The British council is committed to equal opportunity and diversity. We focus on seven areas of diversity:
The last area we believe is a cross cutting issue that affects of the lives of all of us.
We believe diversity complements our work in cultural relations and promoting the UK.
We have developed our Integrated Equality Scheme to help us promote equality and eliminate discrimination in the areas of gender, race and disability. Find out how we are applying this scheme worldwide here.
For details of our corporate approach to Equal Opportunities and Diversity see our corporate website: http://www.britishcouncil.org/home-diversity.htm
In Hong Kong we are members of Community Business and were one of the first organisations to sign the Community Business Corporate Social Responsibility Charter.
We have regular training events for our staff including induction, diversity awareness training for all staff, an e learning module in diversity, and training focussing on specific areas such as disability.
Graham Webb was invited to Hong Kong and Guangzhou to share his life story as a successful entrepreneur in the face of adversity. His story starts even before he was born; born with spina bifida (a condition which occurs on the 25th day of conception in the mother's womb, severely damaging the spina cord and vertebrae). He dropped out of his school in South London at the age of 15 and then received 62 job rejection letters. He was lucky to be offered a job by a barber and from here, he went onto open 11 UK salons and employ 250 people. Graham Webb International was sold to Wella in 2002. At that time, it was number four in the USA. One year later, Wella was purchased by Proctor & Gamble. Now, Graham is P & G's worldwide "Goodwill Ambassador".
Simon Minty, a UK based trainer leads session on awareness of disability issues for an organisation such as British Council, exploring what is included under the term ‘disability’, practical issues related to disability in an office and relating external programmes as well as understanding the place of disability in society. Participants were inspired by our trainer, Simon Minty, and his sharing of experience and from him, understood very quickly what disabilities can mean from a different perspective.
We have also had Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power to lead an access audit of our building and the approaches to it to understand the access issues for those people with disabilities.
Our Diversity Working Group members are drawn from a cross-section of the Council's workforce and work to continually raise awareness of diversity issues across the organisation. British Council Hong Kong is also a member of the British Council's world-wide Diversity network and participates in Diversity network activities and conferences, the last one held in Sri Lanka in May 2009.
Our Diversity work supported the Young Advocates Programme, aimed to develop skills in a core group of young leaders of able and disabled bodies to raise awareness of the potential of sport in benefiting a diverse range of people in their communities and their countries to promote social inclusion around the world. They were represented at a youth forum in Beijing during the Paralympic Games in September 2008. The Young Advocates in Hong Kong were also involved in organising Hong Kong’s first Paralympic School day held at Ma On Shan Sports Ground in July 2008 where over 200 students participated.
Externally, we have supported a number of diversity initiatives including the Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival in November 2006 and held several Interactive Riding Sessions bringing students with able and disabled bodies to meet Equestrian Paralympics gold medallists from the UK, Lee Pearson and Debbie Criddle, for dressage demonstrations as well as sharing sessions where the gold medallists encouraged students by telling their own story from courage to glory. Lee Pearson was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, has grown into one of the UK’s most successful sportsmen who has won 6 Paralympics Games dressage gold medals, 5 World Championships and notable victories in able bodied championships. Debbie Criddle had a motorcycle accident in 1985 that badly injured the right side of her body where she lost her right arm. She had won individual, freestyle and team gold at the 2002 European Championships, the 2003 World Championships and the 2005 Athens Paralympics.
BRITISH COUNCIL HONG KONG GENDER RATIO
Gender profile: Male 38% Female 62%
BRITISH COUNCIL HONG KONG AGE DISTRIBUTION CHART
All Staff (as of Nov 2012)
In 2005, the British Council was named the most gay-friendly employer in the UK by Stonewall, a group who work to ensure that the rights and needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are addressed in the wider community. Stonewall released their first ever Corporate Equality Index, in January 2005 and the British Council came top. Sir David Green, then Director General of the British Council has said that he was 'thrilled' that his organisation had topped the Index. This recognises our work 'to promote equality and diversity in our employment practices both in the UK and around the world,' he said.Our Culture and Values
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