The RYA maintains a strong commitment to its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work and has developed a number of formal policies to support this work. In addition to these policies, in March 2021, the RYA’s first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy was released which focuses on four key objectives: Changing Perceptions, Changing Behaviours, Changing Experiences and Changing Reality. With a measurable, comprehensive action plan, the RYA is determined to make long term positive changes which will ensure that the RYA becomes representative of the people it serves.
The RYA is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, which supports the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for everyone by 2030. The RYA has given its commitment to support the 10 principles which make up the UN Global Compact with principal 6 being “Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. The RYA equality, diversity and inclusion team work closely with their sustainability colleagues to support this area of work and it has been an integral part of the EDI strategy.
As an ongoing part of this work, the RYA is in the process of creating an anti-discrimination policy and this is due to be released in the coming weeks and this will work alongside the existing whistleblowing policy. The EDI team in conjunction with the Human Resources and Sustainability departments are currently in the process of creating a Modern Slavery Policy, which will be available in the coming months. The sustainability pages of the website hold a wealth of information and these can be accessed here.
In 2016, the RYA was the first National Governing Body to achieve the Advanced Level of the Sports Councils’ Equality Standard for Sport and has since proudly maintained that standard. A review process is conducted every other year to ensure that the RYA continues to maintain its high standards – the next review is due in the spring of 2022.
The RYA is proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and actively seeks to tackle under-representation across the organisation using positive action where appropriate. All job applications are made anonymous before being passed to recruiting managers to ensure that no discrimination or bias occurs during the recruitment process. The RYA Equal Opportunities Policy aims to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and on an equal basis, irrespective of any protected characteristics.
Alongside the Equality Policy, the RYA also has a Transgender Policy, which details the support that is available for people who identify as trans throughout their recruitment and employment by providing a working environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, or victimisation. We believe this is an important step in ensuring transgender employees feel respected and valued.
The RYA signed the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Education in 2017 and this Charter sets out how sport and recreation organisations should adopt good mental health practice to make activities inclusive, positive, and open to everyone. In addition to this, the RYA created a Wellbeing Colleagues programme, where colleagues are trained in mental health first aid and can be a wellbeing contact for any colleague that may be struggling at work or in their home lives. RYA employees are also given access to an Employee Assistance Program which includes counselling and specialist independent advice.
The organisation also adopts several family friendly policies including: Maternity Leave Policy, Paternity Leave Policy, Shared Parental Leave Policy, Adoption Leave Policy, Parental Leave Policy and Parental Bereavement Leave Policy. These policies were put in place to support employees with families and additional family responsibilities.
As an organisation, we are always looking for ways that we can improve our own processes and procedures and review our policies on a regular basis to ensure they reflect legislative and regulatory changes and reflect best practice.