28th November 2023 The importance of championing and achieving diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace was discussed at the latest Business in the Community Ireland’s Munster Members’ Network meeting in Cork last week. These meetings, which meet quarterly and examine different sustainability issues, comprise leading responsible companies who are keen to share their experiences, insights and challenges at progressing the sustainability and EESG agenda.
This time relevant, insightful and passionate inputs were heard from hosts Hovione (a pharmaceutical company based in Ringaskidy) as well as AIB and Gas Networks Ireland. They focused on the concrete benefits companies can derive from a well-tailored DE&I strategy with strong senior leadership buy-in, ranging from improved attraction and retention of staff, to increased innovation and an improved customer experience.
The challenges of framing DE&I initiatives so they’re applicable to everyone rather than focused primarily on activities for certain minority groups was discussed. So too was the need for data collection and internal resources to demonstrate effectiveness of these efforts.
Laura Morrison, BITCI Sustainability Advisor, Munster Region said “Organisations thrive when their employees thrive and diversifying the workforce so it is reflective of the society we live in helps profitability and social inclusion. The riotous actions and violent behaviour that occurred last week in Dublin clearly illustrate ongoing unresolved societal problems and racism. Businesses must play a role in addressing this by creating more inclusive workplaces”.
Business in the Community Ireland urges all our members to sign up to our Elevate Pledge. This Pledge was launched three years ago to drive collective ambition across Irish business on diversity and inclusion. Already over 60 large companies have so far, representing 11 sectors and a combined workforce of over 150,000 people. Collectively, with Signatories we work to publish an annual report identifying the latest trends and challenges for DE&I in Ireland, as well as tracking signatories’ progress against their public commitments.