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Equality Diversity & Inclusion

Accord values diversity and actively opposes all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination. Find out more about what we do and how we can support you if you’re having an issue at work.

Dignity & respect

Accord values diversity and actively opposes all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination. Nobody should have to face bullying or harassment at work. Nor should they feel afraid to be themselves. Accord campaigns for dignity and respect at work for all workers.

We’re here to help if you’ve been treated unfairly at work because of your gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, colour, class, caring responsibilities, marital status, sexuality, disability, age, or other status or personal characteristic.

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Equality Diversity & Inclusion group

Accord’s Equality Diversity & Inclusion group formed in 2019. Its key aim is to help the union tackle prejudice and discrimination and build representation and capability internally. We also aim to:

  • ensure everyone can maximise their potential regardless of their background
  • uphold the union’s values – everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, and Accord opposes all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination
  • celebrate all forms of diversity – we’re richer through diversity
  • listen to and collectively learn from people’s experiences to remove barriers they face
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More on equality...

Equality monitoring

Accord is committed to promoting equal opportunities for all members and this means ensuring that we provide equal access to our services too. Like most organisations, this means we need to understand any barriers preventing this and equality monitoring helps us to do this.

We follow industry and union best practices in the questions that we ask and how we present this information. We have separated questions about gender and transgender into two sections — because someone can identify as a woman and be transgender.

To ensure we support non-binary people, we've considered what information we need to know about our members. For instance, we used to collect people's preferred titles, but this information doesn't add any value to us or you as a member - we therefore stopped asking this question. All of our equality monitoring sections always provide an option of ‘prefer not to disclose’. It’s vitally important that we have this option because people must feel comfortable disclosing information to us or choosing not to. For many transgender and non-binary people, that level of trust may not exist because of the high level of prejudice and discrimination against these communities — being gay for example is seen as more acceptable societally, but huge stigmas continue to exist around transgender identities.

Accord takes part in the TUC Equality Audit which examines the steps unions are taking to promote equality in their membership and structures and reflect the diversity of membership. It’s therefore important that we ask the right questions and understand who our members really are. We'll publish updates on our progress through our blog.

Read our equality blog posts

Equality terminology

In this section we cover a number of terms you may hear relating to equality matters, and their meaning.

Word / Term

Meaning

Black

The term Black (with the capital ‘B’) is a broad political term, as sometimes there is a need to talk in a broader and more general collective, especially when talking about structural discrimination and disadvantage, and it is in this context that we use the term Black.


It is used as in an inclusive sense to describe contemporary people in Britain whose heritage includes those who suffered colonialism and enslavement, and who continue to experience racism and diminished opportunities in modern-day society. It’s a political term which has been most used routinely in anti-racist campaigns from the ‘70s onwards, and in the union movement. The term Black grew at a time when there was a need to create unity in our fight against deep-rooted racism that sees people disadvantaged because of the colour of their skin.


It’s not intended to diminish the struggles that other specific ethnically diverse communities face, and while some of those challenges differ, the roots of colonialism and discrimination remain entrenched in the political divisions that have been created in our collective history, and which continue today.


That’s not to say that this is the right way to refer to a group of communities, as different ethnicities have different and unique experiences which we must recognise.

Disability

The law considers you to be disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. It also applies if you have a condition that is likely to get progressively worse over time.


We have created an eBite guidance on disability called 'Disability: Know your rights'.

LGBT+

LGBT+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. There are other letters that we could add to the end of this, but we have adopted the TUC standard which uses the 'plus' symbol to include all other groups outside traditional norms, including nonbinary, intersex, and other queer people (and those questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation).

Non-binary

When we start breaking away from the binary view of gender, we start to find that how people see themselves is more of a spectrum than just two choices. Some people describe themselves as non-binary. This means they don’t identify exactly as 100% male or female, but somewhere in-between. Or they may identify as an entirely separate third gender that’s neither female nor male.

Queer

Queer is an umbrella term, and it’s pretty unlimited. Some people simply don’t wish to conform to binary choices (and why should they?) but others feel it describes the true nature of their sexuality/gender identity better.


It also means that if the nature of someone’s relationship changes over time, they don’t have to erase their past or face complicated questions (for example if a straight woman develops a relationship with another woman, by using labels it may erase the past relationships and experiences she had with men).

Events

Upcoming events

Here are some highlights of events coming up:

  • TUC LGBT+ conference - 25th & 26th February 2021
  • TUC Women's conference - 3rd to 5th March 2021
  • TUC Disabled Workers' conference - 10th & 11th March 2021
  • TUC Black Workers' conference - 19th to 21st March 2021
  • TUC Young Workers' conference - 27th & 28th March 2021

You will be able to register for upcoming events as we make them available and will always be listed on our events page (use the 'equality' filter).

View events

Guidance

Guidance

You can access all our equality guidance / eBites on our guidance page.

Online guidance
Read our equality blog posts