10 top tips for National Inclusion Week 2022

As National Inclusion Week draws closer (26 September-2 October), Inclusive Employers, as the founders of National Inclusion, want to ensure organisations have all they need to celebrate, showcase and progress your inclusion journey.
Here we share some of our consultants top tips for making the most of the week.

Read on and you'll be ready to get your National Inclusion Week 2022 plans underway!

A little bit of planning in advance of National Inclusion Week (NIW) can really help to maximise the benefits of being involved in this celebration of inclusion.

As we commit to this year’s theme, Time To Act: The Power Of Now, you need to make sure that your whole organisation is engaged.

Like all programmes and campaigns, we hope that National Inclusion Week will be an extension of your everyday commitment to inclusion and provide you with a catalyst for taking action and seizing #ThePowerOfNow. The key to getting this right is ensuring the focus is not just on the week itself, but on how it can really add value and impact your organisation in the long term.

Everyday events around the world show us how much work we all need to do to progress inclusion and we hope National Inclusion Week can help to solidify your commitment to an inclusive society where we are all understanding and embracing #ThePowerofNow.

Below, members of our consultant team share their top tips for National Inclusion Week – read on for their advice!

1. Plan early!

Preparation is key if you want to get the best out of National Inclusion Week! Planning will give you time to involve and engage as many people as possible within your organisation, both in the build-up to NIW and during the week itself. The more people you can involve, the more action you can take and the greater impact you will have!

Advanced planning also gives you time to agree on a budget for the events and activities that will help you to celebrate NIW!

Lindsay Lerigo, Inclusive Employers Standard Programme Manager

2. Consider how National Inclusion Week can progress your inclusion objectives

What are your key objectives for I&D and how can you use the National Inclusion Week 2022 theme to shine a light on these areas? See National Inclusion Week as a tool to engage and focus on areas that are important to your organisation. Plan events that will take action on these objectives and bring them to life.

NIW is about being inspired to take small (or larger) actions that can lead to much greater cultural change. Our Getting ready for National Inclusion Week 2022 webinar is designed to help you find out more about NIW and how you can use this event to build inclusion momentum in your organisation.

Amy Gibbons, Senior Inclusion and Diversity Consultant

3. Organise a steering group

National Inclusion Week is a time to call to action your whole organisation. In order to engage as many colleagues as possible, organise a steering group to coordinate your inclusion activities and initiatives during NIW and beyond. 

Be mindful of the voices and skills across your organisation and encourage colleagues from all areas to get involved.  This is a great growth opportunity for people who may not usually put themselves forward. Give them the opportunity to embrace #ThePowerOfNow, take action and inspire and engage their colleagues. 

Sharon Cooper, Senior Inclusion and Diversity Consultant

4. Agree your organisation’s priorities for NIW

National Inclusion Week is a wonderful opportunity to engage your whole organisation in inclusion. It’s rare that we have time – let alone a whole week – dedicated to inclusion, so it’s important to focus on what impact you want the week to have.

Before you start planning your events and getting excited about our Daily Actions, set aside some time to identify your priorities for the week. What impact do you want the week to have? How will it link to your organisation’s inclusion agenda?

Write down a big list of every possible impact you want it to have, then choose a maximum of 3. Those are your priorities for the week.

Then when you start planning, these priorities will help keep you focused on how National Inclusion Week can make a difference beyond just seven days in September.

Addison Barnett, Head of Inclusion and Diversity Services (South)

4. Use our National Inclusion Week toolkit

Not sure where to start? Explore and make the most of the NIW toolkit. It is designed to be a guide and inspiration for your own events. It’s free to access when you register (for free) for National Inclusion Week.

Whether you’re a free registrant or a supporter, you will find an overview of the Daily Actions in your toolkit.

These actions can help you make some tangible commitments and don’t forget to include your staff networks or inclusion advisory groups, there will be some brilliant ideas and inspiration you can draw upon.

Remember, if you are or become a supporter you will receive in-depth information on the Daily Actions and how to use them during NIW 2022.

Ellen Edenbrow, Inclusion and Diversity Consultant

5. Book your National Inclusion Week speakers

NIW is one of the busiest weeks of the year for inclusion and diversity experts so planning what information you want to share, whose voices you want to raise, and what impact you want to make in advance enables you to secure the right speakers for your organisations.

People who talk about their lived experiences may only take a small number of bookings each week as it can be emotionally draining and upsetting to talk openly and vulnerably. Get your plan organised now and book your speakers.

Rosie Clarke, Head of Inclusion and Diversity Services (North)

6. Work with your communications team

Include your communications team in your planning. They will have a clear idea of how best to communicate internally so that colleagues know what is happening during the week and how to get involved with your activities. They will provide you with opportunities to build engagement within your organisation.

They may also have new ideas about online activities and how to use social media channels to celebrate and champion inclusion.

Work with them to develop a communications plan so that everyone is kept up-to-date with your National Inclusion Week activity. Remember to use the #NationalInclusionWeek2022 and #ThePowerOfNow so we can share some of the great things going on throughout the week.

Ruth-Anne Eghan, Inclusion and Diversity Consultant

7. Ensure your National Inclusion Week activities are communicated outside of your organisation

A recent Forbes study identified that 83% of employees say they’re engaged at work when they believe the organisation fosters an inclusive culture.  

Your National Inclusion Week activities are a way to make your organisation stand out to prospective talent. Thousands of organisations will be uniting for National Inclusion Week 2022 and by communicating beyond our organisations we will collectively strengthen our commitment to inclusion.

You can use the Press Release Template in the Toolkit to support your external communications. Remember to use the campaign hashtags #TimeToAct & #ThePowerOfNow and #NationalInclusionWeek2022 and tag @InclusiveEmployers on LinkedIn and @IncEmp on Twitter.

Matheus Carvalho, Head of Inclusion and Diversity Services (Global)

9. Book your Inclusive Employer National Inclusion Week events

Hundreds of companies in the UK and beyond take the time to celebrate together and build awareness during National Inclusion Week.

As well as organising your own activities, Inclusive Employers is running a series of webinars during National Inclusion Week and has designed a package of webinars to support you to embrace #ThePowerOfNow and take action for inclusion.

In fact, is our busiest week of the year at Inclusive Employers, often booked out months in advance! So, if you’d like to include us in your event’s lineup, please book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Carol Buchanan, Senior Inclusion and Diversity Consultant

10. Have fun!

National Inclusion Week is a wonderful time to come together with your colleagues to make a positive impact on inclusion in your organisation.

Not only are you connecting with people in your teams and workforces, but you are joining forces with hundreds of other organisations who have the same shared goal – to see people included, valued and respected, at work and in all aspects of their lives. This is something to be celebrated and embraced.

Have fun, make memories and remember to embrace #ThePowerOfNow! Don’t forget to share all your inclusion activities with us using the campaign hashtags #ThePowerOfNow and #NationalInclusionWeek2022 and tag @InclusiveEmployers on LinkedIn and @IncEmp on Twitter.

Cheryl Carty, Inclusion and Diversity Consultant and Sparks Programme Lead

And finally, if you haven’t yet registered for National Inclusion Week 2022, now is the time!