BMA EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) strategy is focused on ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and has equal access to opportunity.
This is reflected in our influencing work with policy-makers and key stakeholders as well as in the changes we are making within our own organisation.
Why equality, diversity and inclusion matters to us
- Sustainability - the medical profession is becoming increasingly diverse. Our membership should reflect the medical workforce and student body to be sustainable, to grow and to allow the voices of all groups to be heard.
- Policy making -it strengthens our ability to stand up for you, both individually and collectively, on a wide variety of policy and employment issues.
- External influence - it allows us to respond to and influence effectively on key issues affecting your working lives and wider public health matters.
- High-performance organisation - organisations that are more inclusive and embrace diversity perform better and achieve more. It is essential in attracting and retaining talented and committed staff and members, who can thrive in a positive working environment.
Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the medical profession
As a professional body, we engage with external stakeholders to help shape and implement equality and inclusion policies in our health services.
As a union, we support doctors who experience discrimination in the workplace and promote a just and learning culture.
Some key areas of interest that relate to our work on equality, inclusion and workplace culture are:
- caring supportive collaborative (CSC) report
- changes in the demographics of the medical profession
- maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay
- bullying and harassment
- doctors experiencing domestic abuse
- widening access to medicine
- international medical graduates (IMGs)
We carry out policy work and produce support guidance for our members on key topics:
- Gender pay gap in medicine
- Sexism in medicine
- Supporting trans doctors and trans patients
- Doctors experiencing menopause
Race and ethnicity
Faith and religion
- Doctor-patient relationship including guidance on expressing your personal beliefs
- Workplace support for doctors who have religious beliefs
Working together for an inclusive BMA
There are several ways you can get involved and help the BMA carry out its work on promoting inclusive environments. Our groups and resources are available to you if you wish to take part in our policy work, as well as improving EDI awareness in your workplace.
BMA equality, diversity and inclusion advisory group
Our equality, diversity and inclusion advisory group provides expert advice and guidance on all matters relating to equality, diversity and inclusion work at the BMA.
Group members offer in-depth knowledge of, and experience in, a range of EDI issues, and will help to shape the association’s work on EDI for members, staff and the medical workforce. The group is chaired by the BMA representative body chair.
The group acts as champions for EDI at the BMA and on behalf of the medical profession, promoting and embodying the BMA vision for EDI as set out in our strategy.
Membership of the group is for two BMA sessions (two-year term), starting at the beginning of the 2023-2024 session and will remain fixed for this session and the 2024-2025 session. Submissions for expressions of interest are now closed, however please do get in touch with the corporate EDI team if you would like to know more.
If you would like to share your ideas or feedback about how we can further the work of this group, please email us: [email protected]
If you'd like to share your ideas or feedback about how we can further the work of this group, please email us.
Learning modules for BMA members
These modules will help to improve your awareness and perception of equality, diversity and inclusion:
- inclusion essentials
- challenging behaviour
- inclusive leadership
- understanding unconscious bias
- the impact of micro-behaviours
- disability discrimination
- preventing bullying and harassment
Each module consists of short video clips featuring workplace scenarios and multiple-choice assessment quizzes, and each will take approximately 20 to 60 minutes to complete.
Measuring equality at the BMA
Collecting equality monitoring data ensures we are properly representing the diversity within the medical workforce and student body and that we are treating all our members fairly and with dignity and respect.
It makes us more responsive to the diverse needs of our members. It also helps improve the representativeness of our policy-making and negotiating structures.
The information you provide to us is kept strictly confidential and handled in accordance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
We use this data in aggregate form to analyse and report on statistical trends regarding our membership. It is not used in any way that allows individuals to be identified.
Changing the culture at BMA
We have been working internally to evolve and improve BMA culture too.
What we want to change:
- Every member of the BMA must take responsibility for their behaviour.
- All doctors are colleagues and should be treated with respect.
- Respect should be shown by all genders to all genders, which is also the case for those with protected characteristics and political beliefs.
