Over the last few decades, Ireland has gone from a homogenous island off the coast of Europe where women had to retire from civil service jobs upon marriage, to a diverse, multicultural, progressive society, the first to legalise same-sex marriage and one that considers diversity important to how we do business. Organisations have worked hard to embrace diversity within their workplaces and create an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, cultural background or disability, can flourish and succeed.

While many feared that the pandemic would impact business commitment to diversity, in reality Ibec saw a growing commitment from our members to developing further and progressing their work around diversity, inclusion and belonging. Ibec has worked with employers on a wide range of initiatives to support putting diversity at the forefront of their priorities, leading to advancements in inclusion and belonging.


Diversity and inclusion is good for business and there is a lot of global research to confirm this, for example:

While excellent work is already being carried out in Ireland and our organisations and institutions, it remains that we have one of the lowest rates of employment for people with disabilities in the EU, over 80% of the Traveller Community in Ireland are unemployed, the level of racist attacks in Ireland remains high year on year, and we have also seen an increase in attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. As such, despite the significant progress made, diversity and inclusion can be fragile in certain areas and there is more work to be done.

Achieving true diversity, inclusion and belonging in a workplace is not always easy. It can cause us to sometimes be uncomfortable, requiring us to review how things have always been done and to make changes. It is work that will be constantly evolving and will require regular review.

Case studies

Inclusion and diversity are integral to KPMG. KPMG embraces diversity of background, experience, and perspective and is committed to inclusion at every level. KPMG aims to attract and retain the best talent by recognising the strength that comes from a diverse workforce, building a culture that supports all people to balance their career ambitions with their personal lives is a big priority.

KPMG support many female initiatives, they ‘re a founding member of the 30% club in Ireland and host a range of internal activities promoting female leaders, including their Executive Speaker Series and Role Model lunches. KPMG sponsor Going for Growth, the female entrepreneur programme, and are ongoing supporters of women in sport through sponsorships of Leona Maguire, the Dublin Ladies Gaelic Football Team and were one of the main backers of 20x20 campaign.

KPMG celebrate Pride Week in all of their offices and host regular speaker events with advocates from the LGBT+ community. They’re also proud supporters of BelongTo, the youth LGBT+ organisation. At KPMG Ireland, their people come from all over the world. They’re proud to have 48 different nationalities work in the firm and all that diversity of thought and experience that brings. KPMG value ability and accessibility, recognising that not everyone has the same starting point and we need to reduce barriers for people.

At KPMG, people are the heartbeat of the business. Together, they embrace inclusion and celebrate diversity.

At BT we are dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. We have a D&I centre of excellence in BT, ensuring our strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is evident to all of our colleagues and that their ‘lived experience’ in BT is a positive one. For example, we have always placed an emphasis on flexible working, and continue to evolve it under a new Smarter Working framework, to support our colleagues to have a work life balance and an opportunity to succeed. We’re also supporting our numerous people networks, including Pride + Allies, Early Careers, Families & Carers, Inspiring WoMen in Business, which act as a collective employee voice, and as peer support for all our people. We’re putting a diversity, equity and inclusion lens over everything we do from hiring to development and promotion, to better embed it across our company.

We have identified five clear strategic priorities. These include: a balanced workforce that better reflects diverse societies; a consistent approach to inclusivity for colleagues and customers; inclusive design built into all products and customer offerings; and improved outcomes for disadvantaged groups in society. Our team has a defined plan is place, working with BT Group and endorsed by the Ireland leadership team, to execute against these strategic goals.

Our purpose is to create an equal, diverse, and inclusive environment where colleagues take a sense of pride in working for an employer who promotes equality, diversity and inclusiveness.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is integral in creating an engaged and committed workplace. Including and diversifying our workforce creates a level playing field. We foster a culture where people feel safe to bring their whole selves to work, that recognises ability not disability and focuses on recruiting and retaining the best people regardless of their background.

Aldi is a company built on merit and opportunity. Our continuous growth means that we can provide colleagues with amazing career opportunities, whatever their background and whatever part of the organisation in which they work.

We recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion and understand that Aldi needs to better reflect all of the communities we serve, as well as providing more support to minority and underrepresented groups. That’s why we are currently making positive changes to the way we attract, recruit and support our people.

We want to ensure that Aldi is a diverse, inclusive and supportive place to work for everyone.


Explore / Resources

In this webinar Jessica O’Mullane, Ibec ER Executive, provides an overview of the legislation that underpins equality and diversity in Ireland. Fiona Triller from Irish Centre for Diversity discusses the importance of creating a diversity and inclusion strategy in your organisation. Stephen Cluskey from Mobility Mojo will discuss the practical applications that can be put in place to empower your organisation to open your doors to everyone.

This McKinsey report gives an overview of the business case for diversity, equity and inclusion, particularly exploring the relationship between diversity on executive teams and likelihood of financial performance.

Boston Consulting Group explains how diverse leadership teams can lead to more and better innovation and improved financial performance.

This blog explores the business case for diversity and inclusion ant the numerous advantages to creating an inclusive business environments for different groups.

Dr Kara McGann, Ibec showcases the importance for those dedicated to diversity to move towards inclusion.

As consumers continue to diversity, Deloitte look at the changing expectations of consumers as they look for businesses to authentically reflect a range of backgrounds and experience. This survey of over 11,000 consumers globally shares insights into the need to need to authentically embrace and champion DEI.

This 2016 Harvard Business Review article, looks at the business case for diversity while highlight the benefits to teams.

This 2015 Deloitte survey, unpacks the factors that improve employee engagement by investigations the link between diversity practices and employee engagement.

Forbes magazine looks at the business case for diversity and inclusion. They also look at the additional benefits businesses with diverse teams experience.

This calendar is has been designed to highlight key diversity dates you or your organisation might want to mark in 2023.