PURPOSE Interrelate’s vision is a world where thriving relationships are at the heart of humanity. We make this vision a reality by empowering people to thrive in their most vital part of their lives , their relationships. Building and maintaining strong relationships is not always straightforward and there are times where people need to have input to help them achieve what they want in a relationship. As an organisation we recognise how systemic inequities have affected our society and the ensuing ability of some people to access assistance when they need it. As a result, we have both a responsibility and an aspiration to ensure our services consider the unique needs of each of our service users, and that potential barriers to access and inclusion in our services are understood and attended to so that we not only contribute to improved outcomes for our service users but we also create opportunities to deepen the organisation’s impact, relevance, and advancement of the public good. Interrelate has developed this framework to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion within our organisation. It is intended to complement and strengthen the work already in process within our current staff reference groups while acknowledging that more needs to be done to improve diversity beyond these current groups. We understand that the task of achieving equity and diversity is ongoing and are committed to making continuing improvements to our processes and practices and to encourage diversity within our staff, networks and partnerships. The framework sets out a range of strategies to ensure that our services are accessible, inclusive, respectful and meaningful to all clients, regardless of who they are, where they come from or what their life experiences have been. It seeks to ensure that involvement with our services will fit with their unique needs and circumstances. The framework also recognises that employees and volunteers at Interrelate need to reflect the diversity of the communities in which we work and that building a diverse workforce will result in improved services. We aim to create a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace culture that supports and champions difference and ensures everyone has equal opportunity to participate, contribute and achieve their full potential. Interrelate recognises that being open to diversity is not enough on its own and that to truly embrace diversity an organisation must identify what diversity will look like for its organisation, establish policies and strategies and track the organisation’s progress. This process will assist us in achieving this. DEFINITIONS What do we mean by diversity? The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that everyone is unique and is about recognising and valuing our individual differences. It is about understanding and acknowledging that what is considered different is shaped by our context and our own social norms and is not fixed or permanent. The dimensions that diversity may refer to include, but are not limited to, gender; language; ethnicity; religious belief; cultural background; sexual orientation; age; family responsibilities; education; socioeconomic background; occupational status; disability. What do we mean by inclusion? Inclusion is the achievement of an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organisation’s success. It is about giving equal access and chances, and getting rid of discrimination and intolerance, by removing the barriers that create undue effort and separation. It enables everyone to participate equally, confidently and independently in workplace activities and opportunities.