Strategy to support Diversity and Inclusion in the veterinary professions

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have launched the strategy of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, outlining the areas of focus to improve diversity and inclusion within the veterinary professions.

The RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG) Strategy, launched on 17th February 2021, focuses on six core areas, with the RCVS and other organisations aiming to work together to improve inclusion and diversity at all stages – from school-aged children who might be considering a career in the veterinary profession to engendering positive culture change for those already in it.

Six areas of focus

The strategy will focus across six work streams, which are:

  • Recruitment to veterinary/veterinary nurse education and training
  • Retention and support within vet and VN education
  • Recruitment within the professions
  • Retention and support within the professions
  • Organisational policies and procedures
  • Culture change

Membership of the DIG

The RCVS DIG includes the Association of Veterinary Students, BVA, British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society, British Veterinary LGBT+ Society, BVNA, Major Employers Group, SPVS and the Veterinary Schools Council, and will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating progress within the six work streams on an ongoing basis.

Reflective of British society

Niall Connell – senior vice-president of the RCVS, who chairs the DIG – said: “I’ve always been of the opinion that making the veterinary professions more diverse and reflective of British society at large, as well as protecting fellow professionals from discrimination, isn’t just a moral issue, but one that actually improves the quality of the profession, and the outcomes we are delivering for our clients and patients.

“It’s important to emphasise that this strategy is a start, and not an end in and of itself. There will be lots of hard work to be done and challenging conversations to be had, and results may not be quick or immediately obvious, but I am proud that we are taking a proactive approach and not just saying ‘things will change with time’.”

Dr Mandisa Greene, RCVS President and DIG member, added: “Fulfilling this Strategy will involve a lot of hard work over the coming months and years but I am glad to say that many of the activities it outlines are already underway both at the RCVS and our partner organisations, building on the pioneering work that organisations such as the British Veterinary Association, British Veterinary Ethnicity & Diversity Society, the British Veterinary LGBT+ Society, Animal Aspirations and others have been undertaking.”

The strategy is available via the RCVS website.

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