Section 5: Equality Impact
Question 16: We should welcome comments on whether the matters covered in the consultation paper raise any equalities issues that require to be addressed with respect to age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
5.1 17 respondents answered this question. The overarching message to emerge from the majority of these was that there is room for improvement in terms of addressing equalities issues, and frameworks should be put in place to ensure sustained effort to promote diversity and equality in appointments.
5.2 Suggestions for future promotion of equalities included:
- Regular review of processes and procedures to assess their inclusiveness.
- Mainstreaming equalities duties into everyday practices, not perceiving them to be an "add on".
- Focusing on diversity planning.
- Underpinning current legal requirements of colleges with equality impact assessments.
- Assessing the appointments systems, including where posts are advertised, diversity balance of appointment boards.
- Ensuring women, in particular, have access to training and mentoring, on taking up posts.
- Ensuring the new Code of Good Governance for Scotland's colleges contains targets for improving the diversity of board membership, and it is clear who is responsible for equalities monitoring.
5.3 One college cautioned against focusing on gender over other characteristics. A college board expressed concern that one-third of their board comprises elected members and ex officio and appointed individuals, which makes it challenging to ensure equality issues are taken into account in all appointments.
5.4 One individual argued against "positive discrimination", emphasising their view that boards need to recruit the best person for the job, irrespective of any protected characteristic. A respondent from the "other" category provided their view that the best person for the job cannot be recruited if they are not given the opportunity to apply, and the entire application process should be assessed for its equality impact.
5.5 An individual and a college considered that the consultation raised no equalities issues. A few respondents referred broadly to previous comments, particularly those provided in response to question 4.
Email: College Policy Team ScotGov_Colleges_Mailbox@gov.scot
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