Category Archives: Diversity & Inclusion

ERS Hub issues grassroots rallying call as it looks to young people to fill the 100,000+ electrification jobs void

Engaging and boosting inclusivity at grassroots level with young people is going to be essential if the UK is going to fill the hundreds of thousands of expected job opportunities in electrification.

That’s the rallying call from Coventry University’s Deepak Farmah, who is currently helping to connect the emerging community through the Electric Revolution Skills Hub (ERS Hub), an integrated digital platform for providing inclusive access to training, development, and jobs in an electrified and greener future.

The Commercial Director for ERS Hub believes his team has made significant headway in creating an intuitive platform that has brought together education, training providers, employers and the future workforce all in one place, and with clear routes to courses and jobs.

 

However, he also feels that the big challenge now is to reach out to young people at primary and secondary schools, colleges and hard-to-reach youth groups to get them excited about the world of electrification as a diverse and inclusive sector.

“It is still a fledgling industry. The career paths and the type of jobs available are difficult enough to understand for adults, let alone young people trying to work out what the future holds,” explained Deepak.

“In a Gigafactory alone there are more than17 different roles you can aspire to, whilst in PEMD there are up to 80 knowledge profiles, ranging from motor engineer and design lead through to testing and validation. Our role is about showcasing these and demystifying how you get there.”

He continued: We’ve already started this work, with the aim of engaging with tens of thousands of pupils and hundreds of schools and groups already, but this is just the beginning.

“Our experts have been attending career fairs, industry events, launching podcasts and providing curiosity boxes to educational establishments. These are a great way to start the conversation and encourage young people to build a motor from scratch following a simple lesson plan that can be delivered by any teacher – not just a STEM one.”

The ERS Hub, which is co-funded by Coventry University and UKRI, is keen to support more STEM related activities at grassroots levels and recently threw its weight behind ProtoEV, the ultimate motorsport competition for schools, colleges, youth clubs and apprentices in the UK.

Organised by the Blair Project, five youth teams from South London spent twelve weeks of tireless work and testing to retrofit a fully electric e-kart, before putting it through its paces to try to claim the fastest lap at TRAQ Motor Racing in Croydon.

Leaways School took the first prize for its combined efforts on design, innovation, teamwork and speed, with Liam Palmer also securing the best teacher award. Oasis Play’s two teams finished second and third, as well as claiming the fastest lap accolade.

Experts from the ERS Hub joined Formula 1, Teamsport Karting and Innovate UK in a career session to raise awareness of possible jobs and careers in electrification.

“By providing hands-on experience in clean tech, we not only equip young people with essential skills but also ignite their passion for sustainable solutions and diversity in engineering. Witnessing their creativity and determination reassures me that the future of motorsports and clean technology is in capable and diverse hands,” added Deepak.

Richard Lane, Product Development Director at the ERS Hub, said: “Events like the ProtoEV Challenge are crucial in inspiring the next generation of engineers and innovators.

“Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is a major focus. We want to start conversations with youngsters from different backgrounds, who may not have access to mainstream career advice or opportunities.

“That is the only way we are going to create the pipeline of talent the UK is going to need to grasp the opportunity of electrification. Reducing barriers to entry is key and – the next generation can’t do it, if they can’t see their own path to get there.”

ERS Hub is in the early stages of its grassroots journey and the longer-term plan involves ‘educating the educators on the opportunities’ and pressing the button on a more youth-friendly platform that will appeal to young people.

For further information, please visit www.ershub.co.uk or follow it across its social media platforms.

 

Live art and LGBTQ+ portraits for Pride at The Red Dragon Centre

CARDIFF Bay’s leading entertainment venue, The Red Dragon Centre, has teamed up with Welsh artist Nathan Wyburn to mark Pride month with a unique art installation and charity auction.

Nathan is a proud spokesperson for LGBTQ+ equality and often uses his art to reflect this. Specialising in creating pieces out of non-traditional mediums, Nathan was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent in 2011, and has also appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show, This Morning and Good Morning America.

The showcase will be displayed from 31 May – 30 June, and will feature influential figures such as Cara Delevingne, Kit Connor and Elliott Page. Joining the lineup will be The Red Dragon Centre’s resident Capital Drive presenters, Josh and Kally, whose portraits will be made up of photographs sent in by listeners to celebrate 25 years of Pride in Wales.

The Welsh artist will also be appearing at the Centre for pop-up live art shows where he will create some iconic LGBTQ+ celebrities at the Centre, with ten portraits of his existing artwork being displayed in the Centre’s showcase.

