Diversity and inclusion must be embraced by the veterinary professions, said the British Veterinary Association (BVA) as it welcomed the publication of a new strategy from the RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.

The strategy sets out six workstreams and draws together ideas and actions from the members of the working group: Association of Vet Students, BVA; BVEDS; BVLGBT+; BVNA; Major Employers Group; RCVS; SPVS; and Vet Schools Council.

The working group is chaired by RCVS senior vice-president Niall Connell and BVA has been represented by BVA SVP Daniella Dos Santos, whose presidential year theme (2019/2020) was #VetDiversity.

'Diversity is a good thing'

Commenting on the launch, Dos Santos said:

"At BVA we start from the point of view that diversity is a good thing – for our community, our businesses and workplaces, and our clients. But it’s clear that the veterinary professions have a diversity problem.

"For too long we’ve heard that things will change by themselves over time, but the evidence suggests that’s not the case.

The veterinary profession must genuinely embrace diversity and inclusion if we want to see real change and demonstrate that the veterinary community is somewhere that people from all backgrounds can thrive.

"We welcome the publication of the strategy and we’re pleased that it’s supported by key organisations across the veterinary and nursing professions.

"As leaders in the veterinary community, it’s important that the members of the working group are united in sending out a clear message and leading the action plan," she added.

“Through our good workplaces and widening participation projects, BVA is committed to taking action and developing the information and resources that every individual can use to help break down barriers, increase access, promote visibility, and call out negative behaviour in order to make our profession more welcoming, diverse and inclusive," she concluded.