IC24’s Inclusion and Belonging Journey So Far
On 18th March, when we welcomed colleagues from NHS England, our diversity and inclusion journey was a highlight from the past year we were proud to share. During her presentation, Sylvia Stevenson - People Partner Diversity and Inclusion, shared how far we've come in the past 6 months, how we're learning along the way and how we're challenging uncomfortable situations.
'People are the heart of our organisation, which is why diversity and inclusion is incredibly important to us as part of our vision.'
Our journey truly began in September 2021, when we launched our Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs); Brave Women, Cultural Inclusion 4All, LGBTQ+ Friends and Disability Confident. Each of the CRGs creates a safe space for real discussion about issues impacting real people, promoting allyship and helping strengthen a sense of inclusion and belonging. The groups meet regularly to discuss the key issues affecting each community and what we can and will do to address them. This is in addition to hosting events for colleagues across the company to get involved with and learn from.
For our first organisation-wide event we celebrated Black History Month and World Mental Health Day with an intersectional event titled ‘The Resilient ME’. We hosted two guest speakers who spoke about mental health and belonging from an intersectional viewpoint, acknowledging the inequalities, trauma and distress experienced by people from Black and Ethnic Minority communities. The group is now focusing on defining our Anti-Racist Charter and what zero tolerance means to us at IC24.
In January 2021 we renewed our accreditation for Disability confident, which confirms our commitment to being a Disability Inclusive Confident Employer. This is just the start, as we work towards achieving the next level for becoming a disability confident employer. We are members of the Business Disability Forum and have a unique opportunity to take the lead in changing lives and further enhancing our diverse and rich culture.
Our LGBTQ+Friends group hosted our first large organisation-wide celebration of 2022, celebrating LGBT+ History month. This was a really exciting first event for the CRG, we encouraged our colleagues from across the organisation to take part in a variety of interactive events. It was a great learning experience for our teams to understand the issues still affecting the community, ask questions and understand what more we can do as allies.
The group is now preparing for the next big event, Pride Month, in June, which I'm sure will be just as exciting.
International Women’s Day was the second event for our colleagues during 2022, where we held an interactive panel event for our colleagues and encouraged everyone across the organisation to share the biases they wanted to break.
Our Brave Women CRG, has also launched a menopause support group with a monthly drop-in session for colleagues.
This is just the start of our Inclusion and Belonging journey and we recognise that it is a marathon and not a short sprint. At IC24, we are committed to making positive changes for both our colleagues and patients by creating a culture where everyone is included and has a personal sense of belonging.