An online auction will take place at the close of the showcase for Nathan’s portraits of George Michael made out of WHAM bars, and Ncuti Gatwa in a Doctor Who collage. The winning bids will be donated to Pride Cymru.

Nathan said: “I am delighted to be teaming up with The Red Dragon Centre’s Pride celebrations, and getting the chance to showcase some of most beloved LGBTQ+ figures out there. Co-in siding with the 25th anniversary of Pride in Wales makes this all the more special, and shows how important it is to continue to celebrate Pride month, and strive towards promoting LGBTQ+ equality in Wales, and beyond.”

Emma Constantinou, Marketing Manager at The Red Dragon Centre, said: “Pride is a wonderful and important month, and we feel very fortunate to be able to host our own celebrations at The Red Dragon Centre for another year. We are very grateful to Nathan for his support and generosity of offering his work to the auction, we hope visitors enjoy spotting their favourite figures at the showcase inside the Centre.

“This month is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the LGBT+ community with our showcase, and two lucky bidders can walk away with a unique portrait from Nathan, knowing that all money raised will be going straight to charity.”

The Red Dragon Centre is home to a multitude of interactive, lifestyle and food and drink venues including Odeon Cinema, the home of Wales’ only IMAX screen, and the Hollywood Bowl which have been key Centre attractions since the beginning.

The Centre hosts a range of additional brands that make up an intrinsic part of the entertainment and dining experience, including Grosvenor Casino, Five Guys, Spice Route, Volcano, EasyThali and Zaika.

The Centre is also the site of the Capital FM South Wales studio, which was formerly Red Dragon FM, as well as Heart FM. Today, you’ll find the likes of Josh and Kally broadcasting their Capital Drive Show live from there every weekday.

Birmingham businesses invited to meet disabled jobseekers at accessible job fair

18 April 2024 – Local businesses, including employers and recruiters, are invited to meet disabled job hunters and career switchers at Sense’s Pan Disability Job Fair in Selly Oak next month.

The annual job fair, which has been running since 2022, provides an accessible, supportive environment for employers to meet disabled jobseekers. National disability charity Sense, which runs the two-day event, will provide communication support for all attendees, including BSL interpreters, scribers and sight guides. Employers and recruiters will also be supported through training on awareness and accessibility, including how to ensure your stand is as accessible as possible. The event is free for both employers and jobseekers.

The job fair will be held at Sense TouchBase Pears, as part of the charity’s mission to support more disabled people into work and defeat the 29 per cent employment gap* between disabled people and the overall population.

Last year, more than 30 employers exhibited at the job fair, which was attended by more than 230 jobseekers. One of those exhibitors was Starbucks. Lindsay Townsend, Store Manager at West Bromwich Starbucks Store said:

“Last year, our West Bromwich and New Street Store teams attended the Sense Pan Disability Job Fair to help disabled jobseekers find meaningful employment in the local community. This forms part of our wider commitment to creating a culture of warmth and belonging in our stores, providing an environment that is accessible for everyone. Our store team members spent the day talking to attendees about job opportunities at Starbucks, supporting people to secure employment last year. We are attending again this year and we look forward to supporting more people to find meaningful employment in local businesses.”

Electrical and digital infrastructure company Legrand also attended the job fair last year. Monique Fearon, Regional HR Manager at Legrand, said:

“Legrand’s participation in the Sense Pan Disability Job Fair last year not only helped us connect with disabled jobseekers and build relationships with companies such as Queen Alexandra College and the DWP, it also gave our brand significant exposure to a new talent pool, further enhancing our reputation as an inclusive and socially responsible organisation. This is such an invaluable event for everyone involved, and we look forward to participating again this year.”

The job fair is hosted by Sense’s employment team, who run a specialist employment service helping people with complex disabilities and those who are deafblind into work. The team recently ran its first ever accessible job fair in Leicestershire, in Sense’s new hub in Loughborough. Employers in attendance included Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Loughborough University and Leicestershire Police.

Zoe Bates, Employment Co-Ordinator at Sense, said:

“Sense’s Pan Disability Job Fair is a fantastic opportunity for employers to engage with disabled jobseekers, and to see the amazing potential that they have. This will be our third year running the event, and in the past two years we’ve had hundreds of disabled jobseekers through the doors. Jobseekers have built some great connections with local employers, securing opportunities like voluntary work experience and paid work too.

