In a statement given to the Veterinary Record earlier this year, the College said:
"In 2017, our commitment to equality for our LGBTQ+ employees, members of the professions and other stakeholders, was cemented when we became a Stonewall Diversity Champion, with the aim of ensuring that all people in the community are accepted, without exception, within the veterinary professions.
In subsequent years this commitment has been demonstrated by the establishment of our Diversity & Inclusion Group, for which LGBTQ+ representation is a key component and has been incorporated into both our internal and external diversity and inclusion strategies.
Focusing on our internal diversity and inclusion strategy, the insight from Stonewall and our internal LGBTQ+ group, has aimed to make the RCVS a safe space for people from the LGBTQ+ community by creating a fully inclusive workplace.
These insights have also fed into the profession-facing work of the Diversity & Inclusion Group and its strategy.
After six years as a Stonewall Diversity Champion, we have decided this year not to renew our contract with the organisation, on the basis that we feel we no longer need to work with an external organisation to continue to deliver on our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
The RCVS will continue to demonstrate allyship and be a safe space for all groups within the LGBTQ+ community, as demonstrated by the fact we are creating a staff network representing RCVS colleagues from marginalised communities.
We may in future decide to work with another accredited organisation, but until the staff network is in place, no decisions have been made. For example, we have recently brought in a staff policy regarding how best to support RCVS employees who are going through the process of gender reassignment, reiterating the current legal position, how to report experiencing or witnessing transphobic discrimination, as well as advice for colleagues supporting those undergoing gender reassignment and those who have family members going through the process. We are grateful for Stonewall for working with us over the past six years and helping us, through its Workplace Equality Index, to finesse our policies and procedures in relation to LGBTQ+ rights and issues and drive forward our agenda to be a diverse and inclusive workplace and regulator."
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In March, in relation to the decision made by RCVS to leave this Stonewall scheme, it was reported in Vet Record that, "It is understood that last year several vets concerned about aspects of the charity's stance on issues such as single-sex spaces for women wrote to the RCVS urging it not to renew its membership".
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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