7 February 2023

As part of our work to support speech and language therapy to become an anti-racist profession, we’re publishing a deep dive on the related survey we took in 2021

Researched and written by SLT student and EDI rep at Reading University, Chloe Nkomo, the newly published Anti-racism survey report Feb 2023  is a result of a successful bid for joint funding between Reading University and the RCSLT.

The data for the report was collected in 2021 as part of RCSLT’s work into supporting anti-racism within Speech and Language Therapy. Members were asked to complete a survey and in May that year, we held an event providing the opportunity for participants to reflect on experiences, educate themselves and pledge to support our vision to become a fully inclusive and anti-racist profession.

New findings

The Anti-Racism report outlines the deep analysis on the data taken from this survey. Some of the key points from the project teams’ analysis include finding:

  • A difference between the confidence of White ethnic respondents and that of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic respondents in the way that employers, teams, and training institutions support, celebrate and embed diversity and anti-racist practices in the profession.
  • While there was a degree of confidence that services strive to mitigate inequities and provide culturally-respondent and effective services, there were lower rates of confidence in the practices of services to do this in an evidence-based manner.
  • That research into anti-racism in speech and language therapy, as well as in aspects of training and the cultural awareness or competence of speech and language therapists, is a priority.

This deep dive sheds light on how our members felt about the position of the profession during 2021. We are pleased to have observed lots of positive progress since then, with many of our members and universities creating or taking part in initiatives to tackle some of these issues raised in the report.

As your membership body, we have also been looking at our own procedures and processes to proactively address member and profession wide concerns raised in the report. Since 2021, we have revamped our governance processes, leading to the establishment of the RCSLT’s most diverse Board ever, celebrated the diversity in our profession through our social media campaigns, and worked closely with major stakeholders in education such as the Council of Deans for Health to ensure HEIs are supported to decolonise their curriculums.

The Future

We know this is only a step in this journey. With the launch of this report, we ask members and other stakeholders to reflect on the progress made on our journey so far and consider what our individual and collective next steps should be – and share them with us!

There is still work to do and there is lots planned at the RCSLT throughout the next year to support this but for real change to take effect we need commitment and dedication from all key stakeholders to ensure that systems are being influenced from the bottom up and top down, to dismantle the systems blocking our vision for an anti-racist profession and ensure equitable and fair access to health for service users, and parity in opportunity across our workforce.


Read the report and data annex in full