With our ever changing society, it is becoming more and more crucial for organisations to accommodate for diversity. On 5th May, I attended Inclusive Network’s first event in collaboration with Action for Children’s Celebrate LGBT network in London. The event hosted a panel of representatives and founders of networks from John Lewis (Pride in Partnership), Ogilvy (Ogilvy Pride UK), Ernst & Young (Sikh Network) – who spoke about their experiences developing their own inclusive networks.
The talk opened with words from Chief Executive of Action for Children Sir Tony Hawkhead, who spoke passionately about his support of inclusive networks in organisations and the importance of acceptance in the workplace. He obviously very actively pushes for networks such as Celebrate, emphasising their importance not only for individuals that are part of the network but for organisations as a whole.
Each presentation was a brilliant insight into the birth of each network and seeing how much impact building this kind of structure can have on your workforce. The most important point that was highlighted was making sure you have an action plan for the network you are developing and keeping its purpose at the core of everything you do. Other things discussed included everything from the power of a social media presence to sponsorship to branding of your network and the importance of collaboration with external people and organisations. Furthermore, having these kinds of networks can benefit your commercial profitability in that they can prove to be attractive for future potential employees, bring in a whole other line of work and also improve employee’s motivation and productivity.
As a young adult venturing my way onto a career path, it was extraordinarily refreshing to know that there are big corporations working hard to be inclusive and accepting. It was great to see how passion, hard work and determination enabled these individuals to create such positive and successful networks that are contributing towards society’s progress towards equality for all.
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