Diversity Mark has celebrated the diversity and inclusion work taking place in workplaces across Northern Ireland at its five-year anniversary event.
Held on Friday, 11 November 2022 in the offices of PWC, 150 business leaders were in attendance to hear from Diversity Mark Director Nuala Murphy, founding members and current assessors.
Nuala Murphy, Diversity Mark Director said,
“It was great to celebrate the important diversity and inclusion work that is taking place in our workplaces across Northern Ireland with those who are leading the change.
“While Diversity Mark began as an organisation aiming to improve gender equality with the gender charter mark, we are evolving and now incorporate all areas of diversity and inclusion in our work.
“We know that improving diversity improves the bottom line. There’s less staff turnover and better recruitment and retention as more people want to work for companies committed to representation and equal opportunities. The businesses we work with have told us that candidates want to know at interview stage what EDI commitments are in place.
“Our goal at Diversity Mark isn’t just to change the culture of Northern Ireland’s businesses and bring about systemic change that benefits the bottom line. It is to show that we all have the power to be so much more.”
Performances by BBC presenter and author Cara Mailey and Elliot McKeating, Star of BBC’s Mini Matchmakers, with closing remarks from Cormac Savage, further inspired the audience to reflect on how we can all be allies and continue to make changes to make Northern Ireland an even better, more diverse, equal and inclusive place to live and work.
Nuala Murphy continued,
“As well as employees, Diversity Mark is working to secure a better future for our young people. After all, they are the future of Northern Ireland. I have no doubt that Elliot, Cara and Cormac provided inspiration to remember who our diversity journey is for.
“We all have the power to enable further change as allies, to recognise our privilege, to advocate and amplify the work and contributions from those with less privilege and to continually think about who isn’t in the room, who isn’t being represented.
“I am filled with hope for the future where we all use our power to take action to make change in our multicultural society. We all have a responsibility to build workplaces and communities where everyone can achieve their full potential.”
Cormac Savage, trustee of the British Youth Council and previous representative of South Down in the UK Youth Parliament joined the Diversity Mark celebration event live from Harvard. He spoke of the future for Northern Ireland given the phenomenon of the ‘brain drain’, whereby many young people leave for university but don’t return, saying:
“By changing the face of Northern Ireland we can change its future too. By changing how we perceive Northern Ireland and our workforce to be, we can change its future and encourage our young people to stay.
“As young people we are sick of debate around the binaries of the past and are ready to engage in discussion around our privilege and become part of a more global battle for diversity.”
Cormac Savage concluded,
“Diversity is a prerequisite for young people, and Diversity Mark is creating a Northern Ireland that students abroad like me can not only want to come home to but can be proud of. It’s a Northern Ireland that abandons the narrow binaries of the past and accepts its role in the broad global challenges of the DEI space.
“That is a successful Northern Ireland. And that is a Northern Ireland I want to call home.”
To find out more about Diversity Mark please email firstname.lastname@example.org