National Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Day - Supporting Everyday
Wednesday 5th July marks National Diversity and Inclusion Day and offers us employers an opportunity to celebrate the ways we all can create a more inclusive world. These include both the small actions that make a difference and the big efforts business make to embrace diversity and inclusion every day.
Why celebrate National Diversity and Inclusion Day?
Leaders, managers, and professionals in Ireland work every day to make their workplaces more open and welcoming. At SFA, we are lucky enough to hear the inspirational tales of organisations that go the extra mile to promote equality, acceptance, and belonging.
HR and business see the value of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative not a “nice to have.” It is essential to fostering an environment where workers feel heard and valued, where employees from a variety of cultures and backgrounds are proud to work for their organisation. The dial has shifted, and that is due to the work carried out by those with a passion for inclusion.
Some of the work on diversity and inclusion (D&I) is brought through HR policies which can have a significant impact on the personal and professional lives of those in their organisation. They can help balance employees’ responsibilities, such as caring for children or elderly relatives, pursue further education, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Someone's sense of belonging may be enhanced due to the cultural awareness training provided. The lives of others around you will be better because of your commitment to practices that strengthen diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging. Therefore, on National Diversity and Inclusion Day, we take stock of how far we've come in creating organisations that value and respect the unique perspectives and experiences of all employees.
How to make National Diversity and Inclusion Day matter?
Start your celebrations internally. Look to your culture, is it open, communicative, and transparent, where leaders are committed, and employees are engaged? Share the initiatives and policies you have in place to support the life stages and experiences of those in your organisations.
First reflect on important questions that will form the foundations for your culture:
- Do people feel safe in the workplace to bring their whole selves to work?
- Does the culture respect the difference within the workforce both in terms of talents and challenges?
- Do people feel safe to and understand how to raise concerns around HR/D&I or interpersonal issues if they occur?
- Is your implementation of policies and procedures open and transparent?
Next consider examples of initiatives to share:
- Maybe you demonstrate the breadth of nationalities that work in your organisation, by sharing flags on desks or within email signatures.
- Maybe you created a cookbook to share the diverse cultures of our employees through sharing recipes of people’s favourite dishes.
- Maybe we ensure that sports and social events don't just include events centred around evening outings or alcohol to ensure all can engage.
- Maybe we have a rule that meetings do not start before 10 to accommodate family friendly working.
- Others might have one afternoon a week ‘meeting free’ to manage stress and workloads, while enhancing autonomous working.
- While some will ensure that hot food is available in the canteen in the evenings to support employees observing Ramadan who work shifts and where possible we try to ensure their work during Ramadan is appropriate timewise to observance etc.
Share your supports and contextualise them by emphasising how each initiative strengthens your culture.
How to celebrate National Diversity and Inclusion Day?
Celebrations will vary from one organisation to the next. Some may celebrate national D&I day on a grand scale, while others may opt for a more low-key celebration. Below are some suggestions that we hope will act as inspiration for you:
- Display photos of your D&I celebrations over the past year and share the calendar of events that you will celebrate in the year to come.
- Throw a “thank you” party – diversity and inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. It happens every day, in subtle ways. Thank everyone for their contribution to upholding your D&I culture, sharing the importance and power of the individual.
- Hear from an expert, someone with lived experience or a business leader who created a culture you aspire to.
- Embrace your own stories – ask people from all levels and backgrounds to share their journeys and stories. Celebrate the differences you have.
- Potluck meal – ask everyone to bring in a dish that means something to them.
- Outline the diversity and inclusion training available – ensure all newcomers have the relevant training to uphold your culture.
- Create or promote your D&I committee.
Your work is making a difference. CELEBRATE IT.
Share your experience!
Tell your tale. Share, shout, and boast, whether that is your own personal story or the story of your organisation.
- Share on LinkedIn what you are most proud of on your diversity and inclusion journey.
- Share a moment when you knew the D&I work had made a difference. Stories can show the personal impact of D&I.
- Upload photos of your celebrations.
- Use hashtag #D&Iday23 to let us all share in your positive story. We thank you for your continued dedication in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces.