In 2020 we welcomed the findings of an independent review of diversity and inclusion at the RCP. The report was compiled by consultant Ben Summerskill, previously chief executive of Stonewall and a commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The findings drew on one-to-one interviews with a range of members from different backgrounds and at different stages in their careers. Over 1,000 RCP members, staff and stakeholders also responded to an anonymous online survey.
The report’s six sections look at the current make-up of the RCP, how diversity is measured and monitored, how we present ourselves and how some perceive us, how we recruit and retain staff and volunteers, and at our ways of working. There are 29 wide-ranging recommendations, covering areas such as advertising, recruitment, representation, staff networks and systems and training.
The report’s publication in July 2020 was very timely, coinciding with the renewed urgency given to improving diversity by Black Lives Matter protests, and at a time when the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 upon some communities has been keenly felt in the health sector.
Its candid and sometimes difficult-to-read findings have propelled us to take action with a programme of work to ensure the recommendations are achieved. Andrew Goddard, RCP president, said it has: ‘united all in the RCP to committing to and doing something about the racism and disparities it highlighted’.
We are now developing a communications inclusion policy and reviewing our physical spaces to ensure they embody our commitment to inclusion and engagement. Data is key and work has begun to ensure systems and engagement strategies with members and staff are improved to record, reflect and encourage greater diversity. With the expertise of our project teams and stakeholders to guide us, we are committed to delivering on the 29 recommendations in the report.
This is just the start of our ambitious plans to improve diversity and inclusion across the organisation to ensure all our people – fellows, members, staff and volunteers – are enabled to contribute fully to the RCP’s work.