Fiona Bartels-Ellis(British Council, Head of Global EDI) presenting at the Terra Nova Hotel

How do we do it?

British Council gathered 35 leading agencies, experts, and professionals for an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion seminar. On January 26, 2016 the British Council team held a workshop/seminar on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in an Organizational Environment. The Head of global EDI for the British Council, Dr. Fiona Bartels-Ellis, OBE, presented British Council’s approach to a room of external CSO’s, NGO’s, and private institutions, many of which deal with aspects/impact of EDI in some capacity. Through this workshop, British Council was able to successfully convey its position, structure, and procedures in the area of EDI, and how it is mainstreamed into British Council operations.

Bartells-Ellis (pictured above) sets and drives the strategic direction of diversity across the organisation’s offices in 110 countries and territories based on an applied tools informed by international experience.  This is achieved by utilising tools to mainstream equality, diversity, and inclusion. This includes assessment frameworks, monitoring, training, and networking with internal and external networks and working groups to help foster inclusion, engagement and dialogue in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion. Among the attendees were representative from: the Jamaica Society for the Deaf, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, JFLAG, and Jamaica National Building Society. 

The Seminar addressed key topics, which include: 

  1. A better idea of what is Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
  2. Mainstreaming EDI  into Programme Work– learning and sharing experiences 
  3. Developing resources  to continue EDI integration  

The seminar’s main focus was to share information and give some answers to these questions and to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions regarding Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. Additionally, it explained how British Council helps and supports staff in meeting our obligation to duty of care towards all stakeholders we engage with and how we implement EDI within our programmes. Overall, the seminar was well received by all participants and there was a call for future events of this nature to continue on this path.