Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to everything we do at Age UK. We aim to celebrate the diversity of older people, and to support everyone to overcome the barriers to their full inclusion and participation in society.
Age UK supports the Black Lives Matter movement
Read more about our response to Black Lives Matter and our commitment to bringing lasting change to our organisation.
What do we mean by diversity and inclusion?
We are all different. We come from different backgrounds, have different family structures and relationships, come from different geographical places, have different faith and belief systems, see the world differently and have different abilities. These differences can be very obvious but some can’t be seen. Diversity is about positively valuing and harnessing these differences.
Inclusion refers to a person’s experience – whether that’s at work, when using public services or in wider society – and the extent to which they feel valued and included
Age UK understands that positively valuing diversity and inclusion can make organisations better; helping us learn, innovate and deliver benefits for the people we’re here to help. We strive to value and harness diversity in everything we do, including making our services and products inclusive and accessible to everyone.
What is Age UK’s position on diversity and inclusion?
Age UK will not tolerate any discrimination, victimisation or harassment on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
We are committed to tackling the inequalities and exclusion experienced by many older people, and promoting equality and inclusion of older people from diverse backgrounds in all areas of our work.
How do we do promote inclusion in our work?
We respect the diversity of those in later life, their carers and advocates, and understand that they have different needs, choices, cultures and values. We do everything we can to ensure that we’re as inclusive as possible in all areas of our work and operations, whether that’s providing services for older people, campaigning and influencing, or as an employer.
Within our services for older people
We need to know who we are reaching with our services and programmes so we identify any variations in their experience – for example, lower rates of take-up for specific groups of older people. That’s why effective equalities monitoring is an integral part of all Age UK’s services.
This data helps us plan and develop our services so that we are addressing any gaps or inequalities that have been identified. It also helps us avoid wasting resources by providing services that people do not want or need, or that are inappropriate.
Within our policy and campaigning work
Older people frequently experience discriminatory treatment. Age UK works hard to make older people’s voices heard on the issues affecting their lives, by influencing decision makers, conducting social and economic analysis, developing public policy proposals and shaping policy agendas in a wide range of areas.
In developing all of our policy positions, we are committed to promoting equality and diversity, and tackling discrimination, promoting the human rights of older people, including dignity, security and opportunity, and enabling older people to contribute and participate in society and local communities.
As an employer
It’s just as important that we respect and value the diversity of our staff and volunteers.
Our Trustees and Senior Directors are responsible for leading and modelling our commitment to promoting equality and valuing diversity to create an inclusive culture, for driving change and improvement and monitoring progress, facilitating the sharing of best practice across our organisation, and ensuring that Age UK meets our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and all other relevant legislation.
Why do we do this?
Society cannot improve for anyone while people are treated unfairly because of their age, or their ethnicity, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or because they are disabled.
It is unlawful for organisations to discriminate on the grounds of gender, gender identity, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and disability in employment and training, and in the provision of goods, facilities, and services, except in very limited circumstances.
We believe an inclusive society where everyone, including all older people, is treated with dignity and respect will not only benefit older people but will also help to develop greater social cohesion, tolerance, stability and prosperity in the wider society.