An increasing number of employees prefer working for organisations committed to diversity and inclusion. These employers tend to be fairer and more welcoming and report higher levels of innovation, creativity, and problem-solving. Many companies now include an EEO statement in job postings to attract a diverse talent pool. Learning how to write an EEO statement can help your organisation craft an effective message that reflects your company values.
This guide covers everything UK employers should know about EEO statements, including:
- What they are
- How to write an EEO statement
- EEO policy writing tips
- EEO statement examples
First up: We explore what an equal opportunities statement is.
What Is An EEO Statement?
An equal opportunities statement, also known as an equal employment opportunity (EEO) or equal opportunity employer (EOE) statement, is a formal summary from an employer. It outlines the organisation’s commitment to offering equal opportunities to all employees and enforcing non-discrimination policies and practices. This means candidates from diverse races, genders, ethnicities, religions, physical abilities, and sexual orientations enjoy equal opportunities without unconscious bias.
The statement itself is a brief text and typically includes the terms “same chance and equal opportunity” to reassure potential employees that the company doesn’t favour or discriminate against applicants based on the abovementioned factors. Most companies include the statement in job listings, employee handbooks, careers pages, and other employer branding literature.
An Equal Opportunity Officer statement highlights the organisation’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. In addition, it is a formal declaration of the company’s commitment to preventing discrimination based on any protected characteristics under UK law.
Is It Mandatory To Include An EEO Statement In Job Listings In The UK?
Including EEO statements in job postings in the UK is not currently mandatory. However, the Equality Act 2010 does provide legal guidelines for enforcing inclusivity in the workplace.
Under the framework, all candidates and employees in the UK are entitled to:
- A merit-based selection process
- Equal chance when applying for jobs within their field
- Fair allocation of work tasks
- Equal opportunities for training and promotions
- A workplace that is free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment
- Fair and equal access to employee benefits
- Unbiased hearing before the termination of employment
The following section examines why employers should consider adding EOE statements to job postings.
Why Should Employers Include AN EEO Statement In Job Postings?
Writing effective EEO statements for job postings shows applicants that they implement non-discriminatory hiring practices. In addition, it’s a good indicator of how seriously this employer takes diversity and fairness.
These aren’t the only benefits of incorporating an equal employment opportunity declaration in job descriptions. We explore three more advantages below.
- Reputation: EEO statements act as a public declaration of your company’s stance on discrimination. Therefore, it shows your company values an employee-centric work culture. In addition, it can serve as a framework for staff throughout the hiring and training process.
Broader talent pool: Including an EEO statement can encourage applicants from underrepresented groups to apply for opportunities within the company. As a result, the employer has a more diverse pool of talent.
- Increased workplace diversity: As the talent pipeline becomes more diverse, so too does the level of diversity within the organisation. And research shows that highly diverse companies enjoy business advantages like increased productivity, better decision-making processes, and enhanced innovation.
Now that we know why they are important let’s look at how to write an EEO statement.
What Should An EEO Statement Include?
EEO statements should be tailored to your organisation, industry, and local laws. As such, they may differ from one company to another. With that said, there are some core components that an EOE statement should include.
EEO statements should:
- Highlight the organisation’s commitment to equal opportunity and preventing workplace discrimination
- Outline the protected characteristics the anti-discrimination policies cover
- Include a declaration that states the organisation follows UK laws and regulations around equal opportunity and fair employment.
- Affirms that all candidates (with the necessary qualifications) will receive fair consideration
- Provide contact details for reporting any concerns regarding discrimination or EEO policy implementation.
In the next section, we dive into EEO statement best practices and provide a step-by-step guide on how to write an EEO statement.
How To Write An EEO Statement
Our step-by-step guide offers comprehensive advice on how to write an EEO statement that’s both clear and effective.
1. Understand local laws
Understanding the legal framework in the UK will ensure that your statement complies with anti-discrimination laws and regulations. Therefore, the first step is to carefully read the Equality Act 2010 and consult with legal professionals to understand your organisation’s responsibilities.
In addition, referring to the Equality Act will indicate to candidates that you are aware of the legal framework surrounding inclusive working conditions.
2. Define the scope of the EEO policy
The next step is to outline what protected characteristics the policy covers. For instance, in the UK, the protected characteristics are:
- Physical ability
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Maternity and paternity
We recommend adding a link to your EEO policy or to a webpage detailing your activities, initiatives, programmes, and results. At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. So, linking to a page that demonstrates how you’ve adopted equal opportunities is a powerful message.
3. State your objectives
Setting and communicating the goals of the equal opportunities policy shows candidates you are committed to its implementation. Some examples of goals include preventing discrimination, promoting inclusivity and diversity, and adopting fair recruitment practices.
It’s essential to be specific here. How do you plan to recruit, train, and promote employees based on merit? What measures will you take to enforce and review your equal opportunities policy? How can applicants raise concerns regarding equal opportunities? What is your process for fairly terminating employment?
These details are not strictly necessary, but they showcase how seriously you take your EEO declaration. In turn, this makes your company appear more authentic.
4. Get approval
Before finalising the EEO policy and statement, it’s critical to have a legal expert review it. In addition, you should get approval from leadership and stakeholders before the making it public.
5. Communicate the statement
The policy and declaration must be communicated clearly to all staff members. So, it’s a wise idea to develop a communication strategy. For instance, you may start with a series of emails or posts on your company’s intranet to introduce the policy and its impliacations. Additionally, providing training and awareness programmes ensures all employees understand their rights, responsibilities, and how to report any incidents.
Businesses evolve fast, and laws surrounding equal opportunities can change. As such, scheduling regular reviews of the EEO statement is a must. That way, you can ensure your policies are up-to-date, complaint with UK laws, and reflective of your company’s values.
The following section offers some tips for crafting an effective EEO statement for job postings.
Tips On How To Write An Impactful EEO Statement
While the EEO statement is a formal declaration, it’s best to avoid overly complicated language. After all, the purpose is for all applicants and employees to clearly understand the company’s position on equal treatment and discrimination. Follow these best practices to help you craft a clear and concise message.
- Avoid legal jargon and use clear, simple language
- Ensure the statement aligns with your brand voice, values, and culture
- Keep the message short and to the point
- Clearly outline all protected characteristics
- Highlight that you hire candidates based on merit and business needs
- Summarise the employment practices your EEO policy covers
- Include the company name in the statement
Example EEO Statement
Do you need help to craft an impactful statement? We’ve put together an example to give you some inspiration. Remember to tailor it to your company’s specific conditions and context.
“XYZ LTD. is an Equal Opportunities Employer. The organisation provides equal employment opportunities regardless of ethnic origin, gender, nationality, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, or medical history. As such, we operate a merit-based recruitment system.”
A Final Word On Creating EEO Statements
We hope this guide has given you some tangible advice on how to write an EEO statement. However, it’s important to highlight that crafting the paragraph is just one small part of the process.
In addition, to writing an EOE statement and adding it to job listings, your organisation needs to create affirmative action plans. These are actionable steps to promote workplace diversity and inclusion and ensure fairness. Examples include implementing diversity initiatives, providing diversity training and awareness, and following local compliance guidelines closely.
Here at Embracing Future Potential, we can help you reach your DEI goals. Our experts offer a range of employer services to help your company become a more inclusive place to work. From job ad inclusivity screening to advertising opportunities on our inclusive jobs boards, we provide tailored packages to help you meet your objectives.
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