“Employers have fed back to us that they really appreciate the opportunity to engage with local jobseekers and that our service helps to bridge the gap between disabled jobseekers and employment. We’re warmly welcoming applications from employers to attend the event so please get in touch if you’d like more information.”

The Pan Disability Job Fair in Birmingham will take place on 14-15 May 2024, from 10am-3pm. Registrations for employers are open with more information on the charity’s website: https://www.sense.org.uk/our-services/education-and-work/employment-support-people-with-complex-disabilities/pan-disability-job-fair-2024/  

References:

*According to OS Data, Employment of disabled people 2023, published 26 October 2023, the disability employment rate was 53.6% in Q2 2023, compared to 82.5% for non-disabled people.

About Sense:

Sense is a national disability charity that supports people living with complex disabilities, including those who are deafblind, to communicate and experience the world. Sense supports children, young people and adults in their home and in the community, in their education and transition to adulthood and through its holidays, arts, sports and wellbeing programmes. In addition to practical support to families, Sense also offers information advice, short breaks and family events, and campaigns for the rights of people with complex disabilities to take part in life. For more information, please visit http://www.sense.org.uk.

 

Elon Musk says DEI “must die”: Is he right?

The ever-vocal Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla Inc. and owner of social media platform X (formerly Twitter), has a penchant for making headlines. Most recently, the controversial billionaire has come under fire — and praise, in some circles — for his comments regarding DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion).

In a post shared on X, Musk made the incendiary claim that “DEI must DIE.” At the time of writing, the comment has received some 35.5m views and sparked a sprawling debate across X and wider factions of the web. But what’s the rationale behind this contentious viewpoint? Does it hold water or is it just a catchy decree to earn social media clout? Let’s unpack.

What is DEI?

Before we explore the implications of Musk’s comments and the context that surrounds them, let’s discuss DEI – an acronym that refers to Diversity, Equality (or Equity) and Inclusion. It’s a framework for the practices and standards within organisations that help to make environments where people of any diverse background feel valued, respected, and included.

Diversity refers to the differences that exist between each person’s identity. HR experts from Workable advise that “it encompasses cultural, racial, religious, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability differences”, among other characteristics.

Equality focuses on ensuring fair treatment for all individuals and strives to create a level playing field for everyone to succeed. Equity on the other hand focuses on addressing the systemic barriers that disproportionately affect marginalised communities.

Inclusion involves creating a culture where each person belonging to diverse groups feels seen, heard, and welcomed. In an inclusive workplace, diverse individuals are fully empowered to contribute their unique perspectives, with exclusionary practices dismantled.

What are the benefits of DEI schemes?

Many businesses employ DEI schemes to help bolster DEI efforts internally, led either by the HR faculty within an organisation or by an external provider that provides DEI resources and training.

DEI schemes have been demonstrated in various literature to be good for business. As DEI consultants from EW Group put it, “a focus on workplace diversity and inclusion will not only ensure a happier and more engaged workforce, a greater diversity of thought and innovation, and better in-depth understanding of customers and their priorities, it will directly affect an organisation’s bottom line.” Let’s take a look at how.

1.     A variety of perspectives

Diverse teams bring a broader range of viewpoints and experiences to the table, leading to more innovative solutions and improved decision-making. This can foster stronger products, services, and marketing strategies that resonate with wider customer segments. Research from Cloverpop shows that inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.

2.     Deeper customer understanding

A diverse workforce fosters a deeper understanding of diverse customer needs and preferences. This allows companies to cater to niche markets more effectively, create more inclusive products and services, and ultimately, attract and retain a wider customer base.

3.     Improved talent acquisition and retention

Top talent seeks out companies that embrace inclusivity and offer growth opportunities. DEI initiatives attract a wider pool of qualified candidates, reduce employee turnover, and create a more positive employer brand, ultimately leading to a more skilled and motivated workforce.

4.     Boosted employee engagement

When employees feel valued, respected, and heard, they’re more likely to be engaged and productive. DEI fosters a sense of belonging, psychological safety, and collaboration, leading to increased commitment, innovation, and overall organisational success.

Where does Elon Musk come into it?

Elon Musk’s recent condemnation of DEI saw the billionaire declare, drenched in facetious wordplay, that DEI “must DIE”. With a simple post, one of the largest corporate moguls in the world gave credence to the thinking that DEI schemes are discriminatory.

