Equally Simple is an equality and diversity training service based in Liskeard, Cornwall. The business was set up in 2012 by Judith Cook, who has fifteen years’ experience working in the sector for employers spanning Local Government, the NHS, CICs and Universities. Judith is a fellow of IEDP– the Institute of Equality & Diversity Professionals – and is one of only very few specialists in this field in the UK.
The business provides tailored training to enterprises and organisations across the South West to help them comply with the 2010 Equality Act, improve their workplace culture and raise awareness of a wide range of equality, diversity and inclusivity issues. The range of issues has expanded in recent years to include high profile topics such as misogyny/misandry, gender-based violence, victim blaming and unconscious bias.
Although the Equally Simple business premises were already connected to superfast broadband and achieved reliable high broadband speeds, Judith believed that she was not maximising the full potential of superfast technology.
She turned to Superfast Cornwall for funded support and has been delighted by the difference the programme has made to her business.
“Superfast Cornwall has been absolutely excellent and their support has been invaluable” she said.
Judith continued: “Even at the outset, the programme provided assistance with the funding application form. It was really useful to have that level of input and made everything very straightforward.”
Superfast Cornwall provided funding for a new high specification laptop and a new video/stills camera, as well as fund development of a new website for Equally Simple.
Judith said: “My previous website was very basic. It has been fantastic to be able to develop a new website that has great design, sleek navigation and optimised content. With the new camera, I will now be able to create video interviews with clients and this will help me bring the issues to life and raise awareness as well as reach out to new customers.
“The new website also has a superb content management system, so I will be able to easily update it through the addition of regular blog articles and videos. There are almost limitless themes for blog articles and videos on the subject of equality, diversity and inclusivity. For example, I would like to use social media to make the business case for equality, diversity and inclusivity being at the heart of business operations (with proven business benefits including improved staff retention and greater productivity) as well as highlight topics which are more complex such as trans-gender issues. There is huge scope to raise awareness.
“The new laptop, camera and website will also make it easier for me to expand my presence on social media. Social media is a particularly vibrant environment for discussion about issues related to equality, diversity and inclusivity and it will now be easier for me to join the online discussion and raise the profile of the business.”
Judith prefers to carry out training face-to-face rather than online as the sensitivity of the work means it is often vital to be able to see people’s reactions and body language. However, she sees an increasing role for online video meetings for introductory meetings and presentations to HR departments and boards. “It is great that I now have all the equipment I need to be able to make high quality online presentations on a video call” says Judith. “It is also useful for networking on Zoom with other industry professionals, for example through the Cornwall Equality and Diversity Network.”
In addition, Equally Simple received 12 hours of business support though the Superfast Cornwall programme, which Judith found invaluable. “My business advisor was outstanding He quickly understood my business and made extremely useful suggestions about where improvements could be made. For example, he carried out a website audit, helped with search engine optimisation and helped define the business selling propositions. It was a challenging and incredibly useful process which has really helped the business move forward.”
“He also made great suggestions such as where to focus my efforts on social media. As a result, I am now expanding the reach of the business through Twitter and LinkedIn. In summary, the advisor acted as a ‘digital sherpa’, quickly understood what I was trying to achieve and then helped turn that into action. I am passionate about my mission and I felt that my advisor had the same passion about caring for his clients. It was a very positive and valuable experience.”
Judith concludes: “I am driven by my ambition to bring about real change in society and help make the world a fairer and safer place. Superfast Cornwall has boosted my capacity to make that happen, by enabling me to make the most of superfast technology.”