In the pursuit of creating an inclusive workplace which actively values difference, many organisations, including ours, have taken significant, positive strides forward. However, I imagine that many are in a similar place as us – with uncertain choices about what steps to take next to fully embed the inclusive culture we’re aiming for. I’d love to hear from others in a similar position or who are further along.
Le’s start with what we have done. We’ve developed an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy, delivered critical unconscious bias and allyship training, signed the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter, improved our recruitment processes through blind recruitment, adapted our job descriptions, and ensured we have diverse interview panels. The occasions and festivals we celebrate are also now far broader to ensure we strengthen understanding and belonging.
Our FREDIE (Fairness, Respect, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement) group, which I joined this year, has played an essential role in this progress. We recognise the importance of hearing from those with lived experiences supported by allies who champion the cause, so the group comprises of individuals from across the charity, bringing their ideas and holding us to account. Together, they offer invaluable insights into where our focus should lie. It’s crucial to note that while the group identifies issues, it isn’t responsible for solving them. It takes the effort of the whole organisation to act.
I’m proud of what we’ve put in place, these are vital foundations to build upon. The vital question though is, what next? This year’s theme for National Inclusion Week is Take Action, Make an Impact. This is what we aim for, it’s about going beyond the checklists and creating environments where everyone, regardless of their background, feels empowered and valued. For us, EDI isn’t a quota to meet it’s an asset. Different perspectives can drive innovation and growth.
We have six areas of work for the year, and we’re currently focussing on two. The first is our supply chain. We know our choices matter, so by partnering with suppliers who share our values, we can extend our impact and collectively drive positive change. This work will be underpinned by our commitment to the Race at Work Charter. The second is our training needs and how we ensure the learnings from those valuable sessions are used day to day. We’ll also continually assess our progress and adapt our strategies as needed.
I’d love to hear from those further along on this journey. Do you have any learnings that you can share – have you incorporated EDI in your supply chain, or successfully translated lessons learnt during training to organisational culture? As I say, we don’t yet have the answers, but we’re committed to sourcing them. I look forward to reporting to you in a year on what we’ve done and learnt.