Make your pledge
It is important that everyone, regardless of their background, is vocal on equality and inclusion – it encourages others to be the same.
As part of the 100% Respect campaign, we’re asking those working in eyecare to make a pledge to unite optometry against all forms of discrimination. Here are some of our suggestions but you can choose your own:
1. Share your pledge to show your colleagues and peers 100% Respect. Use our #100Respect hashtag to voice your support, and encourage every member of the practice team to pledge their support to help tackle all forms of discrimination. Some example posts below:
Instagram> I support the campaign uniting optometry against discrimination #100Respect @association_of_optometrists
Facebook> I support the campaign uniting optometry against discrimination #100Respect @AssociationOfOptometrists
2. Share your feelings – if you see, hear, or experience instances of discrimination in practice you can discuss it with our Anti-racism and equality team (ARET), made up of optometrists, who can provide emotional and practical support around facing racism and discrimination at work or alternatively, our Peer Support Line is open 8am to 8pm.
3. Seek advice– our employment teamcan advise you on all forms of discrimination and discuss your options with you. Make sure you contact them in good time as there are deadlines for challenging discriminatory behaviour.
4. Download our resources – we’ve created lots of resources for you and your practice to use to help create inclusive workplaces and share the message on social media.
5. Be aware of the challenges your peers might be facing – in our survey of 1105 members on equality, diversity and inclusion many optometrists who’d experienced discrimination didn’t feel able to report it because they felt unsupported or had experienced negative consequences of reporting discrimination in the past.
Take the time to listen to people’s experiences and consider the ways that incidents of discrimination may make them feel isolated, vulnerable or unsafe.
6. Challenge discrimination in the workplace – many optometrists have experienced some form of discrimination during their career – with some members telling us that behaviours are ‘accepted’ or ‘normalised’ in their workplace.
Speak up when you see discrimination. By doing so, you can educate the people around you as well as make sure that the person experiencing discrimination doesn’t have to do all the work on their own. It’s not always easy to speak up but it’s fundamental to tackling discrimination and can make a big difference.
7. Seek out training opportunities – most employers will provide equality, diversity and inclusion training but if you’re part of a small business they might not. You could suggest to your employer that some training would be valuable to the business but there is also lots of information that can help you develop greater understanding around equality, diversity and inclusion issues.