Ensuring Diversity Through Induction
In an industry dominated by women practitioners; men can get a really hard time of it.
Not so long ago, we heard about a situation where a set of parents advised a Nursery Manager that they would not let a qualified, experienced practitioner change their baby’s nappy for no other reason that it is a male Nursery Nurse.
It must have been terrible for that Nursery Nurse to be viewed with such suspicion.You’ll be glad to know the Nursery Manager never told their member of staff. They politely declined and ensured that no employee would be discriminated against by a parent. If the parent didn’t like it they could remove their child.
It’s not just the parents that don’t understand diversity.
Colleagues can discriminate.
I’ve also known for Nursery Nurse’s to discriminate against their male colleague. Not so many years ago a game involving ‘post it notes’ between two colleagues, one male and one female was blown up into a safeguarding issue. Would that have happened if the colleagues had been used to men in the Nursery? Probably not. The colleagues didn’t know how to handle the situation and were led by their prejudices. In the end the male practitioner left their post. A sad loss to that Nursery and the children who attended there.
So whose role is it to ensure that the staff treat everyone equally?
Diversity isn’t something you can rest on your laurels about and hope that it is going to happen naturally. An employer needs to address all aspects of diversity through its policies and procedures and through the induction programme.
A comprehensive induction will address stereotypes, victimisation, what it means to discriminate, what bias means and what can happen if you treat others less favourably. Such induction training ensure that new staff understand the culture of the organisation. How you treat eachother in your setting. What will be tolerated and what will not.
Remember, if the employer doesn’t watch out it can be held to be vicariously liable for the actions of its employees. Additionally the employer doesn’t want to find good people leaving their roles because they are not given a fair treatment by their colleagues.
Some terrible examples of poor behaviour.
In the last 12 years we’ve heard of some terrible examples:
- The Pre-school that was committee run and the chair went to see the transgender employee asking them to consider their position for the ‘sake’ of the children.
- The bi-sexual Nursery Nurse nicknamed Bob by her colleagues, even to the point it appeared on the staff rota.
- Nursery staff teasing a child for their ginger hair.
- A Nursery’s employees and parents stating that men in the industry must be paedophiles.
Make sure your staff understand how to view differences. Make sure they value Diversity and don’t tolerate people (parents, suppliers, advisors, and colleagues) who do not.
If we can help with any aspect of your induction programme, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01527 909436.