In this month’s webinar on ED&I, Sue Liburd MBE DL, non-executive director at ABSTRACT and Simon Reichwald, Chief Progression Officer at Connectr took the subject a stage further to explore how ED&I can have a real impact for businesses.
Acknowledging the ‘grindingly slow’ progress made in representation within companies both experts there were plenty of ideas for HR and business leaders to take on board. At the centre of the discussion was the idea of changing thinking in order to make things happen.
This approach addresses the culture of an organization, challenging discriminatory action of all kinds and at all levels. From language to leadership, the point was made that introducing ‘initiatives’ and identifying groups as in need of special help did not create an open and inclusive organization.
Sue Liburd highlighted the need to be aware of ‘hidden harms’ among today’s employees, not least following on from the impact of the pandemic which may have caused issues among employees which aren’t immediately apparent. Simon Reichwald also noted that many people find it difficult to actually speak about or mention any aspects of ‘disability’ they may have.
The overall way forward indicated by the experts was to start a discussion about difference and diversity within the workplace, raising awareness around the issue rather than introducing initiatives to address specific problems. As such, the panelists agreed that while HR had a part to play in making ED&I real for an organization, the real key was that effective leadership could make a difference that permeated the entire workplace.
The data already exists to show that a diverse and inclusive organisation works and performs better than those which are not. The time has come to take diversity to the next level and make the most of everyone’s thought, ideas and talents.
About Capital Resourcing Group
At Capital Resourcing Group we believe above all else that human capital is at the forefront of your business. We are experts at providing a range of Talent & Search Solutions to organisations across the UK and Europe. Excelling in providing managed solutions, professional recruitment services and project-based resources.
Sue Liburd MBE DL: Non-executive Director - ABSTRACT
Sue is an award-winning businesswoman, human capital innovation consultant and business mentor. Sue has a special interest in assisting under-represented groups achieve C-suite success and is a recognised voice in the promotion of the importance and understanding of intersectionality and equality as a driver for business success.
Sue was awarded an MBE in 2016 in recognition for her services to Business, Charities and Voluntary organisations. She won the Champion of Inclusion Award at the 2019 Inclusive Companies Awards and was listed in the ‘HERoes 100 Women Executives List’ for 2020, showcasing role models who are leading by example and driving change to increase gender diversity in the workplace.
Based in Lincolnshire, Sue is a Non-executive Director of ABSTRACT
Simon Reichwald: Chief Progression Officer - Connectr
For almost 30 years’ Simon has worked in Talent Acquisition & in recent years his focus has been on building Inclusion and Belonging to support the progression and retention of diverse talent.
He was appointed an ISE Fellow in 2022, (Institute of Student Employers) having been Honorary Vice-President (2017-2020) with a brief to shape the apprenticeship strategy for its’ members, and as a tool to support the progression into work, as well as the development of future skills and progression in work.
He is an Honorary Teaching Fellow as part of the ‘Leaders in Residence’ programme at Lancaster University Management School.
He was one of the Delivery Partners for a Govt commissioned taskforce with the City of London Corporation (2020-22) which has lead to the setting up of a new membership body Progress Together (in May 2022) to boost socio-economic diversity at senior levels in UK Financial and Professional Services. He was awarded ‘Freedom of the City of London‘ in recognition for his work.
He is Deputy Chair for the Apprentice Diversity Champions Network (ADCN). It was launched by the Department of Education, as a network of employers to support the Government’s commitment to Diversity through Apprenticeships.
Simon Kent: Head of Content - The HR World
Simon Kent has been a freelance journalist in the field of HR and the workplace for over 20 years.
He cut his teeth travelling the country asking people what they did for a living for The Guardian and developing an interest in how work and employees are managed.
He has written extensively for the national press, business and professional publications dedicated to general and specific HR functions, taking in HR tech, pay and benefits, legal, training, recruitment and more.
He has edited HR and public sector magazines, digging out the best stories and liaising with senior level personnel and high-profile public sector leaders to bring great content to readers.
He has written books, blogs, white papers, features, profile, case studies and more. He has chaired round tables and brought high quality coverage online to a diverse platforms as electronic media has evolved.
He continues to be motivated to find the stories and subjects that matter most to readers and ensure they deliver value every time.
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