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Championing Diversity and Inclusion

I am honoured to work for an organisation ranked no 6 on The Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List.  As part of my role I endeavour to ensure we are dedicated to being an inclusive employer and I am proud of the continuing developments we have made for our employees and service users. Appearing on such a well-recognised and respected list is important as it demonstrates clearly our commitment to inclusivity and that this is integrated into the culture of our organisation.

As part of the recognition of being listed as an Inclusive Top 50 employer I was delighted to be invited to be a member of the newly formed Inclusive Companies Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Leaders Consortium I am very excited however I must confess to being more than a little nervous at the responsibility.

On Thursday 17th January 2019 I travelled to London for the inaugural meeting chaired by Paul Sesay founder of Excellent in Diversity Awards and Inclusive Top 50 UK Companies and hosted by Rachel Williams, Head of Inclusion and Diversity at UK House of Lords.

It was a stimulating afternoon being part of the Inclusive Companies D&I leaders Consortium it was made even more special by being at such a prestigious location as the House of Lords.

The round table discussion included 24 senior diversity, inclusion, HR and talent professionals looking to accelerate the workplace D&I strategy. The goal of the consortium is to engage leaders from Private, Public and Third sector industries in a series of high-profile discussions to look at changing the way diversity is viewed within organisations across the UK.

This unique platform connects equality & diversity practitioners from across the UK to share best practice and provide vital solutions to the ongoing D&I debate.

It was inspiring afternoon to be in a room with a collection of real trailblazers in the D&I field. I was an in awe of the talent and dynamism of my fellow consortium colleagues who are exceptionally motivated about the advancement of D&I and we all want to implement real change and together there is the energy and vision to do so.

It was a fantastic opportunity for us all to learn from one other, listen to each other’s opinions and respect the thoughts of our peers from across many different industry sectors.

Sometimes the D&I agenda is seen solely as an HR issue we need to make sure entire organisations/businesses understand and make a conscious decision to work together to make a difference.

Interesting and thought provoking topics were discussed to shape the vision and agenda of what the consortium intends to achieve.

We have some exciting things in the pipeline and I am looking forward to working with the consortium to propel the inclusion agenda forward. We aim to devise a 2-year plan, ultimately creating an informative and detailed report which will focus on D&I across each of the protected characteristics.

Discussions included creating a D&I White Paper to drive the agenda forward across the UK containing measurable objectives, which work to promote an inclusive culture in every sector and business. Assessing the delivery and continuous evaluation of this strategy by developing a Diversity Chartermark. Key components of the plan include raising the profile, awareness and commitment to D&I nationally, providing tools to achieve objectives, evaluating and improving ways of working, capturing accurate data and increasing D&I across all sectors at all levels and measuring impact.

It was exciting to explore next steps of how to make the vision a reality and I’m ready to take the next steps in our D&I Leaders Consortium journey with the commitment of all the wonderful members of the forum. Watch this space for future developments!

Donna Gooby – Director of People and Culture, Inspire North