On Tuesday 18 September, Clarion was delighted to host the inaugural Made in Group Inclusivity Conference.
The Made in Group is an umbrella organisation of regional manufacturing and engineering bodies and includes Made in Yorkshire, a dedicated membership group for Yorkshire’s manufacturing base. Clarion is a proud patron of Made in Yorkshire.
The Inclusivity Conference is part of the Made in Group’s Inclusivity Campaign, which aims to provide employers with the knowledge and tools to improve inclusivity and diversity within both their workforces and their working practices. Recent data shows that 87% of manufacturing companies do not have LGBT/BAME diversity initiatives in place and only 15% make particular efforts to attract and retain women.
At the Conference
The Conference, an all-day event, brought together Inclusivity Ambassadors from across Yorkshire and the Midlands to share their best practice with the attending delegates.
Speakers included Stacy Denton-Beaumont from Boneham and Turner Limited, a leading manufacturer and supplier of tooling components and precision engineered components in the UK. She spoke about employee engagement, creating a cultural shift in the way organisations behave and the benefits this brings to a company.
Founder of the National Diversity Awards, Paul Sesay, discussed the importance of role models within an organisation, who can model the correct behaviour for others and help promote inclusion.
The third speaker was Richard Cowlishaw from Clipper Logistics, which has recently rolled out its Fresh Start Programme, which encourages companies to hire those with disabilities, ex-offenders, full-time parents, retirees, refugees and those who were in the military or used to be homeless. As a company, Clipper Logistics also practices what it preaches, hiring 75 ex-offenders to work for them. As part of his presentation, Richard talked about the organisational barriers to employing ex-offenders and how businesses can overcome them.
The final speaker of the day was Clarion’s very own Sarah Tahamtani, a Partner in our employment team. She discussed the steps that an employer should take, from a legal perspective, to increase inclusivity in the marketplace, touching on the basic legal principles of the Equality Act 2019, including protected characteristics and the different types of discrimination. Sarah also provided recommendations for unconscious bias training and how businesses can develop a mindset of inclusion amongst employees.
Throughout the day, interspersed with the speakers, group discussions were held, which allowed attendees to tackle issues and to come up with practical steps to become more inclusive.
The groups then met back up to share their thoughts with the rest of the room and contribute to a wider discussion of the topic at hand. This allowed for wide-ranging conversations, that drew on participants’ professional - and personal – experiences and allowed attendees to get some new perspectives on the issue of inclusivity.
Chrissie Gale, Director of Inclusivity, Made in Yorkshire said, "The event builds on the success that we are seeing with companies taking part in our Inclusivity Campaign. Sharing best practice is by far one of the most effective ways for companies to become more inclusive; positively impacting on the bottom line."