Celebrating National Inclusion Week
- Monday, September 25, 2023
- Posted By The Growth Company
This week, 25th September to 1st October, is National Inclusion Week!
Founded by Inclusive Employers, National Inclusion Week (NIW) is a week dedicated to celebrating inclusion and taking action to create inclusive workplaces.
This year’s theme is ‘Take Action, Make Impact,’ and here at the Growth Company, we’re proud to be taking a number of actions that are making a positive and lasting impact.
Throughout the week, we'll be talking to colleagues about what inclusion means to them and how the policies and procedures in place at the Growth Company have impacted them.
Colleagues will also be taking part in a ‘Let’s talk about Inclusion’ session on Wednesday, where they will discuss the actions being taken by us to make positive and lasting impact across our inclusive practices and dignity at work policy and celebrate our EDI achievements from the last 12 months.
Keep an eye on our social media channels throughout the week to see how we take action and make impact and keep reading to hear from one of our colleagues.
Here is a blog from Mysha Williams, EDI Manager – Restart North West and Co-chair of the EmbRace EDI Network. Mysha talks about how she feels about inclusivity at the Growth Company as she celebrates National Inclusion Week.
Inclusion in the workplace is so important to me, for many reasons and one being that across my 13-year career, there’s often only been me, or maybe one other ethnic person where I’ve worked. We didn't have ethnic community groups and sometimes I'd be the only colleague from an ethnic community in the entire organisation. I always expected when starting a job to not see many people from a similar background, it was the norm.
So when I joined GC two years ago, and I noticed people like me across the organisation – people of a similar age, but also of Caribbean or African descent – it was to say the least, something that took me aback at first, but I was very impressed by how GC made sure our teams were diverse. This helped me settle in as well, it’s amazing what a difference it makes just to see people from a similar culture or background working in the same place or even the same department.
The most inclusive thing I've noticed at GC is we all work together to advance positive change through our inclusion agenda. The fact that we have eight Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) networks is fantastic! – you don't see that in many organisations. I knew straight away that GC was committed to providing equal opportunity for all our colleagues and customers.
Having a voice to drive positive change
I usually join an employee committee of some kind, because I enjoy supporting people. I could have joined our Women’s Network, or any other of the other seven Networks, but GC’s EmbRace (race) Network is about my culture and my community – something I hold very close.
Being heard and having the confidence that our senior management team will act on our EDI Network’s recommendations is so important. As one of the EmbRace co-chairs, I took action and made change. I did this by helping to launch a change in how we can be more inclusive in the language we use across our organisation. I appreciate that our collective voice was heard, and GC no longer use the term ‘ethnic minority’, we now use our preferred term, ‘ethnic communities’ – which is now used across all our colleague and externally facing content, including our websites.
The importance of dignity at work
Learning to look out for each other is such a positive and rewarding thing – especially empowering people and encouraging them to respect one another. It’s very important for us to have an inclusive environment and for colleagues to feel they’re included and represented. We need to demonstrate that in our actions and in how we treat each other day-in and day-out.
Our GC policies often guide me in my EDI network activities and in my day job. I frequently refer to our Equality Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Dignity at Work Charter and Policy – not necessarily in terms of personally needing support, but to understand how we approach things, how I can support others, and how to apply our values in the workplace to respect and empower our colleagues.
Storytelling and cultural experiences
My cultural heritage is something that's part of me which I tend to bring to work – and that includes my curried chicken and other food! I’m happy I can bring all of me to work and through being part of an EDI Network, I encourage others to do the same.
I particularly really like the effort colleagues put into ‘bring a dish to work day’ at GC. It’s something so simple which has such a powerful message behind it. Colleagues getting together and sharing their food and culture is fantastic, and the wider benefits this has in educating colleagues on different cultures is an important part of our organisation’s commitment to inclusion.
Food helps to tell a story about how easy we’re able to blend and influence cultures. That’s how I see life – like a food recipe and being able to share ideas like we swap recipes and being able to alter things to come to a compromise that’s a positive and rewarding experience for others.