The argument, with its sentiments echoed by far-right reactionaries like Ben Shapiro and Tomi Lahren, posits that while DEI schemes were originally intended to ‘end’ discrimination, they now perpetuate it by disadvantaging non-marginalised groups. Many have painted DEI as a leftist plot to undermine white men in the name of equality, with nearly 70% feeling “forgotten” by DEI, Forbes reports, according to the “White Men’s Leadership Study”.

What’s the verdict?

However, it’s crucial to unpack Musk’s claims and understand the broader context of DEI. Firstly, his “DIE” comment erases the genuine need to address historical and ongoing discrimination faced by marginalised groups. One in five employees have faced discrimination at work, found market research provider Savanta, in a survey of the UK, US, France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

While some DEI implementations might face challenges, dismissing the entire concept based on concerns about unintended consequences undermines the very real need for systemic change. Change on a fundamental level can shift the dial further towards safety, comfort, and happiness for all workers.

Secondly, the assertion that DEI programmes discriminate against specific groups lacks evidence. The focus is often on ensuring equal opportunities, not guaranteeing outcomes. This can involve actively recruiting from underrepresented groups historically excluded from certain fields, but it doesn’t mean qualified individuals from any background are disadvantaged.

As recruitment automation platform HireQuotient puts it, “sourcing diverse candidates is about ensuring that a company’s workforce reflects the diversity of its customer base and the community in which they operate. It is not about discriminating against non-diverse candidates or giving preference to diverse candidates.”

Ultimately, framing the issue as a binary choice between diversity and meritocracy is misleading. A diverse workforce doesn’t inherently compromise competence. Studies show it can lead to better decision-making, innovation, and ultimately, improved performance.

Musk’s comments and the movement they reflect raise important questions about the implementation and potential pitfalls of DEI initiatives. If any approach were to go entirely unchallenged, we would be a society devoid of critical thought. But it’s equally as important to avoid the oversimplification and demonisation that statements like “…must DIE” invoke. Open and nuanced dialogue, grounded in facts and evidence, is crucial to ensure DEI efforts evolve and create truly inclusive and equitable outcomes for all.

Prestigious Inclusive Awards celebrate 10 years as 2024 entries open

The 2024 Inclusive Awards – organised by Inclusive Companies – are open for entries. Celebrating their 10th year, the prestigious Inclusive Awards include eight categories that recognise individuals and organisations who have gone above and beyond to achieve true diversity, inclusion, equality and equity in their workplace.

Showcasing the most ingenious, dedicated and inspirational displays of diverse culture, inclusive practices and workplace equity, the Inclusive Awards entries will be assessed by an experienced and diverse independent judging panel. They will be looking out for individuals and organisations who can demonstrate their achievements across all strands of diversity including age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and religion. Nominations are sought from employers and employees working in a wide variety of sectors including private, public, education, charity and housing, to name but a few.

The 2023 individual award winners were Liz Douglas from Anglo American who won the Head of Diversity & Inclusion Award and Stuart Love from Westminster City Council who won the Chief Executive of the Year Award. Both large and small organisations won awards: Equality Leaders won the D&I Consultancy of the Year Award and HSBC UK Inclusion Team the Diversity Team of the Year Award. Metro Bank took home the Inclusive Culture Initiative Award while Aviva Origins secured the Outstanding Diversity Network Award. Finally, Migrant Leaders won the Social Mobility Project Award and myGwork received the D&I Tech Initiative Award.

“Looking back over the last 10 years since our first Inclusive Awards event, we have come a long way in terms of the policies and practices being implemented to achieve diversity, inclusion and equity,” says Paul Sesay, CEO of Inclusive Companies. “Every year, we present awards to brave individuals and truly committed management teams in recognition of them putting diversity and inclusion at the very heart of all they do.

“There is still more work to be done to drive home the diversity and inclusion message to all employers,” continues Paul. “I believe that by celebrating our winners’ outstanding work and achievements, the Inclusive Awards will encourage others to follow their example and inspire lasting change.”

2024 Inclusive Awards Categories and Timeline

The 2024 Inclusive Awards have eight categories as follows plus a Lifetime Achiever Award that is bestowed on an individual by the judging panel.  The deadline for entries is July 15, 2024. Shortlisted entrants will be announced in September with the winners revealed at the 2024 Inclusive Awards event later this year.

D&I Consultancy Award for innovative consultancies which focus on diversity and inclusion and offer bespoke strategies, training, advice and solutions to organisations looking to create an inclusive working culture.

Outstanding Diversity Network Award for the outstanding contribution of employee networks that have tackled issues internally or externally to influence change in the field of equality and diversity such as age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, faith or religion.

