‘The Business case for Diversity and Inclusion’ panel at Digital DNA

This week Diversity Mark hosted a panel “The business case for Diversity & Inclusion” at Northern Irelands largest tech event Digital DNA. Thanks to the fantastic panelists Gareth Quinn, Ritu Bhatt and Fergal McFerran for joining and imparting their advice, experience and practical tips to our audience. Our Interim Head of Business Nuala Murphy led the conversation. See her wrap up below.  

Nuala Murphy, Fergal McFerran, Ritu Bhatt and Gareth Quinn speaking at Digital DNA Event, Belfast.

Gareth Quinn shared the need for a diverse team to represent his diverse customers for KairosTech Solutions, a scheduling platform for elite athletes. He shared his challenges of being in tech, sports tech and how recruitment has been tough. I mentioned networks like Women of Wearables (WoW)® and connecting up with individuals such as Marija Butkovic.

We all know Gareth Quinn as founder of Digital DNA. Indeed it’s how we first met when he asked me to be on panel for marketing while I was Head of Marketing at Totalmobile Ltd. Back then Gareth understood the need to have more representation at conferences and ensured focus was placed on that each year. As someone who walks the walk when it comes to the business of Diversity and Inclusion, he shared just how tough it is and how he continually tries to do better.

Ritu Bhatt MD of iEngageIT a tech company that is diverse by nature with teams in Belfast, London, India and soon to be Belgium, shared her motivation to start brownscafe to celebrate the successes of brown and non white people in Northern Ireland and the need to inspire the younger generation. She also shared the reality that smaller businesses see D&I as an overhead but if you are thinking of building a global company you need to have D&I embedded in your culture right across the board.

Businesses need to create safe spaces for all staff to feel a sense of belonging. The business benefits are clear; better performance, higher returns, more product teams, more innovation, staff retention….the list goes on. So why is it so tough?

Fergal McFerran from Stonewall a non profit that stands for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people everywhere, shared how organisations are afraid to get things wrong. He suggests they listen to their staff and understand them and what they need. He also shared the importance of commitment right across the board and true collaboration with organisations and groups. What does that look like? Accepting getting things wrong is part of the process but listening and basing action on insights will see change.

As an independent assessor with Diversity Mark he talked about the importance to start on a structured journey, to focus on one or two things and do them well. Spreading yourself too thinly doesn’t bring success. Personally, as interim head at Diversity Mark I have seen a shift from “good thing to do” to “business need” when it comes to company’s trying to build more diverse teams, boards and organisations. It’s a no brainer for sure and I’m encouraged to see commitment in this area.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Diversity Mark kick off Autumn Series of Events

Last week saw the launch of key events for Diversity Mark as we kicked off our autumn series of events for signatories existing and new.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business and Emma Lyttle Engagement Manager at Diversity Mark at Glandore offices Fitzwilliam Hall, Dublin.

First event was the Meet the Team hosted by Nuala Murphy Interim Head of Business and Emma Lyttle, Engagement Manager.

Thank you to everyone that attended. The purpose of the session was to give our signatories the opportunity to meet with the team and for us to understand how we can support you each on your diversity and inclusion journeys. Noting each organisation is starting from a different place but understanding the power of learning and sharing together.

Through the breakout rooms we learned the top challenges for businesses right now and discussed active ways to navigate challenges in recruitment, flexible working and aspirations for building more diverse teams, organisations and businesses.

The event covered the Diversity Mark accreditation process and laid out the numerous steps to achieving the different stages. It also provided the opportunity for signatories to break out into small groups to discuss their industry and organisational challenges as well as a safe space to ask for help of other organisations further down their journey. Key suggestions were around language used in recruitment adds to ensure inclusion and attraction of more females in tech, and the use of the Gender bias decoder and Finding subtle bias in job ads

Discussion around the gender pay gap as well as bias and awareness training for all managers in an organisation wanted to build a more equal workplace. Do check out the Women In the Workplace 2021 report launched with Lean In and McKinsey on Monday past for more on this.

We ended the week with the first Diversity Mark round table at our Dublin office Glandore 25-27, Fitzwilliam Hall, Dublin, D2.

A Coffee Power Hour it sure was as we welcomed industry peers for an introduction to Diversity Mark as well as an opportunity to hear what is pressing for their organisations, community groups and business practices. Connecting people and educating on all areas of diversity created a wonderful safe environment to understand the key concerns and opportunities that we as the awarding body of the Diversity Mark Accreditation can instigate change. We look forward to hosting monthly meetings and would love to see you there and have some exciting partnerships to announce very soon. Sign up to our newsletter and be the first to know. Click here to sign up

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.