Inclusive Employer’s Standard: understand, measure and embed inclusion

The latest round of our Inclusive Employer’s Standard is open for submissions from Friday 28 August. 2020 has presented unprecedented challenges for inclusion and the Inclusive Employer’s Standard can equip you with the tools to turn these challenges into opportunities, to really assess and progress how inclusive your organisation is. Here our Inclusive Employer’s Standard Programme Manager, Lindsay Lerigo, explains how the Standard impacts on inclusion.

It has been just over a year since I joined Inclusive Employers to manage the Inclusive Employers Standard and it has been quite a year, well 2020 has so far been quite the year for everyone!

With the impact of Brexit, Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the spotlight has been firmly thrust on inclusion. For the first time it feels like people are starting to understand that they could and should be doing more: at Inclusive Employers we can feel there is real momentum to prioritise working on inclusion from our members, clients and friends.

Never has there been a more challenging time for organisations in the UK when it comes to ensuring they have an inclusive culture. Participants of the Inclusive Employer’s Standard tell me that it is a great way for them to understand and reflect on what is working, as well as what isn’t, within their organisations. In the current climate where an organisations response to situations is under extra scrutiny this is more important than ever. The Inclusive Employers Standard gives you a tool to assess how inclusive your organisation is, from top to bottom and cross department. We use the six pillars of inclusion: Engage; Equip; Empower; Embed; Evaluate and Evolve, to assess the breadth of employment activity across all strands of inclusion.

At the moment, I am busy moderating the latest round of the Standard and can’t wait to share the results with participants during National Inclusion Week, 28 September-4 October. Submissions have highlighted some amazing work organisations have done to support staff with agile working and consider the impact that Covid-19 has had an on employee mental health. There has also been a significant increase in the work being done to support Black colleagues and beginning to address the systematic racism that exists.

I’m really proud of all our Inclusive Employer’s Standard participants. 63% have achieved the Bronze accreditation: a fantastic achievement for organisations progressing their inclusion journey and for those looking at assessment for the first time. The inclusion foundations demonstrated by organisations this year are strong – a real reflection of our current pro-inclusion climate – but we can’t let up! Inclusion is ever-growing and ever-changing, we don’t know exactly what Brexit’s inclusion impact will look like, but it will be major. We need to ensure that these foundations really are embedded through organisations and aren’t just led by passionate networks and inclusion and diversity leads.

One of the great things to see over the last year is the commitment from organisations to improve, which is demonstrated by participants who have completed the Inclusive Employer’s Standard and have signed up to do it again. As a participant of the Standard we provide you with a detailed feedback report, which gives you a measure of how inclusive your organisation is. This then gives you a tangible platform to continue embedding inclusion into the operations, culture and strategy of your organisation.

If you would like the opportunity to celebrate the success of your inclusion activity or understand the areas you need to focus on to improve, or both, then please do get in touch with me about taking part in this round of the Inclusive Employers Standard.

Have a great week and look forward to hearing from you,

Lindsay Lerigo

Programme Manager – Inclusive Employer’s Standard