I wanted to share some reflections from some key Diversity Equity & Inclusion milestone events this week and a conference that I attended yesterday.
On Wednesday, it was International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. I spent the evening at the Bank of London Rainbow Honours awards - it was so inspiring to see all of the amazing efforts being recognised for corporates, charities and individuals who are supporting the LGBTQ community. Jake Graf made a compelling speech at the awards and quoted a worrying trend in the UK - the country has plummeted down the rankings of the annual Rainbow Map that reveals how LGBTQ-friendly European countries are. We now sit in 17th place having been consistently rated at the top, up until 2015. No better evidence for the need to continue to fight for LGBTQ inclusion!
On Thursday it was the 12th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities. Based on the statistics quoted in the GAAD website, we have a long way to go here, with many global websites having some form of inaccessibility. We need to continue to raise awareness of this and we all collectively need to do more!
This week was also mental health awareness week. I feel proud how we as an organisation have created an environment for our colleagues to be open about their own health and wellbeing challenges. We offer services, support and mechanisms for colleagues to seek help, which is so important. This week we heard from Gareth Thomas the former Welsh international rugby player on his battles with health and wellbeing - a very inspiring insight to his journey.
Yesterday, I joined the Working Futures conference in London. An excellent opportunity to hear experts talk about about future of work developments and always a great opportunity to network with peers. The indomitable John Amaechi kicked the day with a key-note. He spoke about the ongoing challenges of how organisations are struggling with hybrid working and in particular how to attract colleagues back to the office. I was struck by a comment that he made - "....explain why coming in to the office is vital for that person and outline the experiential difference for being in the office compared to working from home". Food for thought for us all, especially as we continue to think about how we develop our inclusive cultures and seek to create a sense of belonging for all.
I'm grateful for all that I have experienced this week - my cup is full!