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Inclusivity Matters: Welcoming the Lord Holmes Review

London big ben

I am delighted to welcome the Lord Holmes Review today.

Why? I believe in inclusivity. I believe we are stronger together. I believe that diverse views and experience matter.

Because it is helping to ask the question, what does talent look like, really?

If I asked you to imagine a doctor…what comes to mind? For many people it’s the image of a non-disabled, white, cis man. But that’s not what all doctors look like. It used to be, perhaps, when prejudice excluded everyone else from training and applying. But more and more doctors can look like the people they treat – like everyone. There is still a great way to go but progress is being made.

We need to update our internal picture of what talent looks like and where it can be found.

Because otherwise, the expertise, insight, skills and talents of talent in its broadest most brilliant form, not just that of a tiny elite. How can we as a country not seek to enable and empower all of our talent, not least that held by disabled people across the nation, talent that is all too often sadly wasted. – Lord Holmes [1]

I need to do this too, due to internalised oppression, when I think of what a board member looks like, I tend to think of an older white man in a good suit. And while there are such members and they can be great board members, it’s not fair for them to be all the board members. It’s not representative or effective for the work of the board.

[W]e need to reimagine that talent, what it looks like, sounds like, where it is located, we need such diverse talent across our public appointments to enable those boards to make the best decisions to benefit Britain. – Lord Holmes [2]

As well as working as a psychotherapeutic counsellor in advance training, running Trailblazing Wellness (Un)Ltd and Healing Boxes CIC, I also do governance work. I sit on the national board for social care, Social Care Wales and I am delighted to feature in the Lord Holmes Review which is published today. The Lord Holmes Review is looking into disabled people in public appointments, such as board positions for public bodies like Social Care Wales.

I became involved in public body work after a Kitchener moment and responded
to a job advert asking ‘Are you a woman, disabled, under 30, LGBT, BAME?’. I thought, ‘I am many of those things, can I contribute my systemic, inclusive and lived experience to good use here?

In my board work, I find seeing the concepts come into action most rewarding. It’s the moment where policy meets people.

My work has always been about people: their narratives, needs, restoration, resources and potential for change. I’m continuing that work at Social Care Wales where I hope to contribute my unique lived, governance and professional experience.

Check out the Review here

Have you thought about applying for a public appointment? If so, how can I support you?

Photo by Hugo Sousa on Unsplash
[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-lord-holmes-review  pp.3
[2] http://chrisholmes.co.uk/diversity-inclusion/public-appointments-disability-review-call-evidence-launched/
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