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Promoting Diversity and Equality in Social Work

  • 11 Pages
  • Published On: 31-10-2023


In the social working programs, diversity management along with the anti-discrimination practices are mandatory so that the social workers are working efficiently and improve own abilities and practice to provide the services to all the clients irrespective of any diversity (Castrellón, 2020). The study aims at understanding the meaning of discrimination and oppression, for which the people are suffering from getting equal treatment and services in the social programs. The study also provides a scope to review the theories and concept of discrimination and oppression as well as identify the anti-discriminatory practices and diversity management process so that it would be ensured to manage the people with harmony and provide equal services and opportunities to them. Through discussing the consequences if the discrimination in the society as well as rationale for promoting equality, human rights, and social justice, whilst valuing diversity and super-diversity, it would also be possible to reflect own understanding and identify in professional social work practice.

Discrimination & Oppression

Discrimination is the unfair or prejudicial treatment of people and groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, age or sexual orientation. The people are discriminated on the basis of different factors and they fail to seek equal opportunities in the society. In the social working programs, the people are discriminated on the basis of age, gender, race and ethnicity, power, economic class and other discrimination on diseases, mental and physical abilities. Hence, it is a major issue in the UK society, where the people are vulnerable to seek continuous support and guidance from the social working groups, where they fail to seek their service due to discrimination and oppression in the society (Castrellón, 2020). On the other hand, Oppression is malicious or unjust treatment or exercise of power, often under the guise of governmental authority or cultural opprobrium, for which the general public of the country is suffering trough discrimination in getting the equal opportunities. Oppression may be overt or covert, depending on how it is practiced for which human rights of the individuals is being violated ethical or due to injustices practice. The social workers are facing several issues in managing fairness and accountability in providing the equal scope of the human being, who can seek services in the society irrespective of any discrimination and oppression. Power plays a crucial role in such discrimination and oppression practice, for which the general public of the country are facing problems in seeking different social programs (Krumer-Nevo, 2017). The main objective of the UK government in arranging different social work programs is to maximise the value of the individuals and secure human rights. However, due to the practice of discrimination and oppression, the citizens of the UK fail to seek all the available social work programs and services provided by NGOs and other social care groups in the society.


As per the theory of social power, a population's power structure is formally related to its structure of influential communications, which in turn reveals that it is formally related to its pattern and prevalence of interpersonal agreements. Social power is the ability to achieve goals even if other people oppose those goals. Hence the powerful people can maximise their interest irrespective of other consequences in the society (Krumer-Nevo, 2017). Physical power relies upon strength to force another person to act, as well as there is economic power, where the high economic class have the power to access all the services in the society and also make decision for the social work programs. Hence power is an important factor that has adverse impact on the social distribution practice which leads to discrimination and oppression (Carter et al., 2017). It is important for the organisations working under social programs need to review the issue of discrimination and oppression, so that the causes and consequences of such discriminated practice can be explored. It is important or the UK government to intervene in the process and involve the social care groups so that the issue of discrimination and oppression can be resolved in long run. The social workers along with government of the UK arrange social services including the health care services, public hep for the children with ADHD, supporting the people with physical impairment and poor mental health. The service groups are working efficiently and provide the best quality care to the citizens of the UK, but the issue of discrimination and oppression exists due to power and unequal distribution.

Different forms of discrimination and oppression

There are different forms of discrimination happens in the UK society, for which the people are not getting proper support to seek social work program for maximising their standard of living. The major four forms of discrimination in the UK society are such as gender discrimination in the workplace, disability discrimination, racial discrimination and economic class discrimination. Disability discrimination is one of the major issue, where the people is suffering from attending in different social work programs and seek the services for improving their living standard. Disability discrimination as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is an individual who has mental or physical impairment that limits his activities of daily living (Watts and Hodgson, 2019). There is disability discrimination in the care home an education system, as well as in the workplace, where the people are discriminated in terms of their ability, overall capabilities to perform and impairment. The people with disability also face issues in seeking different social services like health care, educational activities and other services to improve their wellbeing. In the educational; field, the people face discrimination and oppression and it is considered as a serious issue in the UK society (Harris and White, 2018). The people with physical and mental disability face problems in attending daily classes and there is no such support practices and special care system in the regular schooling system. it is important for the government of the UK and NGOs to focus on supporting the children with ADHD, autism as well as the adults with different physical and mental impairment, so that they can overcome their challenges an participate actively in the educational system and others social working process (Harris and White, 2018).

