Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. Working effectively with diversity is an essential part of this.

Our Equality Policy commits us to ensuring that there is no unjustified discrimination  in the recruitment, retention, training and development of staff on the basis of age, disability, gender including transgender, HIV/AIDS status, marital status including civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, political opinion, race/ethnicity, religion and belief, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, spent convictions, trade union activity or membership, work pattern, on the basis of having or not having dependants, or on any other grounds which are irrelevant to decision-making . 

Our Equality Policy takes account of relevant legal standards. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it in this area. We try to avoid unjustified discrimination which we recognise is a barrier to equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights. 

The British Council is committed to: 

  • understanding, valuing and working constructively with diversity to enable fair and full participation in our work and activities; 
  • ensuring that there is no unjustified discrimination in our recruitment, selection, performance management and other processes; 
  • ensuring action that promotes equality; this includes conducting equality screening and impact assessments of policies and functions and progressing diversity action plans; 
  • treating individuals with whom we work with fairness, dignity and respect; 
  • playing our part in removing barriers and redressing imbalances caused by inequality and unjustified discrimination. 

All staff are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with this policy. We also require that clients, customers, partners and suppliers be made aware of this policy and operate within it. 

The British Council will review the policy at least every three years to help ensure it reflects good practice and new legal and regulatory developments.

To get further information on our EDI policy please visit http://www.britishcouncil.org/organisation/how-we-work/equality-diversit...


What do we mean by equality and diversity?


Equality of opportunity is about treating people fairly and without bias and about creating conditions in the workplace and wider society that encourage and value diversity and promote dignity. It is also about trying to redress past imbalances and ensuring that dealings with clients, customers and suppliers are conducted in a constructive way that supports appropriate inclusion and does not give rise to unjustified discrimination.


Diversity is concerned with creating an inclusive environment and practices which benefit the organisation and those who work in and with it. It takes account of the fact that people differ from one another in many ways. Understanding, valuing and effectively managing these differences can result in greater participation that can be leveraged for success at an individual, team and organisational level.When we talk about equal opportunity and diversity, we focus on seven main areas:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Gender (which includes transgender)
  • Religion/belief and culture
  • Sexual orientation
  • Work-life balance

Our approach to equal opportunity and diversity

We have developed a number of policies to promote equality and diversity and we use a range of tools to monitor and evaluate our progress in mainstreaming these. We believe the best way to manage equal opportunity and diversity is to ensure that they are built into all processes and functions, considered part of all policy decisions, and present in the planning of all programmes from start to finish. This is what we mean by mainstreaming equality and diversity principles and practices.