Inclusive Culture Initiative Award for inclusive culture initiatives across organisations with diversity at their core through internal initiative strategies, campaigns and resources that have been implemented to drive diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation.

Head of Diversity and Inclusion Award to recognise the achievements of individuals who have shown leadership, commitment and motivation, driving the diversity agenda throughout their company and wider community.

Chief Executive of the Year Award for chief executives who have shown personal commitment to the diversity and inclusion agenda, valuing the diversity of their employees and leading their organisation to become an inclusive employer.

D&I Tech Initiative Award to showcase innovation from inventions that are removing barriers for minority groups to tech solutions that can drive diversity and inclusivity to create change.

Social Mobility Project Award to highlight organisations which have developed and implemented projects to encourage social mobility and community involvement.

Diversity Teams Award to showcase teams across a variety of organisations that have shown outstanding dedication in diversity and inclusion to enhance the agenda within their businesses.

Lifetime Achiever Award is awarded by the judging panel to an individual who has devoted a major portion of their professional life to enhancing the practice of equality and diversity, making significant innovative and cumulatively outstanding contributions to the cause.

 

Entering the Inclusive Awards

To see the full list of categories and to enter the Inclusive Awards visit https://inclusiveawards.co.uk/nominations-home/

 Image caption:

Inclusive Awards 2023 Winners Celebrating 05.12.2023 – PHOTO CREDIT Laura Ashman

Relative privilege in UK industry is now a ticking time bomb

“The Post Office scandal screams of relative privilege and clearly demonstrates how UK industry is sitting on a ticking time bomb if companies do nothing to address it.”  

That’s the view of leading think tank and diversity, equity and inclusion organisation, Belonging Pioneers, whose work and ongoing research is now shining a major spotlight on privilege in relation to systemic corporate attitudes, discriminatory cultural behaviours, and the need for UK employers to make rapid and significant changes.

Research evidence collated by the organisation[1] shows that out of 40 companies surveyed, a staggering 92% of employees have or are currently experiencing relative privilege at work, with 96% stating that it is also used to gain clear advantage. Approximately 83% of employees said they felt undervalued or demotivated when privilege is used against them.

58% of those asked thought privilege was mostly unconscious or unintentional on the part of their employer. However, 42% also said that privilege was used intentionally, was embedded in the workplace, and was very much a negative aspect of our culture.

Furthermore, 76% of respondents thought privilege was having a negative impact on an organisation’s overall performance, with 14% believing the impact to be high. This is leading directly to a loss of productivity, reduced motivation and wavering staff loyalty, and for UK business leaders, employers and industry groups, such results should be an urgent wake-up call.

Ishreen Bradley, Chief Inspiration Officer at Belonging Pioneers, explained, “Relative privilege in the workplace is often at the very core of business activities where uneducated beliefs, outdated ways of working, bad judgement and toxic behaviours can go unchallenged through fear, denial, acceptance or an uneven power balance. The Post Office scandal is, unfortunately, a very fitting, timely yet perfect example of ‘privilege eruption’ whereby corporate bad practices and failures to address the relative privilege that is deep rooted in these organisations, has come to the fore and had catastrophic results on both sides. Sadly, for the postmasters and mistresses, the extremely negative and long-lasting effects are now very clear for all to see.

“Even more recent developments demonstrate how privilege is continuing to play out, despite the global spotlight, negative attention and reputational exposure that the various organisations involved have received. The less than satisfactory compensation offer given to former postmaster, Alan Bates, which he has called ‘offensive’ and since rejected, again is steeped in attitudes of unwavering power and privilege on the part of those ‘higher up the system’.

“In a wider sense, and whether done knowingly or unknowingly, UK businesses must now wake up. Companies really need to better educate themselves and start discussions internally around this specific issue in order to rebalance relative privilege and mitigate against eruption. Ignoring this problem will only risk serious consequences and therefore it cannot be underestimated.”

Relative privilege is mostly perceived and acknowledged as being ‘someone’ (or a body or institution) that possesses and uses factors such as status, power, beliefs, wealth, race, gender, ability and more to gain advantage at multiple levels over others. In business, it is not seen as unique or separate to an organisation’s culture.

Furthermore, and often surprisingly, firms who consider themselves to have positive and progressive diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) policies in place can still demonstrate high levels of relative privilege in operational and day-to-day activities. It is estimated that less than 30% of businesses have implemented a value-driven, integrated approach to privilege in existing strategies.

