This conference took place on 19 May from 10:00 to 14:00 (CEST) / 9:00-13:00 (WEST). It aimed to bring together representatives of equality bodies and policymakers at both European and national level, private sector actors, national Diversity Charters, as well as other relevant stakeholders that have an interest in equality planning.Download the conference summary report
Equality plans are not specified in EU legislation, but their importance as a tool for achieving equality is clear. For example, the European Commission included the concept in the internal selection and recruitment processes outlined in their recent EU Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030. The European Institute for Gender Equality’s (EIGE) Gender Equality Plan did the same for research organisations and higher education institutions.
‘Equality plan’ is a broad term that is intended to include other similar terms, such as diversity plans, integration plans, diversity charters, or equal opportunities plans and programmes. Adopting an equality plan may be compulsory for public and/or private sector organisations, but it may also be the result of a voluntary decision by the organisation (e.g. as a result of signing a national diversity charter).
Equality plans and diversity charters usually make a diagnosis of the situation, set out equality objectives, and clearly establish the strategies and practices to be adopted to achieve them. They typically contain concrete and assessable measures to ensure and enhance diversity and the effective equality of all employees, patients, students, customers, or users of goods and services on any protected ground of discrimination or their combinations. The implementation of equality plans should be regularly monitored and evaluated, and equality bodies may play a statutory or voluntary role in this process.
The Equinet Cluster on Equality Mainstreaming has collected good practices from equality bodies across Europe on equality planning which have informed this conference.
|KEYNOTE SPEECHES: Equality planning as a tool to combat discrimination
|Equality planning: Equality Bodies leading by example
What is equality planning and why is it important? Which actors are responsible for creating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating equality plans? What steps are involved in creating and implementing an equality plan? What are the benefits of adopting an equality plan? How can equality bodies engage with and support equality plans?
|SESSION 1 | Equality bodies’ role in equality planning
Panelists will share key features and lessons learned by equality bodies in supporting equality planning by public and private actors, based on examples shared for the upcoming Compendium of Good Practices. This will include discussion of some key challenges seen in the effective use of equality plans and ways found to overcome them.
SESSION 2 | Cooperation for achieving effective equality in practice
Equality plans can be effective tools to ensure equal treatment for all and combat discrimination in a variety of fields if they are properly understood and implemented. This requires adequate resources and knowledge within the organisation responsible for the equality plan, as well as strong cooperation with relevant external actors, including equality bodies and national diversity charters, to benefit from their expertise. This is even more important given that diversity charters frequently encourage the adoption of equality plans and equality bodies are often involved in the design and monitoring of such plans.
Panelists will share lessons learned in their experiences of supporting or leading on equality planning, focusing on cooperation with relevant actors.
|SESSION 3 | Building Bridges & ways forward
Equality plans are powerful tools for implementing equality mainstreaming. The panellists in this session will discuss how to increase knowledge about and use of equality plans in the future by public authorities and private actors, and by national and regional level policymakers. How to communicate with duty bearers and other stakeholders to facilitate effective equality planning?