In addition to this, racial discrimination is another issue, which is still there in the UK society. It is a major issue of discrimination and oppression, where the people with other ethnicity and race face discrimination in accessing different social services and other opportunities in the UK society (Harris and White, 2018). Stereotypic expression has contributed to racial discrimination across the globe and it is as demonstrated by apartheid, civil unrest, genocide, revolutions, and wars in Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia, and in Central, North, and South America. For example, the BAME community in the UK face issues in attending in the educational programs and any social work programs. Due to language gap and other diversity in terms of race and ethnicity, they face challenges to get equal scope for learning, education and employment in long run. For example, the UK government arranged Vaccination campaign in the recent pandemic situation to fight against COVID 19. However, the people from BAME communities were not involved with such activities and get their vaccination done as soon as possible. Due to language gap and lack of communication and cooperation with them, they did not participate in such campaign. It raises issues of discrimination and oppression (Watts and Hodgson, 2019). It is the role of the social care groups to take care of the BAME community and raise concern about the life threatening virus and educate them about the ways to getting their vaccination safety. Hence, there is racial discrimination or which the BAME communities were not involved with such activities and they fail to seek social service and health care programs for being safe and secured (Harris and White, 2018). Along with this, racial discrimination is also there in the employment, where the multinational corporations fail to manage diversity in the workplace for which there are internal conflicts and resistance to change. Globalisation increases the pace of transfer of labourer and technology across the globe, and the MNCs try to hire the experienced staff from different background, demographic factors and diversity in education and other practices, which raise issues relate to discrimination and oppression in the workplace due to poor diversity managerial practice (Garcia, David and Mapaye, 2019).

In addition to this, gender discrimination is another major concern in the recent era of globalisation, and it leads to worse situation, where the women are not getting equal opportunities. In the UK society, gender pay gap become a serious issue, where there is discrimination and lack of equality in payments to the male and female members of the organisation (Thompson, 2017). Additionally, there is lack of female members in the top managerial level of the company, which also raise concern about the working and education opportunities for the women in the society. Hence, gender pay gap hamper the equal gender payment and human rights of the individual. On the other hand, economic class discrimination is another major form of discrimination in the UK society, for which the people are suffering from improving their wellbeing. There is no such equal income and wealth distribution system in the UK society, for which there are huge numbers of people, strongly holding the position and power in terms of their ability and economic status (Priester and Ivankovich, 2018). On the other hand, huge numbers of people in the UK are living below property line, and they are derived in terms of getting social services, health care, food and shelter. Due to lack of safety and security, there are huge numbers of vulnerable people who are suffering from kidnapping, sexual harassments, molestation and others. On the other hand, the nutrition value of the children and adults become deteriorated and they are not getting the scope of accessing health care services in the society.

Consequences of discrimination and oppression

The above mentioned forms of discrimination and oppression have serous impacts on the overall social wellbeing, where the government, NGOs and other social care groups try to work collaboratively to maximise the wellbeing of the individuals in long run, but they fail to create values for the social communities as a whole. The standard of living of the people becomes deteriorated over the period of time due to such discriminatory practice. it is also difficult for the government to maintain fairness and being accountable in making good decision for the values of human being the Equality Act and diversity management is also hampered over time and this leads the practice towards worse situation, where the human rights of the individuals is being violated (Remedios and Snyder, 2018). The employment opportunities are not equally distributed as well as there is gender gap and unequal income distribution which make one economic group richer and other unable groups of people become poorer in long run. Hence, income distribution is not equal along with discrimination in gender, race and ethnicity, where the minority people in the UK society are not getting equal scope to participate in different social working programs, healthcare and education. Hence, due to such discrimination and oppression, the quality of life of the individuals becomes hampered.

