The Transformative Power of EDI

Christine White, Director at Diversity Mark, part of The WiB Group

This article appeared in the Irish News on 16 April 2024.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion. The three fundamentals of a society or workplace that prioritises fair treatment and opportunity for every individual.

In my role at Diversity Mark, I’ve been fortunate to see firsthand the transformative power of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Working with 200 progressive companies over seven years, it’s been amazing to watch the magic happen – diverse thinking is their superpower.

These organisations are attracting the best talent in creating spaces where everyone feels welcome and valued, they listen to the experiences of their employees and put policies in place to support them.

First and foremost, to truly achieve equality and inclusion, we must appreciate the full scope of diversity itself.  It involves adopting a holistic perspective, ensuring that our policies and practices address any barriers or biases individuals may encounter due to factors such as gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability, or neurodivergent conditions, which may hinder them from reaching their full potential.

Only by fully understanding the issue can we begin to work collectively towards a solution. Or at the very least, a refreshed approach to EDI that prioritises sustainable progress as the North Star with which to guide us towards a more inclusive future. 

A future that’s already being shaped by our younger generation who are experiencing first-hand the lived experiences of people from all around the world. As a mother of two young sons, that’s something I look forward to and actively encourage.

My seven-year-old attends a local primary school which in itself is a multicultural community. Under their roof sit 28 nationalities and 108 newcomers. The result is an environment where everyone is welcome. The children at his school learn alongside kids who bring their unique cultural perspectives into the classroom, fostering a learning environment that is open and inclusive to cultures and languages from around the world.  

If nothing else, this microcosm reflects the changing face of Northern Ireland. Where newcomers from all four corners of the world have come together to enrich the community we share.

Using curiosity, kindness and generosity as key building blocks of a culture defined by inclusion. That’s a key recommendation which resonated with me from a recent Oxford-led study which found a UK-wide appetite for EDI initiatives, albeit with a renewed approach that puts sustainable progress front and centre and moves beyond what can be seen as lip service and box ticking. 

By pursuing the Diversity Mark accreditation, organisations from all sectors are committing to tangible actions that drive meaningful change within the workplace and beyond. Together, let’s create environments where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive. Take the first step today and join us in building a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

To learn about our accreditation and other initiatives, please book a call with us.

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