This National Inclusion Week, will you unite with us for inclusion?

There are just 13 weeks until National Inclusion Week 2021, 27 September - 3 October!

In this article Rupert Moyne, Inclusive Employers Corporate Services MD, asks you to join us to celebrate this year's theme #UnitedForInclusion. Find out why we celebrate National Inclusion Week, what this years' theme means and how you can register for FREE to access resources and events to inspire inclusion in your workplace before, during and after National Inclusion Week 2021.

What is National Inclusion Week?

National Inclusion Week is one my key highlights of the Inclusive Employers calendar. This year it will take place from 27 September – 3 October. This is the 9th year Inclusive Employers has brought organisations together from across the globe to celebrate, share and inspire inclusion practices. In this article, I want to share with you some of the thinking behind the National Inclusion Week campaign and why we have chosen this year’s theme. The week is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in the workplace, in all its forms. I would also dearly love you to join us so we can be #UnitedForInclusion!

When we started the campaign, the concept of workplace inclusion was in its infancy. In that first year, from memory, about 40 organisations took part, having found out about it by word of mouth. In those days I remember we just picked up the phone and spread the word! Our campaign has gathered amazing momentum. Last year over 2,000 organisations took part and 16 million people connected with us via #NationalInclusionWeek2020. We started the campaign the year after Inclusive Employers was launched. The campaign has therefore grown with us and with the concept of workplace inclusion.

Workplace inclusion

We carried out a survey to mark Inclusive Employers’ 10th birthday and the results of this reflect the change in attitude to workplace inclusion in this time. The survey told us that ten years ago, for 81% of organisations, Inclusion and Diversity was non-existent or minimal. Inclusion activity was generally piecemeal and focused on a small number of characteristics. Over time, fabulously this has changed. Today, 100% of people surveyed said their organisations now have some inclusion and diversity initiatives in place. In addition, we are now seeing a more coherent and holistic approach to inclusion. More organisations have an overarching objective of embedding inclusion deep within its DNA. This is not to say there isn’t lots to do! Organisations, of course, are all at a different stage in their journey and developing their inclusion practices in a way that works best for them. But, hopefully we are all pulling in the same direction.

National Inclusion Week 2021 theme

#UnitedForInclusion

This brings me on to the theme of National Inclusion Week for this year. Each year we have a theme which acts as a focus for activities during the week. Our theme for 2021, as I am sure many of you who have already signed up will know, is United for Inclusion.  We want to use our #UnitedForInclusion theme to collectively celebrate, inspire, share and progress inclusion.

At Inclusive Employers, we believe that working in a united approach will strengthen the impact we can have on inclusion within our organisations, industries and the wider world. I strongly believe it is a theme for right now: for where we are in our inclusion journeys and reflective of the state of the wider world. Uniting enables us to do so much more than we can as individuals, or organisations, on our own. This is very much about the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. This is not a new concept of course, Aristotle put it quite nicely nearly 2,500 years ago:

“In the case of all things which have several parts and in which the totality is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the whole is something besides the parts, there is a cause; for even in bodies contact is the cause of unity in some cases, and in others viscosity or some other such quality.”

Aristotle

Darwin would also have a lot to say I am sure on the topic of evolution. Innovation through learning from each other is an opportunity that arises from unity.  Over the last 10 years, as experts in this area, we have learnt the power of working together – of uniting; this is why we have chosen the theme #UnitedForInclusion.

Building inclusive workplaces together

We are using this year’s Inclusion Week to create a platform for sharing best practice, for learning, for the sharing of challenges and solutions. By participating in Inclusion Week, you are joining us in the commitment to be #UnitedForInclusion. By working together, we will become a more powerful force for change, progressing our mission to create thriving, inclusive workplaces.

There are many ways you can engage with this year’s theme:

  • The first step, if you haven’t taken it yet, is to register to participate in National Inclusion Week and download the Toolkit we provide for free. The Toolkit contains resources to help you plan for Inclusion Week, including more information on the Daily Actions for everyday of the week.
  • We are also running a range of virtual events both in the lead up to the week and during the week itself. These will support you on your plans for the week and provide further insight into practical steps you can take linked to this years theme.
  • Connect with us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter. Share your Inclusion Week plans before and during the week using #NationalInclusionWeek2021 and #UnitedForInclusion so we can support your activities and strengthen our efforts to unite for inclusion.

Register for Inclusion Week events

Join one of these webinars to find out how to prepare your organisation for Inclusion Week:

Look forward to making this the best Inclusion Week yet. It is my wish that we will unite together during #NationalInclusionWeek2021 for inclusion!