Anti-Discriminatory Practice and Identity

Anti-discriminatory practice is mandatory to implement in the society, so that the social workers team can cooperate with the NGOs and government of the UK to develop equality and diversity practice in the society. It is the role of the government to intervene in such critical phase of discrimination and oppression and collaborate with the local authorities, NGOs and social working groups to design social working programs and support all the individuals living in the UK society (Kirkinis et al., 2021). The Equality Act 2010 includes provisions that ban age discrimination against adults in the provision of services and public functions. It improves equality and diversity in the workplace as well as in the society, so that the people can seek different social working programs to overcome their challenges and maximise quality of life. In addition to this, The Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 makes it unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate on the basis of certain grounds including employment, education and training, and provision of facilities, goods and services. Health and Social Care Act 2012 as well as Human Rights Act 1998 are also effective legislative structure which provides a scope to the policy makers and social workers to fight or equality and maximise the standard of living of the individuals (Barnes, 2018). Equal Pay Act 2010 and employment practice further improve ethical practices in hiring the staff and providing equal scope to the society to apply for the job position and get the right job position as per their abilities and skill set (Ayón et al., 2018). Human rights can be maximised through equality and diversity management practice, where the government and social workers would be able to ensure that all the individuals can seek the social working programs irrespective of their gender, age, race, ethnicity as well as demographic background and economic class.

Anti-discriminatory practice according to Thompson (2016) refers to how individuals operate in a way that fights against practices and behaviours which are discriminatory in nature. The behaviours against different race and ethnicity must be demolished though promoting equality and diversity (Kira et al., 2019). Additionally, there would be transparency and accountability in managing the people and meet their human rights in long run by providing them all the opportunities that they seek. It is an approach that seeks to reduce, undermine or eliminate discrimination and oppression and remove the barriers that prevent people from accessing services. If the families did not possess the values, standards, or attitudes complicit with social workers, families were often denied services and hence, the social workers must create values for all the individuals and fulfil their necessities successfully (Thompson, 2017). The social workers in this regard try to implement the above mentioned legislative practice as well as raise awareness about values, respect for others and maintaining positive attitude towards other people in the society. The social care workers try to involve the social communities irrespective of their diversity in order to make good decision and create value for all the individuals ensuring to fulfil human rights. Thompson’s PCS Analysis, includes three levels which are personal, cultural and structural. On the personal level, the social working group take care of the personal thoughts, emotion and values of the individuals to understand their requirements and try to meet their necessities and commitment towards the social communities of the UK (Thompson, 2017). On the other hand, on the cultural level, there is different cultural people, stereotype, race and ethnicity for which differences among the individuals raise over the period of time. It is important to mitigate cultural discrimination by creating cultural values among the people living in the UK society. The influences of multiple social, economic, and political factors affect the structural facto as per Thomson model, and it is important to conduct structural reform for social development, economic growth and stable political condition, by ensuring equal opportunities for all the people in the UK (Bhuyan, Bejan and Jeyapal, 2017).

As per my personal identity, I am a 25 years female living in the UK and I am working as junior staff in the health care home, established in the UK. As a health and social worker in the UK, I have faced different forms of discrimination in working in the health care hone and participating in different training and developmental programs. As I am a female member, there is age discrimination in the UK, in terms of getting job in higher position and gender pay gap. I think I have been paid low as compared to other make members, physicians in the care home. I am working with them to treat the patients and my abilities also match them in terms of utilising different health care equipment, developing good care plan for the patients and supporting the patients with continuous communication and cooperation. As I am 25 years, it I also difficult for me to get higher job position in my workplace irrespective of the fact that I am engaged with the senior doctors and I have experience to make organisational decisions. Hence, age and gender discrimination are there in the organisation, which raise difficulties for the health care worker like me to survive in such condition and increase own capabilities.