The forthcoming ‘Balancing the Scales’ event (Wednesday 21 February), hosted by Belonging Pioneers at The Leadenhall Building in London, is hoping to attract many company representatives from across the country’s public and private sector, as well as third sector organisations, to learn, participate and engage in such discussion.

Ishreen added, “Companies may believe they have the correct policies in place, but specifically addressing privilege is often missed due to a lack of understanding and awareness. We need to encourage deeper thought and wider collaborative discussion across all industries, and get a very open conversation going to help deliver change.

“Putting it bluntly, companies identified as being more diverse and inclusive are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors[2], so aside from having a responsibility to staff to deliver equity and social governance, why would employers not take this matter more seriously? It’s a catalyst which could also have huge financial benefits in terms of growth, increased productivity and greater staff retention.

“Embracing inclusivity is an ongoing, proactive process for individuals and businesses alike, but by acknowledging that relative privilege and bias can exist in many different ways, UK organisations can make huge strides forward. By opening up this dialogue now, they can start the journey to become better employers and do the right thing.”

The Balancing the Scales event includes a host of keynote speakers and leaders in their field from sports, law and construction amongst others. More information can be found at Balancing The Scales (belongingpioneers.com) and tickets for purchase can be found via Eventbrite at: Balancing The Scales 2024 – How to put More ‘S’ into your ‘ESG’ Tickets, Wed 21 Feb 2024 at 17:30 | Eventbrite

[1] Data figures from Relative Privilege Impact Report 2023 (Belonging Pioneers)

[2] Resources: Builtin, McKinsey, BCG, HBR 

Photo: Ishreen Bradley, Chief Inspiration Officer at Belonging Pioneers whose ‘Balancing the Scales’ event (Leadenhall Building, London – 21/02) is looking to educate and support UK organisations and business leaders in changing relative privilege in the workplace.

 

Sean Fletcher praises the ‘spark’ ignited as he reveals 2023 Inclusive Awards winners

TV presenter and diversity champion Sean Fletcher acknowledged and praised inclusive employers as he revealed the winners of the prestigious 2023 Inclusive Awards at the Hurlingham Club on Tuesday December 5, 2023.

Hosted in London for the first time, the Inclusive Awards – organised by Inclusive Companies and sponsored by EON and Emcor UK – is the only awards ceremony that rewards organisations and individuals for harnessing a truly diverse workforce.  It recognises the significant efforts of those who have excelled in their commitment to equality and inclusion across all strands of diversity.

Best known for presenting on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and the BBC’s Countryfile, Sunday Morning Live and Songs of Praise, Sean hosted the Inclusive Awards in 2019 and was delighted to return to the role this year.

“The Inclusive Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate those individuals and organisations who have done so well this year,” says Sean. “More importantly, this event acts as a spark of inspiration for others to see what can be achieved and is hugely encouraging for others looking to bring about positive change in attitudes, behaviours and outcomes in their own circles.

“It’s an honour for me to be on the stage meeting those people who have put so much into their work and rewarding them for their outstanding achievements,” continues Sean. “I love the way the Inclusive Awards bring together so many people doing such great work: the atmosphere in the room is electric, full of energy and respect for everyone who is playing their part in promoting diversity and inclusion.”

Entries to the eight categories were assessed by an esteemed independent panel of judges from diverse cultural and business backgrounds. Together they looked beyond policies and practices to identify those individuals and organisations who could demonstrate they have achieved true diversity, inclusion, equality and equity in their workplace or community. A Highly Commended Award was also given in each category.

2023 Inclusive Awards Winners

Head of Diversity & Inclusion Award

  • WINNER – Liz Douglas, Anglo American
  • Highly Commended – Joanne Conway, DLP Piper

 

Chief Executive of the Year Award

  • WINNER – Stuart Love, Westminster City Council
  • Highly Commended – Andy Briggs MBE, The Phoenix Group

 

D&I Consultancy of the Year Award

  • WINNER – Equality Leaders
  • Highly Commended – Diverse Educators

 

D&I Tech Initiative Award

  • WINNER – myGwork
  • Highly Commended – Global Equality Collective

 

Inclusive Culture Initiative Award

  • WINNER – Metro Bank
  • Highly Commended – Auto Trader

 

Outstanding Diversity Network Award

  • WINNER – Aviva Origins
  • Highly Commended – University of Sunderland – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Staff

 

Social Mobility Project Award

  • WINNERMigrant Leaders
  • Highly Commended – Greene King

 

Diversity Team of the Year Award

  • WINNER – HSBC UK Inclusion Team
  • Highly Commended – Anglo American EDI Team

 

Lifetime Achiever

  • Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE

“The Inclusive Awards is always such a positive and feel-good evening,” says Paul Sesay, CEO of Inclusive Companies and Founder of the Inclusive Awards. “Now in its ninth year, it never fails to make me feel both humbled and proud to witness the immense efforts and achievements of people and organisations taking giant steps to make their workplace, communities and wider society more inclusive and equitable.

