#InThisTogether – why D&I still matters

On 1st September 2017, I’m proud to be involved in a wonderful event entitled #InThisTogether.  I recently wrote a post about why I became involved in D&I (diversity & inclusion.)  This week, as the #InThisTogether event takes place at the Tower of London, I want to share why this subject really matter in the modern working world.  We’re running six panel discussions, all linked to LGBTQ+.  Here’s why each one matters:

Let’s talk about race: Many candidates who come from minority ethnic backgrounds do not get the same opportunities in the corporate world.  Savvy businesses are evolving their recruiting and retention to create a more diverse workforce that better represent the world we live in.

Engaging customers & clients: The companies you deal with, the suppliers and manufacturers you rely on and the clients who buy your goods and services all play a role in driving equality.  We all have a responsibility to talk openly and share our progress on equality.

Unbundling LGBT + Disability: Whether physical or development disabilities, we have made less progress in this area than others. Accommodating specific needs to allow those with disabilities to thrive in the workplace needs to become integral in the way we employ our people.  The effort will exponentially enrich our diversity.

HR as inclusion driver: HR and people managers in general have stepped forward to accept their responsibility in changing company culture, but with simple changes to policies and procedures, a diverse workforce will feel more included.  Balancing business need with driving an inclusion culture is a realistic ambition for HR.

Unbundling LGBT + Mental health: Mental health remains a huge stigma for most, but amongst LGBTQ+ population, the issue is more serious.  With extremely high suicide rates and increase substance abuse levels, inclusive and welcoming workplaces can help workers face the mental health issues that affect their ability to deliver.

Super-charging allies: It’s a wonderful feeling when you realise that the majority of colleagues value and respect you, irrespective of sexuality or gender.  Leveraging and engaging allies to become more active and better informed hugely increases the sense of well being and connection across the workforce.  More can be done to get the extensive network of allies involved in greater inclusion.

Without becoming political – because that may polarise people with similar views on equality – it feels really frustrating that so many trailblazer have gone before us, and yet we still can’t say, hand on heart, that all of society has equal opportunities in the working world.  Gender, ethnicity, where you’re born, sexuality, age and (dis)ability continue to influence how much you will earn and how far you will go in your career.  Until we reach a day where this no longer happens, we still need to work on D&I.

For me, recent efforts have gone into #InThisTogether to help engage, educate and empower my colleagues.  As long as one person does something differently or treat someone better, then that’s one more step on the journey to real quality.  So what’s your next step?

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