Celebrating ten years of building workplace inclusion

Here, Rupert Moyne, our Managing Director - Corporate Services and one of our founders, reflects on 10 years of inclusion and Inclusive Employers, and how they have both grown up in this time.

Find out how we are using our 10th birthday celebrations to create a ‘State of the Nation’ report. This will allow us to have a greater understanding of the progress inclusion has made, our collective inclusion priorities and how we continue to take action for inclusion, for the next 10 years.

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Growing up

Having a tenth birthday coming up is rather exciting! As I think about Inclusive Employers’ forthcoming 10th birthday in May, I have been trying to remember what mine felt like (all those years ago…). I seem to remember I was preoccupied with thoughts that I would soon be going to ‘big school’ and be the younger one amongst the bigger boys rather than an older boy at junior school and feeling quite grown up. A certain trepidation too of course, parting ways with some of my friends.

The concept of inclusion in the workplace has been growing up too. Over the years, many more people and organisations have joined with us to take action. For me, it’s hard to believe that in May 2021 Inclusive Employers will be ten years old. We have all come a long way in 10 years, but we know that as a society, and as employers and employees, that we still have a very long way to go. More than ever there is an onus on us as employers to set the standard. I think it’s time inclusion went to big school!

In the same way that Covid has made changes in the workplace from which we are unlikely to return, the events last year around George Floyd’s killing feel like they should act as a watershed for society, and for you and me. As part of our wider 10th birthday commemoration Sandy Sohal, on secondment from Guinness Trust to Inclusive Employers, is researching anti-racism in the workplace with help from some of you and will be presenting her report during National Inclusion Week. This year we will be harnessing the reach of Inclusion week to move the theme on from last year’s ‘Each One, Reach One’ to ‘United for Inclusion’. Instead of parting ways with some of our friends as I was preoccupied with when I was 10, this year we want you to work with us to foster unity amongst colleagues within your organisation, and also unity with other organisations. Let’s sustain that watershed moment from last year and make sure inclusion goes ever forward and never back by being united for inclusion.

Building the foundations of workplace inclusion

One of the key things, therefore, that we have achieved in the last ten years, has been getting workplace inclusion talked about. Back in the summer of 2011 we were welcoming our first members. They included TfL, Nomura, McDonalds, Hampshire Fire and Rescue and the Co-operative Group, all who remain members to this day. A big thank you to these, our founder members. They were the first to believe in the value of Inclusive Employers and workplace inclusion. They sustained us in those early days and have since trailblazed with us.

The driving force for action on inclusion

We are going to mark our 10th birthday by looking back at how workplace inclusion has progressed over the last 10 years. We’ll also look at what we want to change today; plus a little look into the Inclusive Employers’ crystal ball to see what the next 10 years may look like. To help us with this we are planning a ‘state of the nation’ report which we would like your help with. Included in the March 2021 edition of Inclusion Insights is a survey we would love you to complete to get your views on the inclusion journey employers are taking which will then feed into the report. It’s almost an Inclusion Census!

At Inclusive Employers we believe that action gets traction and paper gets shredded. This was an early positioning point for us, along with the concept of ‘everyday inclusion’, both of which have guided our work over the years. We want to keep in the spirit of this and use the report to drive the focus for action to make inclusion everyday, as we move into our second decade.

Earlier this year we completed an exercise to summarise what Inclusive Employers is about, through creating a values statement. Anyone who has been through such a process will know that it is quite an interesting undertaking. We gathered lots of feedback from our colleagues within Inclusive Employers and amongst our members. We settled after a lot of consideration on three key statements:

  • That we are a driving force for change,
  • We are experts in our field and,
  • Inclusion is at the heart of all we do. 

That works for me to give us focus for the next ten years and I hope it resonates for you too.  We would like you to join us for our birthday so check out what we have planned on our 10th birthday events page.  No need to bring a present!