity Act promote inclusive workplaces and, further, safeguard their organisation against complaints of discrimination. Employees learn about their rights, which are protected by the act, the importance of inclusivity in the workplace and their right to lodge a complaint if they have been discriminated against.
The act covers four broad categories: employment, education, provision of goods and services and provision of accommodation.
We promote inclusivity through a variety of topics including:
* Understand the Equal Opportunity Act and the role of the commission
* Understand the commission’s complaints process
* What is conciliation and how can it bring redress?
* Discrimination in employment, education, goods and services and seeking accommodation
* Accommodating perople with disabilities
* Sexual harassment
* What is victimisation?
* What is offensive behaviour?
* Covid19 guidelines for employers
* LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the workplace
The commission also offers organisations free guidance and support when creating or reviewing inclusive human resource policies on areas such as sexual harassment, LGBTIQ+ inclusivity and accommodating people with disabilities.
The commission appears, free of charge, on panels and webinars to speak to inclusivity in the workplace. In 2022, EOC representatives joined panels hosted by the Human Resource Management Association of TT, Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Employers Consultative Association of TT and presented at the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC).
Benefits of an inclusive workplace
Research has shown that promoting an inclusive culture where everyone feels a sense of belonging can significantly increase levels of employee engagement and workplace productivity, which can ultimately lead to higher revenues.
In addition, employing diverse teams can help companies improve the quality of policies, programmes and products. By embracing workplace inclusion, organisations widen their talent pool, which increases their chances of selecting the right person for a role.
To further support the benefits and far-reaching impacts of promoting an inclusive workplace, a recent study suggests that individuals’ perceptions of discrimination in the workplace are influenced by both perceived discrimination in society and perceptions of behavioural norms related to organisational culture.
Findings in the current study indicated individuals’ attitudes and beliefs manifested in the societal context were carried into, and reflected in, the workplace. Additionally, it was revealed that beliefs related to organisational discrimination were found to be amplified or minimised depending on organisational culture.
Thus, education has a central role in creating new values and attitudes and equips us with important tools for addressing deep-rooted discrimination, eliminating gender inequality, creating a more inclusive environment and fostering peace amongst one another.
How to request a session?
To request an inclusivity training session for your organisation in 2023, please visit the EOC’s website at www.equalopportunity.gov.tt or contact the Corporate Communications Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or 672-0928 ext 232.