National Inclusion Week is an essential celebration of diversity, promoting the importance of equality in the workplace. With understanding and acceptance, a more inclusive society will allow everyone to be the best versions of themselves, empowering minority groups to share their unique and valuable perspectives.
The week will highlight areas of improvement for companies across the globe, so find out how to prepare for National Inclusion Week 2021 below.
What is National Inclusion Week?
Drawing attention to inequalities in the workplace, National Inclusion Week provides actionable strategies for inclusion and better diversity. Hiring a diverse workforce is one thing, event organisers also arm companies with the knowledge needed to make their employees feel safe and included, dismantling the biases still active in British industries. To inspire more inclusive practices, National Inclusion Week presents the stories of those who have felt marginalised for their race, sexuality or gender.
Last year’s theme was Each One, Race One, to open up a dialogue about diversity. In the hopes of encouraging connectivity between people, organisations and businesses, the theme reflected how inclusion equals opportunities. National Inclusion Week 2021 continues to encourage people everywhere, from the general public to business leaders, to make room for diversity in their professional and personal lives.
When is National Inclusion Week 2021?
In 2021, National Inclusion Week is running from the 27th of September to the 3rd of October. Over the seven days, businesses are encouraged to celebrate inclusion in all of its forms, to create a more diverse workplace.
Why is National Inclusion Week Important?
Though we as a society have made great strides towards inclusion, we still have a long way to go. With the millennial and Gen Z generations reportedly being the most diverse in history, it is within a business’s best interest to improve the level of inclusion in their workplace. It is no secret that inclusion leads to better ideas. Diverse companies are considered 1.7 times more likely to be innovative, while a more united workplace outperforms individual decision-makers by 87%.
The statistics do not lie, diversity and inclusion are directly linked to both employee retention, wellbeing and corporate success. A study by the Boston Consulting Group even suggests that inclusive companies make more money, with diverse management achieve a 19% higher revenue than their counterparts. National Inclusion Week is dedicated to improving the standards of diversity and inclusion, to leave workplace inequality in the past.
One of the best ways to improve the level of inclusion in your workplace is to book a diversity and inclusion speaker. These resident experts have personally experienced the importance of acceptance and can convey to corporate audiences how diversity can lead to better decision making and innovation.
Widely considered to be one of the greatest swimmers ever to come from Team GB, Mark Foster has since carved a respectable media career. However, it is Mark’s influential decision to come out as gay following his retirement, that made waves for the LGBT+ community. As a speaker, Mark now discusses his experience of elite sport and how hiding his sexuality damaged his mental health.
When Inga Beale became the first female CEO of Lloyd’s of London, a staggering achievement considering their 328-year history of solely male business leaders, she made corporate history. An openly bisexual businesswoman, Inga is dismantling stereotypes with every speech on diversity and inclusion she gives. Whether discussing gender inequality or the LGBT+ community, her positive influence ignites her corporate audience’s appreciation of inclusion.
As Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging for the Telegraph Media Group, Asif Sadiq holds the publication to a high standard, enforcing the level of acceptance required in a diverse workforce. With over 15 years of experience, he has witnessed first-hand the evolution of inclusion in British businesses and earned several awards for his influential work, including the Asian Professional Award.
Listed in the 2018 Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business list, Piers Linney is an industry force to be reckoned with. His inspiring and empowering work has paved the way for minority ethnic communities, with his success proving to many that our differences should not dictate our likelihood of success. As a Non-Executive Director of The British Business Bank and Dragon’s Den investor, Piers is an authority on both corporate growth and diversity.
BAFTA award-winning hip hop artist, poet, historian and diversity speaker, Akala continues to reach thousands through his many forms of influence. He is a firm advocate for inclusion and has used his platform to influence people from all backgrounds – from Shakespeare enthusiasts to MTV regulars, and more. An event featuring Akala is sure to resonate with audiences, teaching them the power of diversity in art, politics and business.
Charlie Martin, better known as the first transgender professional motorsports racer, is a pioneer of inclusion in the male-dominated sport. As an LGBT+ speaker, she shares her incredible story with audiences across the world, opening their eyes to a unique, inspiring perspective. The discrimination that Charlie has faced sends a clear message, inclusion and diversity must be achieved.
Motivational speaker, Martine Wright, is a formidable force on the sitting volleyball court. Following the 7/7 bombings, where she sat only three feet from the suicide bomber, Martine lost both of her legs and a staggering amount of blood. She is now Captain of the British Paralympic sitting volleyball team, a testament to her grit and determination.
Kate Richardson-Walsh, winner of the Hockey Writers Cup UK Player of the Year twice, is a Team GB hockey gold medalist. With 375 caps to her name, she has overcome injuries and discrimination to rise to the top. Alongside her wife, Helen, the pair became the first same-sex married couple to both win Olympic medals, a staggering feat for the LGBT+ community.
As an active voice in the fight for LGBT+ rights, and a celebrated member of the community, Simon Callow has worked tirelessly to improve inclusivity for different groups of people. One of the first openly gay actors announced through his novel Being an Actor, Simon has since been named one of the 2007 Most Influential Gay Men & Women in the UK.
Rugby star and LGBT+ advocate, Gareth Thomas was described as “courageous as ever” when he announced that he was not just gay but living with HIV. The award-winning inclusion speaker uses his story to inspire change, dismantling the stigma surrounding HIV to improve the quality of life for the LGBT+ community. His story was broadcast in the enlightening documentary, Gareth Thomas: HIV and me.
LGBT+ ally, Freddie Flintoff, made a statement in 2019 when he painted LGBT pride flags on two cars used to film in Brunei, following their devastating laws against homosexuality. The statement is a testament to Freddie’s unwavering support, which continues to set an example to audiences. Whether he is dressed up as a Drag Queen or promoting inclusivity, Freddie’s support of the LGBT+ community sends a clear message.
Previously invited to the 2014 Conservative Party Conference and Clinique’s 2016 female empowerment campaign, Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton is changing the way athletes are viewed. As an advocate for gender inclusivity, she is a role model to future female Olympians, a core motivation that drives her diversity presentations. Victoria’s success is a testament to the unlimited female potential.
Journalist and BBC presenter, Victoria Derbyshire, is a pioneering figure in the industry, having broadcast the first live show from Zimbabwe in 2009. She went on to report from an abortion clinic and an animal testing laboratory, the first reports of their kind, reflecting Victoria’s unwavering dedication to journalism. Not one to shy away from challenging topics, she discusses her experience as a female in broadcasting at inclusion and diversity events.
An inductee of the UK Basketball Hall of Fame, John Amaechi combines performance sport with his PhD in Psychology, to advocate for the power of physical activity on wellbeing. Widely considered to be “one of the world’s most high-profile gay athletes”, he uses his elite status to promote acceptance, understanding and inclusion for the LGBT+ community.
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