The first thing to understand is that the failure to eliminate discrimination and build inclusion into the policies and procedures that you use is a risk. There can be legal penalties for infringing anti-discrimination laws, there can be contractual penalties for need meeting a requirement and there can be operational penalties in embedding the wrong behaviours in your organisation.
So treat equality, diversity and inclusion as you would any other factor that can affect your organisations performance and in terms of risk management that means treating it as an on-going activity. It's not about identifying equality and diversity risks upfront and then forging ahead regardless. It's too easy to forget those risks once the policies and procedures are in place and fail to recognise what is really happening on the ground – what your employees or contractors are actually doing – or that the way the job is done has changed and the new risks this might give rise to have not been identified and captured.
The key steps to risk management can be summarised as:
- identify the risk
- mitigate that risk
- monitor and report
- audit and regular evaluation
So be structured in how you approach equality and diversity and be sure you are monitoring all the potential areas of risk