“We know that encouraging and embracing an inclusive working environment brings business and market advantages but it is imperative to look beyond these more obvious benefits to understand and believe that true diversity, inclusion and equity shape and build communities that make everyone stronger. At a time when across the world we are witnessing tragedies born out of an inability to accept diversity and be inclusive, it is never more important to acknowledge how fortunate we are to be able to foster positive change through our own actions.”

For more details of the 2023 winners of the Inclusive Awards, visit:

https://inclusiveawards.com/2023winners/

How To Make Your Events More Inclusive

In today’s global society, fostering inclusivity in events is not just a courtesy; it’s a necessity. Whether you’re organising a corporate function, a community gathering, or a private celebration, inclusiveness ensures that everyone feels welcome and valued.

With help from Zentive, this comprehensive guide offers practical strategies to make your events more inclusive, ensuring they cater to a diverse range of needs and preferences.

Understanding Inclusivity

Inclusivity in event planning means creating an environment where all attendees, regardless of their background, abilities, or beliefs, feel equally welcomed and respected. This involves considering various factors such as accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and diverse representation. By doing so, you cultivate a space that not only acknowledges but celebrates diversity.

Venue Accessibility

Choosing an accessible venue is the first step towards inclusivity. Ensure that the location is wheelchair accessible, with ramps and wide doorways. Additionally, consider the needs of those with visual or hearing impairments by incorporating sign language interpreters or audio description services. Remember, accessibility isn’t just about physical barriers; it’s about creating an environment where everyone can participate fully.

Diverse Representation in Programming

Representation matters. When planning your event, ensure that speakers, entertainers, and panel members come from diverse backgrounds. This not only enriches the experience for all attendees but also reflects a commitment to celebrating diversity. Diverse programming can challenge stereotypes, foster empathy, and encourage a broader understanding of different perspectives.

Cultural Sensitivity

Being culturally sensitive is crucial in making everyone feel welcome. This includes being mindful of dietary requirements by offering a range of food options such as vegetarian, vegan, halal, or kosher meals. Additionally, consider the significance of dates and holidays for different cultures to avoid scheduling conflicts. Acknowledging and respecting cultural differences demonstrates a thoughtful approach to inclusivity.

Communication and Language

Effective communication is key. Use clear, simple language in all event materials and consider providing translations if your event attracts a multilingual audience. Additionally, provide materials in multiple formats (e.g., Braille, large print) for those with visual impairments. This inclusive communication strategy ensures that information is accessible to all.

Training Staff and Volunteers

Training staff and volunteers on inclusivity principles is essential. They should be equipped to handle diverse needs with sensitivity and respect. This training can include understanding different cultural norms, recognising unconscious biases, and learning how to provide assistance to those with disabilities. Well-trained staff and volunteers are crucial in creating a welcoming atmosphere.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Collecting feedback post-event is invaluable. It provides insights into what worked well and what could be improved. Encourage attendees to share their experiences and suggestions. This feedback loop allows for continuous improvement, making each event more inclusive than the last.

Inclusive Events Require Thoughtfulness & Commitment

Making your events more inclusive is an ongoing process that requires thoughtfulness, commitment, and flexibility. By considering accessibility, diverse representation, cultural sensitivity, and effective communication, you can create an environment where everyone feels valued and included. Inclusivity is not just about meeting a standard; it’s about creating a space where diversity is celebrated, and every individual feels they belong.

 

Evenbreak win first global award, Go Global Award for Human Resources Excellence.

On 9th November 2023, Evenbreak, the first global job board run by disabled people for disabled people won their first global award at the Go Global Awards held in Rhode Island NY. The award picked up by founder Jane Hatton is for Global Excellence in Human Resources and a true testament to the dedication she and the team have for placing people with impairments and disabilities into roles within inclusive employers where they can thrive.

The Go Global Awards program unites international business leaders, government officials and industry organisations offering them the opportunity to connect and collaborate for the good of global commerce. The awards are open to businesses who have achieved significant international success and expansion.