- Staff are part of the team and as such should be treated with respect.
- Shouting is never acceptable.
- Consideration should be given to implementation of best practice for ensuring diversity and gender balance.
- Everyone should call out bad behaviour when they see it.
- Chairs and committee members should watch for bad behaviour at meetings or delegate it to a relevant person.
- If a complaint is made it should be dealt with.
- Staff should be protected and empowered to call out bad behaviour.
- Staff should be trained to have difficult conversations with doctors and other members of staff.
- HR policies should be reviewed.
- Every committee member must undergo training in diversity, equality, anti-bullying, active-bystander and collegiate working.
- Further mandatory training for committee chairs to develop skills in managing meetings, identifying and dealing with bad behaviour and understanding the principles of fairness and equality in making committee appointments.
- Committee members should be subject to periodic feedback from members and staff along the lines of a 360 appraisal.
- Appointment practices should be monitored.
- Meetings should not take place without everyone eligible to be there being invited and notified.
- Committee members should be prevented from re-election to that committee after a suggested 12 years and restricted from the number of committees they can sit on.
- Consideration should be given to introducing multi-member constituencies for regional seats.
- Consideration should be given to holding meetings around tables, rather than in the council chamber and more break-out groups should be held.
- A BMA women’s group should be established to provide a forum to support and mentor each other.
- Committees should introduce quotas or minimum numbers of women in order to better reflect the percentages of men and women in each branch of practice.
- Women should be encouraged to stand in elections and reserved seats should be introduced for those who have not previously been elected onto a committee (male or female).
- Chairs should be encouraged to call more women to speak in committee meetings, and to emulate the example of GPC and JDC in trying to call a woman to speak first.
- All listservers should be effectively monitored by assessors for speedy determination of complaints.
- Responsibility for the administration of the external complaints process should be moved to the HR department.
- Adequate support, counselling and protection for complainants should be provided.
- Resolution panels should be widened to included doctors not on council or regular committees.
- If a complaint is made about a doctor but is met by a counter-complaint it should still be investigated.
- A booklet explaining the resolution process should be produced and be easily accessible on the website.
- If a complainant wishes to remain anonymous enquires in the complaint should still be made as far as possible.
- Where an anonymous complaint is made it should be pursued only where circumstances appear to merit it.
Since the independent review into sexism and sexual harassment in April 2019, we are working hard to implement the 31 recommendations put forward by Daphne Romney QC.
What’s happened so far:
- we have set up an independent 24-hour support telephone line
- we have established a new independent complaint investigation process
- we have appointed an independent speak up guardian for committee members
- we have rolled out active bystander and valuing difference training for BMA staff and elected members
- we have established a committee mentoring programme to support new committee members
- we have set up a network of elected women representatives who champion and strengthen female leadership and advance diversity for the benefit of our association
- our equality, diversity and inclusion advisory group provides expert advice and guidance on all matters relating to equality, diversity and inclusion work at the BMA
- we have set up BMA FREE (forum for racial and ethnic equality) to strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion
- we have established a disabilities, long-term conditions and neurodiversity network to champion and advance diversity across our association.
BMA programme of work will continue to promote an open and inclusive culture for our members, employees and stakeholders.
Read our reports on improving culture and inclusion at the BMA:
Gender pay report for BMA/BMJ staff
Organisations with over 250 employees are now required to publish information about gender pay difference. The key figure that organisations have to publish is the median gender pay gap which shows the difference in average pay between men and women in the workforce.
The 2022 figures for the BMA/BMJ group show that on average (median) men earn 13.7 per cent more per hour than women.
This is a rise from the 11.7 per cent median gender pay gap reported last year but it remains lower than the UK median gender pay gap figure of 14.9% for 2022. The data in the latest report reflects the snapshot date of 5 April 2022.
While the BMA/BMJ group has made progress on introducing initiatives to reduce the gender pay gap, there is still some way to go. The group remains committed to reducing our gender pay gap and we will continue working with our employees to identify practical ways in which we can do this.