Promoting equality, valuing diversity
A learning and development manual
By Neil Thompson

To see sections of this book in a PDF, please click here.

Issues of equality and diversity are complex, difficult and sensitive. Some people believe they have already learned everything. This training manual is designed to help people to build on the strengths and avoid the pitfalls of the past. It dispels some of the myths and oversimplifications around issues like 'political correctness', and shows how dangerous it is to oversimplify and distort some very complicated issues.

Writing in the foreword to this manual, Neil Thompson says: 'Promoting equality and valuing diversity is not an easy task - in fact, it is a major challenge. However, it is well worth the time, effort and energy invested in it.'

This manual provides a background knowledge base underpinning the work and a series of 22 exercises on: race and ethnicity; gender; age; disability; sexual orientation; and religion. It also contains a guide to further study. It is an excellent resource that will be of immense value to training and development professionals; managers interested in promoting understanding in their teams or staff groups; practice teachers and mentors; and lecturers and tutors in colleges and universities.

Training and learning about equality and diversity are an ongoing process, and in a spirit of encouraging further debate, study and learning about them, the author suggests a series of key issues for trainers to consider, but not to follow unthinkingly: remember that discrimination is more than prejudice; focus on education and learning, not punishment or indoctrination; adopt a positive approach geared towards valuing diversity and promoting equality, rather than encourage a negative, defensive, 'cover your backs' mentality; go beyond the law; do not oversimplify language issues; work together; set the right tone; feature power and empowerment as key themes; make use of self-monitoring; and be humble. Above all, he stresses that we will all make mistakes, but it is hoped that we will learn from them.

As Neil Thompson - author of several books in this area - writes: 'We are now in a position to make the transition from the dogmatic reductionism that has haunted us for some years now and, using the foundations provided by the diversity approach, build a much more positive, more sophisticated and thus more effective approach to tackling discrimination and contributing to more humane workplaces and a more humane society more broadly.'

The background material and accessible exercises in this manual can be of help to all of us.

Anyone who registers their purchase with RHP can obtain, at no extra cost, the worksheets, case spotlights and presentation slides in PDF and PowerPoint format.

A4 wiro. 176 pages. 978-1-905541-49-2. Published 2009. £39.95.


  • Trainers, tutors, leaders, managers and supervisors working or teaching in the helping professions: social work, social care, nursing, other health care professions, probation, community justice and youth justice work, youth and community work, counselling, advice work, pastoral work.
  • Anyone in other professions when help is sought with the 'people skills' of management, leadership and supervision.


    Series editor's foreword
    Setting the context

    Understanding equality and diversity
    Understanding discrimination
    The case for equality and diversity
    The current situation: finding the balance
    Practising what we teach
    Key issues
    Conclusion to part one
    Ground rules
    Training and Development
    Race and ethnicity
    Sexual orientation
    Further exercises
    Concluding comments
    Recommended reading
    Organisations and websites
    Handouts and presentation slides
    Equality and diversity: key terms
    PCS analysis
    Pitfalls to avoid: a culture of fear and blame
    Pitfalls to avoid: complacency
    Pitfalls to avoid: minimisation
    Pitfalls to avoid: inelegant challenging
    Pitfalls to avoid: political correctness
    Statements to challenge
    Linguistic sensitivity
    Race and racism
    Facts and figures
    The social construction of age
    Sexual orientation: the Law says...
    Religion: the Law says...
    Presentation slides
    Electronic supply of the worksheets, handouts and presentation slides from Promoting Equality, Valuing Diversity


    Neil Thompson
    is Director of Avenue Consulting Ltd (, a company offering training and consultancy across the 'people professions' - that is, the helping professions plus management, supervision and leadership more broadly. He has over 100 publications to his name, including best-selling textbooks, papers in learned journals and training and open learning materials. His website is at

    Be tutored online by Neil Thompson as a member of his online learning community for only 10 a month! Click here for details.