Physiopedia/Physioplus Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy

- Original Editor - Amanda Ager Top Contributors - Kim Jackson

Rationale & Background

Physiopedia is a charity, a not-for-profit organisation registered in the United Kingdom. We educate physiotherapists and physical therapists (PTs) all over the world and build a physiotherapy community. Physiopedia is a living, community built website. Any PTs anywhere in the world can contribute their knowledge to the site and share it with the world. This community of over 5,500 contributors, and values the importance of sharing knowledge to empower PTs all over the world to enhance patient care and the resulting health people in need.

Physiopedia Plus Ltd, also known as Physioplus, is a premium content platform that provides resources and learning opportunities for Continuing Education (CE) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for PTs internationally.

Volunteers, contributors and staff members from both Physiopedia and Physioplus (Physiopedia), recognise the importance of a respectful and open work environment which value social equality and inclusion. For this reason, all members of the Team adhere to the guidelines outlined in the following Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy in addition to the Community Culture & Values which is respected by all team members.

This GESI policy is designed to develop and maintain a positive, respectful work culture that ensures equity and diversity for all team members and is free from discrimination.

Commitment towards GESI

Physiopedia believes that gender equality and social inclusion are critical elements of the organisational commitment to ensure that human rights of all women and men from diverse communities are appropriately respected for achieving organisational productivity.

We are dedicated and committed to advancing gender equality and social inclusion in our organisation and in all programmes and projects. Physiopedia will strengthen organisational accountability towards GESI transformative performance and enhance program effectiveness to promote sustainable impacts on reducing GESI based unequal relations in all aspects of our work.

Goals

Physiopedia supports the creation of working environments that are respectful, courteous, inclusive, collaborative, equitable and productive by adhering to the following:

Organisation Culture

Physiopedia commits to maintaining an GESI responsive organisational culture and work environment by:

  • Sharing our GESI commitments and providing orientation to all staff and volunteers on GESI policy and related strategy.
  • Developing knowledge on GESI of all levels of staff and building capacity of the stakeholders and partners to understand and implement GESI interventions.
  • Incorporating GESI criteria and requirements in monitoring, evaluation and reporting systems.
  • Ensuring GESI balanced staffing as well as incorporating GESI criteria and requirements in job descriptions and performance systems.
  • Demonstrating leadership role in organisational capacities by each and every team member to behave in a mutually respectful and cooperative way to advance GESI as an agenda of human rights and dignity.
  • Maintaining a GESI-friendly working environment by promoting a GESI sensitive workplace culture.

Workplace Culture

A positive workplace is characterised by mutual respect that supports employee engagement. It also creates a high performance culture that encourages innovation and creativity. Physiopedia will promote a workplace culture that embraces GESI principles and values is characterised by:

  • Access to opportunities.
  • Recruitment and promotion based on merit.
  • Inclusive policy and practice.
  • Recognition and acceptance of the principle of equality of opportunity for all people.
  • Fair and participative decision making.
  • Freedom from bias.
  • Transparent processes.
  • Reasonable adjustments to remove barriers to employment.
  • Engaged employees performing to their full potential.
  • Respectful communication.
  • Demonstrated, more democratic leadership.

Projects

Physiopedia will promote project structures and procedures to ensure that:

  • All projects development processes integrate Physiopedia perspectives by incorporating GESI awareness and GESI analysis at every stage of programme cycle management.
  • All projects planning processes are participated by the potential target people including women and marginalised communities, including affirmative actions to provide space for women and excluded groups to actively participate in decision making processes.
  • All projects allocate adequate financial and human resources to implement GESI specific interventions.
  • All projects are guided by GESI impact assessment to reduce gender and exclusion-based inequalities.
  • All projects will maintain GESI disaggregated data and indicators of the target groups based on social, economic and geographical diversity.
  • All projects monitor and document GESI lessons as well as disseminate to promote GESI learning for knowledge management.

