Evolve is the gender equality network for the force, this means that we want equality for all genders.
Everyone should feel safe in their workplace and not be at a disadvantage because of their gender.
We support the workforce in a range of areas; from career progression and flexible working to parental leave and gender representation in all roles and ranks within the organisation. Evolve has also recently taken the lead on combatting male suicide.
The first area we are looking to expand and ensure adequate support for is around Men’s Mental Health and Suicide risk. Some important facts to support the work we need to do are:
- Approximately 75% of all suicides are male
- 72% of suicides have had no direct contact with any mental health services
- Each suicide is said to affect 68 people and in policing this number is believed to be higher
- 42-49 years males are at most risk
- Work is the single biggest determinate factor in men’s mental health
- 12,031 men died from Prostate Cancer in 2017 (33 per day, over one per hour).
We would like to expand this work stream further looking at other health issues which affect men either solely or disproportionately, such as: Prostate Cancer; Andropause; Work related Stress; and Heart Disease to name just a few.
Evolve works closely with the organisation to raise and address any issues arising.
The Chair, Deputy Chairs and Secretary, with the support of our Executive Board Members provide support to colleagues on a number of work streams, including work-life balance, personal success and confidence, Job Related Fitness Test, Menopause and HeForShe. We are also developing a network of Evolve SPOCs across the force and continuing to work on attracting a wider membership.
We play an active part in reviewing policies, primarily to ensure that force policies do not affect the workforce on the basis of their gender, but also provide more general feedback on new policies and changes to existing ones. We also have representatives from both Unison and the Federation on our Board. Some of our work streams cross in to other support networks and groups so we ensure that we work closely with other networks, such as Enable and the Parenting groups.
Evolve supports the work of the Force Gender Equality Champion and the UN Women HeForShe initiative and representatives of Evolve attend the Equality & Diversity Board, the Gender Equality External Reference Group as well as talks to new recruits.
Evolve host a biennial conference to which members are invited to attend in support of their continuous professional development and where we present awards that recognise the valuable contribution of officers and staff that have had a significant impact on gender equality within the force and also the work of partner agencies. This has previously lead to nominations to the British Association for Women in Policing Awards.
We release a quarterly update focusing on a different area of interest each time and providing information in relation to progress made.