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The power of collective action in digital health: Key takeaways from the Equity Charter webinar

Our director, Dillan Yogendra, shares his takeaways on how we can improve equity in digital health following the Equity Charter webinar he moderated.

 

When offered the chance to moderate a webinar around how we can improve equity in digital health, I was privileged to play my part in helping to raise awareness of the Equity Charter, such an important issue for the industry and for the team at Silver Buck. 

The Equity Charter was developed by Ayesha Rahim, Portfolio Psychiatrist, NHS; Victoria Betton, Director, PeopleDotCom; and Hassan Chaudhury, Non-Executive Director, Opto Health, in response to the reported racist comments from TPP’s CEO Frank Hester about Diane Abbott, the first Black woman elected to Parliament. This sparked an immediate response from Ayesha, Victoria and Hassan who drafted an open letter to take a stand against racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination within the digital health community.  

On the webinar I was joined by the three founders of the Equity Charter as well as Monique Carayol, leadership coach and co-founder of Bravery in the Boardroom. Monique gave an inspiring keynote and closed the session by sharing the importance of collective change and how together, we can make a big impact.  

Here are some of the takeaways from the session: 

  1.  The power of a movement and collective action

Monique emphasised the importance of collective action in driving meaningful change. Maintaining momentum is crucial when pushing for equity and though it’s easy to feel isolated and exhausted when fighting against discrimination alone, coming together as a collective provides the necessary energy to overcome systemic barriers. This unified approach widens reach and amplifies impact, making it possible to tackle deep-rooted issues head on. 

  1.  Overcoming barriers to improving equity

There are three types of barriers that need to be addressed as part of the challenge: equity barriers, systemic barriers, and mindset barriers. To tackle equity barriers, we need organisations to acknowledge the obstacles that hinder inclusivity and work to dismantle these. Systemic barriers are often deeply embedded into institutions, so it’s important to be persistent and use collective efforts to improve these. To address mindset barriers, we need to change individual attitudes about the impact their participation can have within the movement. Even small steps towards tackling these barriers can lead to significant changes. 

  1.  Creating the Equity Charter as a framework for accountability

One of the aims of the Equity Charter is to showcase realistic actions we can take to ensure accountability in promoting equity within digital health. The goal of the charter is to create an iterative, evolving document that outlines equity standards and more importantly, provides actionable steps for organisations to implement. By adopting a proactive and collaborative approach, the aim is to embed equity into all aspects of digital health, from procurement to everyday meetings. 

  1.  Allyship and supporting each other in the fight for equity

Allyship is essential to promoting equity. Being an ally means actively standing up against discrimination and supporting those affected by it. It means challenging unacceptable behaviours and creating an inclusive environment where the voices of everyone are heard and valued. A key point we explored reinforced that you don’t need to be an expert to make a difference. Small, consistent actions by a collective can have a big impact in the larger movement towards equity. 

Calls to action 

We concluded the session with several calls to action on how you can play your part in supporting the Equity Charter and standing up to discrimination in digital health. These include: 

  • Signing the open letter: Add your voice to the growing number of organisations and people committed to making digital health an inclusive space. 
  • Engage your organisation: Discuss the Equity Charter across your teams and encourage your organisations to sign it. This helps build the foundations for broader change. 
  • Participate in the summit: Scheduled for 23 July 2024, the Equity Charter Summit will collate outputs that will be shared with the wider community for further action. 
  • Share best practice: Share your knowledge, experience and best practice for promoting equity, so that we can make the movement as effective as possible. 

Monique concluded the webinar by saying “You don’t have to be brave on your own”, and I couldn’t agree more. By working together, sharing knowledge, and taking concrete actions, we can encourage a drive towards equity within digital health together.  

Stay tuned for more updates on the Equity Charter and how you can get involved. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please check out the Equity Charter website and feel free to get in touch with me! 

 

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