Implementation of Goals

  1. Ensure that all Physiopedia systems and policies are GESI-sensitive and responsive.
  2. Ensure that specialised GESI related functions are in place in the organisational structure and adequately resourced.
  3. Establish GESI sensitivity in all terms of reference and content development.
  4. Share the GESI Policy widely ensuring that all team members are aware of the contents and responsibilities.
  5. Apply GESI analysis to ensure GESI disaggregated data at all stages of policy and programme work, including planning, implementation, impact assessment and development of measurable gender indicators.
  6. Encourage regular learning and knowledge management on GESI through GESI sharing activities, periodically monitor and evaluate programmes for GESI results against the goals.
  7. Carry out regular periodic GESI audit in order to assess and determine the nature, structure and causes of GESI related imbalances in staff throughout the organisation and set targets for recruitment, retention and promotion of staff accordingly.
  8. Ensure all board members, employees, volunteers and externally recruited consultants are made aware of the importance of the GESI Policy.
  9. Build a common understanding and increased appreciation of GESI through induction, training and encouraging innovative practice.
  10. Integrate GESI performance indicators into job descriptions of staff in objectives and accountabilities where appropriate.
  11. Develop capacity of project staff to carry out GESI based analysis.
  12. Recognise and reward innovations done by team members in projects and practices which integrate gender and inclusion issues.
  13. Team building events will be held monthly for maintaining a good practice of mutual respect and cooperation among all team members, irrespective of their levels and gender.
  14. Equal career development opportunities including development of posts, training and internal promotion.
  15. Maintaining a work-life balanced, family friendly and flexible working policies to allow all team members to fulfill caring responsibilities.
  16. Ensure a safe and secured working environment for all staff through adoption of anti-harassment policies, and action against sexual harassment as zero tolerance policy.
  17. Non-discriminatory wage policy following “equal wage for equal value of work”.
  18. Ensure that staff access to and use of facility and information technology available is unbiased in terms of gender and inclusion.

Roles & Responsibilities in Relation to GESI

All team members are to take responsibility for promoting the GESI agenda as an embedded task in their job description.

  1. Board of Directors/Trustees: Implement the GESI policy within Physiopedia.
  2. Demonstrate a commitment and support for GESI principles and practices within Physiopedia.
  3. Have an “open door policy” in seeking and receiving feedback in regard to GESI matters.
  4. Provide support with initiatives, opportunities and resources to progress GESI within Physiopedia.
  5. Hold management accountable for implementation and upholding of GESI principles and practices.
  6. Ensure investigations are undertaken and take necessary disciplinary action against team members who fail to adhere to GESI principles and practices.
  7. Actively promote and celebrate GESI successes.
  8. Ensure strong links between GESI principles and Physiopedia’ strategic plans.
  9. Investigate and act upon GESI complaints.
  10. Provide leadership on the implementation of the GESI policy and practice.
  11. Demonstrate and consistently model appropriate GESI behaviours and practices.
  12. Foster a working environment where GESI issues can be raised and addressed.
  13. Build GESI considerations into the decision-making processes and service delivery considerations.

Managers

  1. Ensure all new team members are informed and made aware of their GESI obligations and responsibilities.
  2. Provide training for all team members on GESI and undertaking ongoing risk management and analysis.
  3. Regularly review workforce demographics and statistics from a GESI perspective.
  4. Make available information on resources for counseling, support and assistance for staff dealing with GESI issues.
  5. Facilitate and assist in investigating GESI complaints and ensuring appropriate action is taken.
  6. Maintain and ensure confidentiality at all times.

All Team Members

  1. Demonstrate and promote positive GESI behaviors when dealing with colleagues, clients and the community.
  2. Show courtesy and treat all others with respect.
  3. Undertake duties in a way that is fair and inclusive by acknowledging the skills, abilities and background of others.
  4. Do not tolerate and actively prevent any forms of workplace bullying, harassment and/or discrimination.
  5. Bring to the attention of your Manager any incidents of workplace bullying, harassment and/or discrimination.
  6. Support GESI actions initiatives undertaken by Physiopedia.
  7. Recognise the need to be open-minded and listen to the views of others.
  8. Contribute to a positive and supportive workplace culture.

Appendix A: Accepted Definition of Terms as they Apply to the GESI Policy

To effectively embed GESI principles, practices and behaviour in an organisation, all management and contributors [The Team] should take responsibility for spearheading, supporting and sustaining GESI initiatives in the workplace. This can be assisted through the establishment and clear definition of roles and responsibilities in relation to GESI.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action aims to identify and remove any barriers which may be stopping women or other marginalised groups of people from enjoying the full range of opportunities in life. It results in taking action to minimise unfair and discriminatory work practices and to promote equality and equity in all aspects of employment and other services.

Bias or Gender Bias

Bias or gender bias is a stated position; an assumption or situation which shows a preferred view or treatment of one sex over the other.

Cross-cutting Issues

A cross-cutting issue is an issue which is important to be taken into consideration in all policies, processes and practices; usually with a goal to address the needs of a particular marginalised group in society. Cross-cutting issues may include HIV/AIDS, gender, disability, child protection & environment and other marginalised groups.

