EQUAL TREATMENT – WHAT DO WE KNOW?
Equal treatment in working life is a broad subject area. It covers many different types of initiatives designed to prevent discrimination and to make workplaces more inclusive. The goal is to ensure that all enjoy the same rights and opportunities in working life regardless of their sex, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sexual identity or sexual expression, disability, religion or other belief.
There are several good reasons for focusing on equal treatment issues. Not being discriminated against is a human right. There is a law in Sweden that places demands on employers. There are also examples showing that equal treatment work is profitable and beneficial for companies and organisations engaging in it.
So how is it done? There is no unequivocal answer to this question. Further research is needed, but certain factors have been identified by a number of different studies:
• A systematic approach is vital: from surveys and analyses to follow ups and evaluations.
• The work must be established at different levels in the organisation.
• The active involvement of managers prepared to highlight the issue and to effect change is essential.
• A long-term perspective is needed – the work is time-consuming and requires both economic resources and a clear division of responsibilities.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT US
The Thematic Group on Equality is one of the European Social Fund’s five national thematic groups.
We seek to ensure that the knowledge gained from hundreds of projects run under European Social Fund auspices is placed at the disposal of the labour market’s actors. We do so by analysing, systematising and disseminating project results. The aim in this is to secure a more long-term impact than can be achieved by individual projects.
The Thematic Group on Equality is run by the Working Life Forum in cooperation with the Public Employment Service, the Equality Ombudsman, the Swedish Disability Federation, the Swedish Agency for Disability Policy Coordination, Linköping University, the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, and Swedbank.
Our principal issues:
• Methods for equal treatment in working life
• Skills enhancement relating to all grounds of discrimination
• Gender mainstreaming
• Accessibility for people with disabilities