National Inclusion Week at The Brokerage

National Inclusion Week at The Brokerage

We are proud to celebrate and support #NationalInclusionWeek. For us, we can’t talk about inclusion without talking about diversity. Diversity creates the potential for different opinions and ideas, but it’s inclusion that allows that potential to be realised. Diversity is about recognising people’s differences and inclusion ensures that we value those differences. Being an inclusive employer means all of your employees have equal access to resources and opportunities and that your employees feel safe and comfortable to be themselves so that they can thrive at work.

But don’t just take it from us, we asked our Generation 2020 Ambassadors, “What does inclusion mean to you?”. We’ll be sharing their opinions with you all week. Nafizah Islam shares a simple but powerful idea; when employees feel included, they feel a sense of belonging that creates a happier and more productive work environment;

Inclusion means you are in an environment whereby you feel comfortable to be your most authentic self. It is the feeling of being not just accepted but welcomed into the workplace despite your background. An organisation that is inclusive is one that celebrates differences between workers. I also feel that creating an inclusive workplace results in happier and more confident workers – and can definitely help reduce the amount of imposter syndrome one may feel. Inclusion is intertwined with the feelings of comfort and belonging and so ultimately an inclusive environment promotes a healthier and happier workplace.”

We feel inclusion comes down to a few things; firstly, it’s about employers listening and supporting every single employee so they can work to the best of their ability. No matter their role, department, ethnicity or gender, everyone deserves an equal opportunity to be heard and listened to and this, in turn, can only help you as an organisation to understand your employees better. But it’s also about trust; employers must go a step further and make sure that their employees feel safe enough to openly share their experiences, knowledge and opinions, both to each other and to their leaders. Through listening and instilling trust, inclusion can be achieved. It can better connect employers with employees and allow more insight into how each individual, team and department feels as part of the organisation.

We believe building a genuine culture of inclusion requires a serious commitment from the leaders of an organisation and requires engagement and participation at every level, which is why we changed the way we work with employers and created a new partnership model for our work. This model allows us to engage with the very top of an organisation and with employees at every level. Our work with partners includes running culture workshops that look at how organisations can grow their culture and grow beyond their existing talent pool.

We also analyse and assess recruitment practices and policies, and we run Youth Forums and Corporate Forums in which we bring groups together to discuss issues around social mobility and how together, we can create the practical solutions to ensure you continue attracting and retaining diverse, under-represented talent. Another Generation 2020 Ambassador. Sultan Adeshina, discussed the importance of this type of work;

“For organisations to become more inclusive, I think it goes back to creating a culture everyone feels they belong. This could be done by asking your employees simple questions to assess the current culture of your company. For example: “What type of social activities outside of work do we promote and does that take into account the culture of all our employees?”

 If you are interested in becoming a partner, you can find out more by emailing Susheel.sharma@thebrokerage.org.uk

This year’s theme is particularly important to us; #Each1Reach1 is about individuals and organisations connecting to build the biggest inclusion chain ever. At The Brokerage we work with our corporate partners, our young people, our alumni and our volunteers, and together we are Changemakers. We provide programmes that connect employers with our young people to provide access to a diverse talent pool and insight. And we provide the tools and practical guidance to help corporates integrate, engage and retain the best talent, embedding lasting change.

We want to hear more from our professional and youth network this week. Comment below and tell us what inclusion means to you or what you’re doing to celebrate #NIW. Join us today in becoming #Changemakers.