Culture

Culture is a complex set of learned and shared experiences which embrace the beliefs, values, ideas, customs, languages, and laws of a group of people.

Disability

Disability refers to people with special needs who require special attention, care and support in their families, communities and workplace. And encouragement to determine the full potential in life and refers to the needs created by the interaction between a person with impairment and the environmental and attitudinal barriers he / she may face.

Discrimination

Discrimination is when decisions are made based on a person’s social attributes such as gender, race or ethnic origin, religion, association, physical characteristics and/or other differentiations. Direct discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably than another person in same or similar circumstances on a ground of a particular attribute, such as their age, gender, disability, race, region, religion, culture, social status or other grounds. Indirect discrimination happens when there is a policy or rule or a way of doing things that might appear on the surface to be fair or neutral, but which has an unequal effect on certain groups of people with a particular attribute and the policy or rule is unreasonable. Indirect discrimination is unlawful regardless of whether the person discriminating intendeds to discriminate or is unaware that they are doing so.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal employment opportunity (EEO) means that employees are given an equal opportunity in accessing jobs, training, promotion, work conditions and other career development opportunities.

Equity

Equity is a process of being fair. It means steps being taken to achieve fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities. It often requires programmes and policies to end existing inequalities. Equity leads to equality.

Equality

Equality means that all people enjoy the same status. All people have equal conditions for realising their full human rights and potential to contribute to national, political, economic, social and cultural development and to benefit from the results.

Gender

Gender describes the different roles and responsibilities of women and men – what males and females do, what they are responsible for, how they are expected to behave, what they are allowed to do, and what is seen as normal and proper behaviour. Gender roles responsibilities vary according to cultural, religious, historical and economic factors.

Sex

Sex describes the biological differences between men and women.

Gender Awareness

Gender awareness is the recognition of the differences in the interests, needs and roles of women and men in society and how they result in differences in power, status and privilege. It also means the ability to identify problems arising from gender inequity and discrimination. Gender equality means that men and women have equal value, rights and opportunities to participate in every aspect of employment and life. Gender equity is the process of being fair to disadvantaged men or women through specific interventions and actions such as balancing past or current differences that have had a negative impact on a woman or man’s ability to participate fully and equally in employment and other opportunities. Gender inequality means that a man or a woman does not have equal values, rights or opportunities.

Gender Mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming is the process of ensuring that all women and men have equal access and control over resources, decision making and benefits at all stages of organisational processes, practices and policies.

Harassment

Harassment refers to unwanted or uninvited behaviour that is offensive, intimidating and humiliating. Common forms of harassment that have been identified are sexual, religious, bullying, physical disability, physical attack, threat etc.

Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease, injury or infirmity.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity means to have consideration, concern and care about another person and treat them with kindness.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is when an individual makes an unwelcome sexual advance, an unwelcome request for sexual favours, or engages in other unwelcome sexual conduct in relation to another person; in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Social Exclusion

Social exclusion may be imposed by law, resulting from economic circumstances or from failure to supply social goods or services. Groups that are socially excluded include the unemployed, ethnic minorities, homeless, elderly, people with disabilities. These groups experience worse health outcomes than the general population.

Social Inclusion

Social inclusion describes a process whereby certain groups in society are systematically excluded from opportunities that are open to others. Groups can be discriminated against on the basis of their sex, age, caste, clan, descent, disability, ethnic background, HIV or other health status, migrant status, religion, sexual orientation, social status, where they live or other social identity. Social inclusion means ensuring that socially excluded people have equal conditions for realising their full human rights and potential to contribute to national, political, economic, social and cultural development and to benefit from the results.

Social Norms

Social norms are rules of conduct or models of behaviour expected by a society or social group. These are rooted in customs, traditions and value systems that gradually develop in a society or social group. It is important to understand that social norms, whilst generally accepted, may not always exhibit ethical or fair treatment of others.

Threat

A threat refers to a statement or behaviour that causes a person to believe they are in danger of being physically attacked and/or intimidated.

Victimisation

In this policy, victimisation refers to an officer or a staff member who has been affected because he or she has formally made an allegation or complaint in relation to discrimination, harassment or unacceptable workplace behaviour.

Well being

Well being is a state of being comfortable, healthy or happy and ties in closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease, injury or infirmity”.

Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying refers to any unreasonable and oppressive behaviour directed at an officer or staff member that may create a risk to the physical and psychological well being.

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence refers to any incident where an officer or staff member is physically attacked or threatened in the workplace.