The 2023 Go Global awards was hosted by Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and International Trade Council plus multiple foreign government export promotion, economic development and foreign direct investment agencies.

Jane accepted the award at a glittering event where around 50 US and foreign government economic development agencies and 400 companies were invited to attend. This incredible accolade will enable Evenbreak to expand into new markets by increasing global awareness. Therefore attracting more employers and offering more people with disabilities the life opportunities they deserve.

 

Evenbreak, Founder and CEO, Jane Hatton, said: “It’s amazing to win the Go Global Award for Excellence in Human Resources at Providence, Rhode Island. We were up against companies from all over the world, and it’s a real testament to the remarkable team that we are not just winning UK awards but are now being recognised internationally for the work we do.”

 

Lets Break Barriers! Revolutionizing Recruitment to Empower Women In Tech

Written by Jenny Briant, Academy Operations Director at Ten10

Diversity has been a constant struggle for businesses, particularly in the tech industry and it comes simply just comes down to the lack of accessibility. We know that diverse teams can offer businesses so much, but outdated practices have made creating a diverse team challenging. Recruitment practices that aren’t always accommodating for women, particularly mothers, mean hiring teams are deterring a large population of potential talent.

Your job description is your first point of contact with a candidate. As such, it plays a central role in their perception of the company, the job role itself and the work environment. Bias language can seem subtle but makes an impression on a potential female candidate. I’ve previously seen words used such as ‘dominant’, ‘assertive’ or even something like ‘rockstar programmer’ – these can be so off-putting and daunting. These are words that are largely associated with men and often, albeit perhaps unintentionally, reflect traditional gender roles and stereotypes that can deter a female applicant.

Soft skills are increasingly becoming more important, especially in the tech industry; an industry that has historically placed emphasis on hard technical skills. One of the things I have recognised when I talk to female candidates is their hesitancy when they think they don’t have the right qualifications for a role despite clearly having demonstrable soft skills that are transferable to a lot of roles. Soft skills can mean anything from influencing others to emotional intelligence to resiliency, and all are hugely valuable to companies. And this is the case more so now than ever before as automation of technological skills increases, the need for soft skills, critical and creative thinking, as well as people management will become ever more important. There are also more roles in technology than ever before and roles beyond these super-technical skills.

 

How to change the workplace to accommodate them?

Imposter syndrome is a massive problem for women throughout the workforce, and disproportionality affects them, over their male colleagues. Essentially, imposter syndrome describes the feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt in your ability at your job. Mothers in particular, are more likely to experience this when returning to work, feeling that they need to work harder to prove themselves among their male counterparts, and the drive to prove they’re ‘unburdened’ by their childcare responsibilities.

Fortunately, the tech industry especially can now can very easily offer flexibility. Remote and hybrid working has been a game changer for many working mothers and gives them a chance to continue their careers as well as be there for their children. Despite this, frustratingly some companies still seem stuck on the rigid structure of the 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in the office. If businesses were open to changing work structures, this would accommodate a larger proportion of women.

Mentorship programmes are also vitally important to changing the narrative of women in the world of tech. Companies need to ensure they have a strong team of women who help to break down stereotypes and barriers that typically discourage women from a career in the tech They can inspire women to set higher career goals and pursue opportunities they might not have considered otherwise and offer real-life, practical advice based on their own experiences. Whether that’s through outreach programmes or internally, women need to see what is possible from inspiring role models who have been through the process.

 

Why is it important?

It seems ridiculous that in 2023, we still have an industry where women are severely underrepresented. I must acknowledge that this has changed a lot over the last 20 years or so and it is going in the right direction, but we can’t ever get complacent. At the moment, we aren’t tapping into and harnessing such a large proportion of potential talent, largely due to stereotypes and subliminal messaging throughout education and the workplace. Recruitment is the first hurdle, and we’re still often failing.

One of the things I have seen more times than I should have are women interviewing for a job and having strong feelings of doubt that they can’t do this. Given how disproportionately imposter syndrome affects women, my team and I have added a question at the end of our interview process for female applicants: “Do you think you can do this?” If the response is uncertain, we will spend time reviewing their CV and highlighting exactly why they would be a good fit and why their skills are important. Taking that time to reassure women that they have just as much right and capability to be in the tech arena as a man, has made a massive difference to our recruitment process and I like to think, is helping to move towards an equal opportunity in the industry. The UK has set its sight on becoming a ‘tech superpower’ but if we’re not opening our doors to women and providing the right opportunities, we simply won’t get there.