I use a selection of communication strategies to promote equality and diversity within my lessons, a very easy method of embedding equality and diversity is to create a starter activity that shows imagery demonstrating either the promotion of equality and diversity or the undermining of equality and diversity and then follow this with a discussion. An excellent method I have discovered is to show a YouTube video of how computer equipment is being used in different ways to address different issues in various nations or how different nations approach different areas of the industry such as the ‘electronic graveyards’ in Africa. I have introduced specific lessons that highlight a selection of potential equality and diversity issues with the industry, such as within the Games Industry, “BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) industry representation stood at 4% in 2015, down from 4.7% the previous year.” (Ramanan, 2017) I have also introduced elements of equality and diversity within my exam questions, for example, some questions relate to third world nations, such as “Some South African communities are specifically making use of wireless mesh networks, why?” Embedding and introducing equality and diversity within lessons is hugely important, however, playing lip service to equality and diversity will have a negative impact on students, as a result it is essential that students are always challenged when they are not complying with the equality and diversity policy and that in every lesson the correct equality and diversity terminology is utilised by both lecturer and students.
How behaviour can impact on an organisation’s culture in relation to equality and diversity
It is essential that at all times staff are professional and promote equality and diversity in order to uphold the standards within their academic establishment. These standards are not only defined and enforced by legislation and policy but by what we do as staff and students. Behaviour, such as jokes that undermine equality and diversity, will have a hugely damaging impact on the culture within an organisation. Another aspect that will have a significant impact on the culture within the organisation is equality and diversity bias, any form of bias relating to equality and diversity will have a pivotal impact on the culture and can be classed as discrimination. Another aspect is undermining colleagues on matters relating to equality and diversity, this will change the culture of the organisation as this colleague will no longer act in a manner that would have been positive for equality and diversity within the academic establishment. This will also spread to anyone else who was aware of this colleague being undermined and it will become the new normal.
Below are 3 examples you may come across while teaching
Scenario 1: A male overseas student is very rude to a female member of staff. It is just his culture and he’ll be done in a few weeks. He pays quite a big fee too.
The behaviour of students being rude to members of staff must be addressed, otherwise the member of staff will feel powerless and is likely to feel aggrieved, other students will feel it is acceptable and start doing the same and the student will not be being educated fully in line with a British education following British values.
Scenario 2: A male teacher says to a female student who is scantily dressed that she might attract a lot of unwanted attention if she dresses like that.
Comments relating to how students dress can have a negative impact on the student, potentially damaging their confidence. Often staff will discriminate in this way in an attempt to be helpful, without even realising they are discriminating.
Scenario 3: A student from a traveller community answers a question wrongly in class. The female teacher says to him not to worry as she didn’t expect him to be able to answer the question, given his background.
While the teacher knows the students background, this has no impact on the level of knowledge the student has in relation to the subject area. It was unprofessional for the teacher to mention his background even if she was attempting to be supportive.
Ramanan, C. (2017, Mar 15). The video game industry has a diversity problem – but it can be fixed. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/15/video-game-industry-diversity-problem-women-non-white-people