Hence, in terms of personality and professional identify, I face discrimination in the workplace where I am not getting opportunities to make effective decision for the patients and there is lack of personal and professional skill enhancement scope for me at the organisation due to lack of training and induction process. I focus on engaging with the special working group who are working with anti-discrimination and mitigate the issue of oppression in the society. I would like to improve my knowledge and capabilities in working with senior team and seek help from the anti-discrimination social working group to get equal opportunities in my professional career. I also cooperate with two different service users group such as BAME communities and the women group in the society, who is facing issues to get equal scope in the society. Collaboration with the anti-discrimination social working group and continuous communication with other service user group help me to improve my scope for participating in different organisational practice and maximise my capabilities in getting higher opportunities in professional career without any discrimination practice.

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it can be concluded that, in the recent era of globalisation, discrimination and oppression become a serious issue in the UK society, and it is the role of the government, NGOs and local authorities of the UK to collaborate with the social work group to raise awareness about equality and diversity, so that the overall quality of life of the individuals of the UK can be improved in long run. As a female health carte worker, I also face discrimination in terms of gender pay gap, low job promotional scope, lack of opportunity in participating organisational decision making practice and training programs which hamper my career. I would like to collaborate with anti-discriminatory social work group to fulfil my human rights and meet my professional career aim in long run by equality and diversity.

Reference List

  • Ayón, C., Messing, J.T., Gurrola, M. and Valencia-Garcia, D., 2018. The oppression of Latina mothers: Experiences of exploitation, violence, marginalization, cultural imperialism, and powerlessness in their everyday lives. Violence against women, 24(8), pp.879-900.
  • Barnes, C., 2018. Theories of disability and the origins of the oppression of disabled people in western society. In Disability and society (pp. 43-60). London: Routledge.
  • Bhuyan, R., Bejan, R. and Jeyapal, D., 2017. Social workers’ perspectives on social justice in social work education: When mainstreaming social justice masks structural inequalities. Social Work Education, 36(4), pp.373-390.
  • Carter, R.T., Lau, M.Y., Johnson, V. and Kirkinis, K., 2017. Racial discrimination and health outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities: A meta‐analytic review. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 45(4), pp.232-259.
  • Castrellón, L.E., 2020. Social Justice Leadership: Disrupting Power, Oppression, and Uplifting Marginalized Communities. The Palgrave Handbook of Educational Leadership and Management Discourse, pp.1-19.
  • Garcia, G.M., David, E.J.R. and Mapaye, J.C., 2019. Internalized racial oppression as a moderator of the relationship between experiences of racial discrimination and mental distress among Asians and Pacific Islanders. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 10(2), p.103.
  • Harris, J. and White, V., 2018. A dictionary of social work and social care. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Kira, I.A., Shuwiekh, H., Al-Huwailah, A.H., Lewandowski, L., Alawneh, A.W.N., Abou-Mediene, S., Al Ibraheem, B. and Aljakoub, J., 2019. The central role of social identity in oppression, discrimination and social-structural violence: Collective identity stressors and traumas, their dynamics and mental health impact. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 25(3), p.262.
  • Kirkinis, K., Pieterse, A.L., Martin, C., Agiliga, A. and Brownell, A., 2021. Racism, racial discrimination, and trauma: A systematic review of the social science literature. Ethnicity & health, 26(3), pp.392-412.
  • Krumer-Nevo, M., 2017. Poverty and the political: Wresting the political out of and into social work theory, research and practice. European Journal of Social Work, 20(6), pp.811-822.
  • Priester, P.E. and Ivankovich, K.C., 2018. Dirty secrets, unholy unions, and death sentences: Disability-based oppression and privilege. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Remedios, J.D. and Snyder, S.H., 2018. Intersectional oppression: Multiple stigmatized identities and perceptions of invisibility, discrimination, and stereotyping. Journal of Social Issues, 74(2), pp.265-281.
  • Thompson, N., 2017. Promoting equality: Challenging discrimination and oppression. London: Macmillan International Higher Education.
  • Watts, L. and Hodgson, D., 2019. Social justice theory and practice for social work. Berlin: Springer.

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