Equality and Diversity Pledge

This page details my Equality and Diversity pledge, which explains what I am doing as the owner of Pages Places & Plates to ensure that I am actively promoting and partaking in positive Equality and Diversity activities. As a blogger I have a platform, and the events in June 2020 of the Black Lives Matter campaign made me realise just how important it is to use this as a way of elevating disadvantaged voices and working towards equality.

As part of my ongoing commitment to Equality and Diversity this pledge will be updated regularly, and all feedback from readers will be taken on board. If you think I’m not doing enough then please tell me!

This page was last updated on 31/07/2020

Client & Content Diversity

I work with a variety of different clients for Pages Places & Plates, and produce a wide range of content across the various niches that I cover. However, I have not actively focused on the diversity within these before writing this. Which I should have been! Here is what I’m going to do to to fix this across my site.

  • I will work with a diverse range of clients, including BIPOC and other minorities. I will regularly review my editorial calendar to ensure that the clients I am working with and the content that I am promoting are diverse – if it’s not (for example a period of time only promoting content from one demographic) them I will change this. I don’t want minorities to only be included at a specific time of year – this should be happening all year round.
  • I will focus on promoting minority representation BY those minorities. For example, where possible, I will promote stories told by those that have experienced them, and recipes devised by those of the same culture.

Accessibility & Inclusivity

Accessibility is something that is so important and, whilst it has been a focus of mine from my own experiences of inaccessibility, it’s not something I’ve focused on enough. There are lots of ways to improve across my site so the list below covers what differences are being put in place for Pages Places & Plates (some of these are currently in progress so please bear with me!).

  • The first change I’ve made is to create specific book categories within my main menu to highlight minority topics. The aim of this is to make it easier for my audience to access books that represent minorities – I have added the categories POC/ethnic minority, LGBT+, and disability representation. I’ve also added a minority-owned businesses category for my product and service reviews.
  • I will ensure that inclusive language is used across my whole website, such as alt text, captions, and sensitive phrasing. I will work towards having a website that meets the W3 WCAG guidelines and is accessible for all.
  • I will use stock images that highlight diverse representation within my posts.
  • I will ensure that the comments section of my site is a safe and comfortable space where people feel they can be included and voice their opinions without harm.
  • When discussing difficult topics on the blog, I will ensure that these are approached in a healthy and safe way. If I am writing about a topic where representation is appropriate then I will consult those with direct experiences first.

Business Decisions

As part of my pledge I’m also going to be implementing several new decisions that relate to my business behind the scenes. Here’s what’s new!

  • I will look at my business expenditure and make sure that, where possible, I am purchasing from BIPOC and other minority-led businesses for services relating to my website. I will embrace businesses that promote equality, and refuse to purchase products and services from businesses that contribute towards inequality.
  • I will continue to promote my collection of learnings and information on BLM on Pinterest, and will ensure that this is circulated regularly around social media – the board can be found here. This will be updated every time I encounter a useful resource or source or information that fits within the topic matter.
  • I will link this pledge into my email signature and across my website to make it as visible as possible.
  • I will use my platform as a business to highlight voices of all minorities.
  • I will also use my platform as a business to show support for causes relating to equality, and actively engage with these causes where possible.

My Personal Pledge

And finally, my personal pledge. I’ve included this because I’m not just Pages Places & Plates – I’m Hannah, an individual, and I also have a responsibility to actively combat inequality and lack of diversity within my personal life. These are the things that I am also doing to work towards better equality.

  • I will continue to learn from disadvantaged minorities about their struggles, their history, and their stories. I’ll make sure to have a focus on media and information that hasn’t been framed through the “white lens”, and will actively seek out this information where possible.
  • I will develop my own understanding of “diversity” and use this to shape my actions going forwards.
  • When I learn new information I won’t just keep it to myself, but use it to educate others. When I see problematic behaviour both online and in-person I will call it out where appropriate, and will help and educate those that are willing to listen.
  • I will take a look at my own personal spending, making the effort to support minority-owned small businesses where possible. I will make an active effort to buy less from large corporations and instead direct that money to small and medium-sized businesses that will benefit from my purchases.
  • I will actively use inclusive language both in-person and online, including the use of image descriptions on social media.
  • As a minority myself (LGBT+) I will be more active at using my voice in this way – I’ve shied away from the community in the past due to erasure, but now I will actively use my voice to fight these issues instead.
  • And, last but not least, I will use my voice as a woman, a chronic illness sufferer, and mental illness sufferer as well, sharing my experiences to educate others and fighting for equality within society.

If you have any questions regarding my Equality and Diversity pledge, or feedback regarding how well you think I’m doing, please get in touch via my contact form.