With people spending much of their time at work, it’s vital that they feel safe, respected, and valued as an employee. Making sure that your workplace is inclusive and diverse has numerous benefits, such as having a wider talent pool, a positive culture and mutual respect.
Equality in the workplace means equal job opportunities and fairness for employees and job applicants across a person’s sex, age, disability, or race.
In addition to nurturing happy, productive, and loyal employees through excellent diversity and inclusion practices, how you act in this area as a business will be relevant to your compliance with the Equality Act 2010.
Diversity is the wide range of people in your workforce and valuing each of their differences. For example, this might mean people of different ages, religions, ethnicities, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ+ community.
Inclusion is an overarching ethos covering diversity, equality, and many other aspects of our working lives. Inclusive cultures enable our colleagues to do things differently, working in ways that suit them, and hybrid/flex work patterns to ensure their life-work balance is healthy.
There is clearly a big change happening amongst organisations with a clear inclusive workplace model being put in place. But it doesn’t stop there, inclusivity is ongoing and is about consistent learning and improvement.
First things first, your company should have a workplace Equal Opportunity Policy covering the following: equality, diversity, and inclusion. This policy should cover the following:
Once put in place, the promotion of diversity and inclusion will see the following benefits in the workplace:
“Diversifying the hiring process is great for both businesses and professionals from marginalised and under-represented groups. Whether it’s anonymizing CVs or having a diverse interview panel, companies are at their best socially and commercially when they’re able to attract and retain talent from diverse backgrounds. Also, knowing that you’re playing a part in ensuring a fair and equitable process for all feels rewarding. It’s a win-win at the end of the day” Daniel Asaya, HR consultant
By embracing diversity and inclusion within your organisation, it will build your business’s knowledge on a variety of aspects including cultures, faiths, disabilities, sexual orientation, and gender to name a few. It will also enable employees to feel respected and part of a diverse, modern business.
This Black History Month, explore some of London’s citywide events celebrating the Black communities that have shaped our city. From exhibitions, guided tours, black-led business events and some beautiful performances to feed your eyes and ears, we chose just a handful of some incredible events that are happening over London this October.
Museum of London – Explore Black Londoner’s stories from the history of Grime in East London, Feeding Black: Community, Power & Place and much more for free through the photography, film and archive material.
Wallace Collection – Black Presence in the Wallace Collection is a free, online virtual African Heritage tour of the collection spanning 400 years with Dr Janet Couloute, especially for Black History Month. Register online to join!
Horniman Museum & Gardens – Intimate Archives is a free display offering a window into African diasporic social experiments, rituals, and practices of hair care. Along with this ongoing exhibition, Horniman is hosting a Future Heroes craft workshop to celebrate Black History Month with artist Habiba Nabisubi, do grab your tickets!
Black History Walks – Their first hosted walk since the pandemic, discover the life, times, and activities of numerous African/Caribbean women in Brixton from the 1950s – 1980s.
Black Plaque Project – An initiative by Nubian Jak Community Trust to commemorate the contributions of black people throughout history. Use their online map to discover each historic location and plaque across London and discover Black history in our city.
Black Women Business Talks – A space to learn effective growth strategies for business development and career success for the Black community and allies, with industry leaders from leading banks and publications. A must-attend event for open, honest business discussions.
Inspiring Entrepreneurs at British Library – Learn how Black entrepreneurs are building empires online by using their influence and creativity. Followed by an open discussion on community building with Black Pound Day founder and So Solid Crew member, Swiss.
AFWL – African Fashion Week London is the largest global showcase of African fashion and design with a collaborative catwalk, exhibitions, and business development programs, all hosted at the Freemasons Hall.
Black Culture Market 1st – 2nd Oct – Explore a host of emerging businesses of African and Caribbean descent at this Brixton-based market. Shop a huge host of entrepreneurs selling unique gifts, jewellery clothing and more!
Bohemia Place Market 1st – 2nd Oct – Located in the heart of Hackney, discover London’s best Black-owned Street food, artisan traders and many more Black-owned businesses!
To What End at the Barbican – Six inspiring short performances blend dance and live music, developed by South African artists at William Kentridge’s leading centre for experimental, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary arts.
The Woman King – Inspired by true events Gina Prince-Bythewood directs the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s.
Kirkou and the Sorceress – Part of the Barbican family film club, this masterful animation is based on a West African folk tale of powerful bravery and adventure.
An evening with David Harewood – Rio Cinema Hackney presents the critical acclaim actor in conversation presenting his powerful memoir of race and identity.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Live at the Southbank Centre, the incredible South African vocal powerhouse play heir first UK tour in years in celebration with Black History Month.
The Music of Otis Reading – Experience the incredible sound of Otis Redding as two of the UK’s most exciting soul acts join forces to celebrate the King of Soul at Camden’s Jazz Café.
Hollie Cook – British reggae tropical pop star Hollie Cook performs at Village Underground, reflecting on her path from West London roots to critically acclaimed records.
Allyship is when an individual from a privileged group works in conjunction with a marginalized group to help remove systems that challenge their basic rights, equal access, and ability to thrive in society. Whether this is in your personal life or workplace.
Building a company culture that celebrates all employees can start with simply reaching out. By connecting with people who are different from you, you can begin to learn about their struggles and help make your workplace environment fairer and more welcoming.
We look at modern allyship in the workplace, and how you and your company can become educated allies.
Being an ally is about solidarity and social justice for marginalized people. It’s also about disrupting and changing systems that have previously disempowered them.
Practising allyship in the workplace is vital in helping to build a diverse and fair work environment where everyone’s voice can be heard.
A strong ally realises their influence and uses this to help others shine. This could be by recommending a colleague for an internal job position or recommending someone to take the lead in a project. Being a strong communicator within groups is essential actively listening to marginalised groups to understand what you can do to become a better ally.
Employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to quit in a year. Be sure you regularly acknowledge and thank your employees for their hard work. Talking about someone’s excellent performance to the wider team will make employees feel more valued in their work environment.
Lead with empathy, make it personal and be open to change. We all make mistakes, but the important thing is being willing to accept we don’t always have the answer to every problem. Being an ally is about learning, accepting these mistakes and showing modesty, openness, and empathy in the workplace important because it can set you apart as a trustworthy ally. It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Educate yourself to begin to recognize and name what needs to change. A strong ally will be aware that they need to push themselves out of their comfort zone to learn. There are some informative forms of education such as podcasts and books, that will help you understand how you, an ally, can help others in your workplace. A great podcast we recommend is Leading with Empathy & Allyship, a weekly podcast which tackles difficult conversations.
Allyship is key to building a supportive and inclusive workplace culture for everyone, regardless of their background — but many organisations still have a lot of work to do! Allyship is an action, and begins with understanding that we need to work on inclusion together.
We have long recognised that our own and our client’s businesses should better reflect the communities in which we operate – in terms of socio-economic disadvantage and BAME communities. We have made a huge commitment over the last 5 years and our project ‘Future Proofing Talent through Diversity’ is award-winning.
We passionately drive awareness of roles within the creative industries to a disadvantaged and diverse demographic through our partnerships with charities, schools and leading community organisations.