The Royal Navy acknowledges that its people are the most important factor in delivering operational effectiveness. We value the diversity and range of individual skills and talents our people bring. Our ethos is inclusive; it welcomes and appreciates differences in gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital status and social and educational background while accepting the limitations imposed through being a deployable fighting force.
The Royal Navy's commitment to diversity extends beyond its legal responsibility to prevent unlawful discrimination. We are resolutely committed to ensuring that all Naval personnel shall have equal opportunities for employment, training and advancement based solely on their merits and abilities, and that all our people can work in an environment free from intimidation, humiliation, harassment or abuse.
The Royal Navy has in place a wide range of initiatives, which support the achievement and maintenance of the Service's Diversity and Equality goals. The Navy Board remains fully committed to the application of Diversity policies throughout the Royal Navy and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. The Navy Board is in no doubt that the Royal Navy must tap into the diversity of human resources, talents and skills available throughout the nation and, in doing so, better reflect the society it exists to defend.
All individuals are to be afforded equal opportunities, treated fairly and with courteousness, and decisions on recruitment, selection, training, promotion and career management are to be based solely on merit and objective job-related criteria. That said, those in authority, such as Senior Ratings and SNCOs, should not defer making well considered and necessary but unpopular decisions, or giving reasonable but firm orders for fear that they will be challenged on the grounds of harassment or discrimination. Moral courage and appropriate strong leadership will always be supported by the Command.
Any allegations of discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation will be addressed with thoroughness and impartiality. Complaints will be investigated and disciplinary or administrative action taken where appropriate. All this is necessary not simply to comply with law, important as that is, but as a fundamental management principle to provide for better performance and motivation, and to achieve the teamwork that is vital to our operational effectiveness.
Dated: 09 Sep 04.