What if . . . everyone felt included at work.

We live in a diverse society and that should be represented in a diverse and inclusive workplace.

In Northern Ireland, we have an ethnic population of under 5% according to latest figures [1].

According to the PSNI, hate crime against ethnic minorities, disabled people, and members of the LGBTQ+ community has increased. In 2020, 32% of the LGBTQ+ community admitted to hiding their sexual orientation from their employers [2].

In response to this, Business in the Community Northern Ireland will adapt the BITC UK Race at Work Charter. We are asking businesses to sign up to the Charter and adopt a five-pillar approach to tackling race at work. Further information on the Race at Work Charter will follow.

In conjunction with this, we will be running a series of webinars with leading advocates, campaigners, and businesses to provide advice and support to address the following issues:

  • Representation at all levels
  • Inclusion
  • Challenging the narrative

Benefits to employers

  • Access to a range of skills and experience to help address diversity and inclusion issues
  • Increased access to people from different backgrounds to increase the diversity of workforces
  • Visibility with customers, buyers and commissioners as an inclusive employer creating social value
  • Improved responsible business credentials and evidence of contribution to communities and society
  • Understand the starting point: why is your company doing this and who is going to drive this? Understanding why diversity and inclusion is important to the business and the employees
  • Assess legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements: Legislation in the UK defines the legal requirements that businesses must adhered to
  • Develop an Inclusive workplace: access to training, webinars, and events with a range of diversity and inclusion specialists to provide advice and support
  • Challenge the narrative: we are supporting employers to take a whole company approach to discrimination and bias, allowing all employees to bring their ‘whole self’ to work

The Diversity and Inclusion Series will focus on disability, racism, and homophobia. We will host a series of events aimed at HR managers, diversity and inclusion specialists, and senior level staff.

  • Embracing all abilities in the workplace: this webinar will focus on disability and accessibility in all its form. We will explore The Purple Pound, how disabled people contribute economically and socially, how businesses can adapt business practices and increase accessibility, the importance of forming employee networks and providing a voice for marginalized groups. Guest speakers: Dermot Devlin, Disability Campaigner and Founder of My Way Access and Donna Marie Gill, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Danske Bank
  • Addressing racism in the workplace: This webinar will focus on how your organisation can address racism in the workplace and create a diverse and inclusive workplace. Northern Ireland has a growing migrant community, and this is something to be celebrated and encouraged. However, the PSNI report that racist hate crimes are increasing; and many are not reported. This year has seen an increase in racist attacks both online and in person but also systemic racism. Guest speaker: Lori Gatsi Barnett, Entrepreneur and Founder of JoinHer Network
  • Bringing your whole self to work: According to Diversity UK, 32% of people who identify as gay do not tell their employers. In Northern Ireland, homophobic hate crime and incidents have increased this year and have been increasing year on year since 2017 [3]. This webinar will focus on homophobia in the workplace and how to combat it. For optimum mental health, the World Health Organisation encourages the concept of bringing your whole self to work and businesses need to provide an inclusive workplace that welcomes everyone. Marcus Hunter Neil is a Men’s Health Advocate, Ted Talk and LGBTQ+ Campaigner. Guest speaker: Marcus Hunter Neill (aka Lady Portia), men’s health advocate, LGBTQ+ campaigner and Founder of U-Can Network

[1] NIRSA 2019

[2] Diversity UK 2018

[3] PSNI 2019