May 2008: Steering Group

Independent research by Focus Consultancy and the Learning and Skills Council, funded by the European Union, recommended the creation of a professional body for practitioners in the equality, diversity and human rights sector. 

In May 2008, Paul Neale, Chief Executive of Kingston Smith Association Management  took the initiative, inviting people who responded to the LSC’s consultation to help form the Institute. Over the next ten months, a steering group established the aims and objectives for the Institute, grew the membership to nearly 80 practitioners and planned the formal launch.

January 2009: Formal launch of the Institute

The Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners was launched in Birmingham on 26 January 2009. The launch established the UK's first professional body of equality, diversity and human rights practitioners.

The Institute was delighted to welcome over 70 delegates to the event. Our guest speakers were Jonathan Rees, Director General, Government Equalities Office and Nicola Brewer, Chief Executive, Equality and Human Rights Commission. The event was chaired by Linda Bellos OBE.

May 2009: Election of Board Members

The Institute held its first formal elections for Board membership in May 2009. There were eighteen places on the Board. Nomination forms were sent by email to all members on 27 April, with a return deadline of 15 May 2009.

Eight valid nominations were received. These were all from members of the steering group that worked to establish the Institute. Since fewer than eighteen nominations were received, all nominees were eligible to be appointed to the Board without a contested election. 

The appointment of the Board Members was ratified at the Inaugural General Meeting by the Institute’s members.

June 2009: Inaugural General Meeting

The Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners held its Inaugural General Meeting on 12 June 2009.  The meeting was sponsored and hosted by Ernst & Young, global business consultants. It was open to all Associate Members of the Institute.

A ‘Question Time’ session on the Equality Bill 2009 was followed by a members' networking event. Our guest panellists were:

  • Fleur Bothwick, Director of Diversity and Inclusiveness, Ernst and Young
  • Paul Campayne, Head of Diversity Works for London
  • Karen Chouhan, Co-ordinator and Director Research and Policy, Equanomics UK
  • Michael Rubenstein, Editor of ‘Equal Opportunities Review’

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