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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


Welsh Athletics continues its commitment to making the sport as accessible as possible to participants from all social and ethnic backgrounds. We continue to increase opportunities and reduce barriers for participation. Following the awarding of our Intermediate equality standard, we have been progressing with colleagues from UK Athletics and the other Home Countries towards the Advanced standard.

James Williams, Chief Executive

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Equality strategy document (tbc)

Our annual members' equality survey continues to show progress in many areas, in particular, significant progress in female membership. This was identified as a key development area for Welsh Athletics as part of our Intermediate submission. Following the success of a number of programmes, we now have more Female members (50.2%) than male for the first time ever. Despite this positive growth, we acknowledge that further work is required in increasing female participation in Coach Education. From a governance perspective, we are proud to have a diverse Board and continue to lead the way within the sector on female and BME membership. Our aim is that the standard set at Board level will be replicated across the entire Governance structure of the Sport in the years to come.

  • Two key areas identified through the members survey as future priorities are Mental Health and Disability.

Within our new strategy, we have committed to: "To increase the number of athletes engaging with licensed competitions across Wales, specifically targeting under-represented groups"


What is the Equality Act 2010?

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.

It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.

The nine main pieces of legislation that have merged are:

  • the Equal Pay Act 1970
  • the Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • the Race Relations Act 1976
  • the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
  • the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
  • the Equality Act 2006, Part 2
  • the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007

Protected Characteristics

Age discrimination is not always about an ‘old person’ being preferred over a ‘young person’ because of their age – or vice versa. The age difference might be small – for example, a few years between one person in their late 40s compared to another in their early 50s.  Or, for example, someone might feel they have been discriminated against because they are over 60. In another case, it might be because they are seen as middle-aged. Or, a 21-year-old might claim discrimination because they are being treated differently because of their age compared to their colleague who is 43. 

Guidance on age discrimination.


The Equality Act 2010 sets out when someone is considered to be disabled.

The law says someone is disabled if both of these apply:

  • they have a 'physical or mental impairment'
  • the impairment 'has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'

A small number of conditions and impairments are automatically classed as a disability.

Nobody has to tell their employer – or potential employer – that they're disabled.

Advice and guidance on disability discrimination

In the Equality Act, gender reassignment means proposing to undergo, undergoing or having undergone a process to reassign your sex.

To be protected from gender reassignment discrimination, you do not need to have undergone any medical treatment or surgery to change from your birth sex to your preferred gender.

You can be at any stage in the transition process, from proposing to reassign your sex, undergoing a process of reassignment, or having completed it. It does not matter whether or not you have applied for or obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate, which is the document that confirms the change of a person's legal sex. 

For example, a person who was born female and decides to spend the rest of their life as a man, and a person who was born male and has been living as a woman for some time and obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate, both have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment. 

Guidance on gender reassignment discrimination

In the Equality Act marriage and civil partnership means someone who is legally married or in a civil partnership. 

People do not have this characteristic if they are:

  • single
  • living with someone as a couple neither married nor civil partners
  • engaged to be married but not married
  • divorced or a person whose civil partnership has been dissolved

In some specified circumstances an employer can refuse to employ you because you are married or in a civil partnership if the work is for the purposes of an organised religion, for example as a Catholic priest.

Guidance on marriage & civil partnership discrimination

By law (Equality Act 2010), you must not discriminate against someone you employ, or are considering employing, because of:

  • their pregnancy
  • an illness related to their pregnancy, including related time off
  • maternity pay or leave they take, or plan to take

The law covers the person during the 'protected period'. This is the period of time from the point they become pregnant until either:

  • their maternity leave ends
  • they return to work
  • they leave their job

Treating someone unfavourably outside the protected period might still be discrimination, if it's connected to their pregnancy or maternity.

Guidance on pregnancy & maternity.discrimination

Refers to the protected characteristic of race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins. Someone's race is made up of a combination of these things. For example:

  • white, British, of Polish national origin
  • black, British, of African ethnic origin and Nigerian national origin

An ethnic group is a group of people with a shared history and culture. The group may also share language, religion or geographical origin. People can belong to more than one ethnic group. National origin usually means where someone was born or where their parents are from. It can be different from nationality. For example someone could have Chinese national origin and British nationality.

Guidance on race discrimination.


Religion refers to any religion, including a lack of religion. Belief refers to any religious or philosophical belief and includes a lack of belief. Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition. 

What is a religion is not defined by the Equality Act. However, in line with the European Convention on Human Rights and Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission’s employment statutory code of practice, it is accepted that:

  • a religion must have a clear structure and belief system
  • a clearly-structured denomination or sect within a religion can be covered
  • employees without a religious faith, as well as those with a faith, can be protected against discrimination. For example, someone who is not a Hindu would be protected against discrimination because they are not a Hindu  Religion or belief discrimination: key points for the workplace
  • what makes up religious belief or practice may vary among people in that religion
  • no one religion or branch of a religion overrides another – so an employee is protected against discrimination by someone of another religion, or of the same religion or of a different branch or practice of their religion. For example, it would be discriminatory for an employee to treat a colleague of the same religion unfairly because they regard them as less orthodox in their belief. 

Guidance on religion or belief discrimination

Sex discrimination is when you are treated differently because of your sex, in certain situations covered by the Equality Act 2010.

You must not be discriminated against because:

  • you are (or are not) a particular sex
  • someone thinks you are the opposite sex (this is known as discrimination by perception)
  • you are connected to someone of a particular sex (this is known as discrimination by association)

In the Equality Act 2010, sex is understood as binary being either male or female. It can mean a group of people like men or boys, or women or girls.

Guidance on sex discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 says you must not be discriminated against because:

  • you are heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual
  • someone thinks you have a particular sexual orientation (this is known as discrimination by perception)
  • you are connected to someone who has a particular sexual orientation (this is known as discrimination by association)

In the Equality Act, sexual orientation includes how you choose to express your sexual orientation, such as through your appearance or the places you visit.

Guidance on sexual orientation discrimination