Now in its eighth year, National Inclusion Week is an annual campaign run by Inclusive Employers to raise awareness on the importance of inclusion in the workplace and the business benefits of having a diverse and included workforce.
Running from September 28th to October 4th 2020, this week is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms. This year’s theme is ‘Each One, Reach One’, and it’s focused on the opportunity we all have to connect with someone else. It’s a celebration of individuals and organisations connecting and inspiring each other to make inclusion an everyday reality.
Why is Workplace Inclusion important at BPDTS?
At BPDTS, our people want to work in an inclusive environment where they feel safe and valued. Workplace inclusion helps grow our business and workforce, making people feel happier and more empowered. When organisations have fair, equitable, and inclusive employment practices, retaining and recruiting diverse talent becomes easier.
An inclusive organisation helps create a more diverse and innovative working culture. A culturally diverse environment ensures everyone feels valued and that their contributions are recognised. We want our people to feel they can safely express their individuality, including their background, experience, and opinions, to each other and their leaders.
What does inclusion mean to you?
Throughout the week, BPDTS colleagues will celebrate what it means to feel included, both within the workplace and in our communities. What makes you feel included or excluded?
I feel included when people get to know me as a person, value my contribution, and allow me the opportunity to learn and develop. I feel excluded when people make assumptions about my capabilities and don’t ask me for my input.
But, how often do we voice these views with our colleagues and leaders? It’s probably not enough; perhaps it’s easier to avoid difficult conversations, or we don’t feel it’s safe to express ourselves openly.
Creating a genuinely inclusive space takes courage to speak up and challenge behaviours that make us feel we don’t belong. We all have to take responsibility for listening, learning, and taking appropriate action to support the people who don’t have a voice.
Be an ally
So, how can you support your colleagues and community members who struggle to be heard? You could be an ally. An ally is someone who listens, showing empathy or understanding of an individual’s perspective.
We’re all allies in some guise, supporting family, friends, or colleagues. Sometimes, it’s hard to know the right thing to say or do, and many people worry about saying something wrong and avoid saying anything.
Across our BPDTS communities, we’ve created ally cards highlighting tips and pointers on how to support our colleagues as allies. Examples of how people can provide support as an ally include challenging behaviour, offering someone support, using inclusive language in your meetings, recognising differences, and adapting your approach to someone.
Strengthening our collective awareness
Developing our collective awareness helps develop inclusive thinking and inclusive actions, leading to a more positive, productive work environment for everyone. Internally, we’re launching a series of bite-size awareness workshops for all employees; upcoming topics include, Disability and Neurodiversity Awareness, Inclusive Language and Banter, Intergenerational Working, The Equality Act and Me, and Racism and Microaggressions.
Don’t break the chain
We’re excited to continue to share, learn, promote, and celebrate the BPDTS inclusion practices and culture. Together, we’re building and developing the inclusion momentum every day, 365 days a year.
While adhering to socially distant guidance, BPDTS employees compiled a short video about what it means to feel included as part of an Inclusivity Chain to celebrate National Inclusion Week.
Watch our video.
If you would like to join the inclusion conversation, please feel free to comment below: “I feel included when…. “