Parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation and Bridging the Gap

Celebrating Diversity: The Importance of Black Inclusion Week (BiW) May 2024

Celebrating Diversity: The Importance of Black Inclusion Week (BiW)

May 2024

Welcome to my blog post this month!

This week, we are excited to focus on an important event in our calendar: Black Inclusion Week. Initiated as part of a broader movement toward inclusivity and diversity.

**Why Black Inclusion Week Matters**

Black Inclusion Week celebrates the contributions of Black individuals in business, education, arts, and every other field.

Black Inclusion Week 2024 is a significant event dedicated to celebrating Black talent, expertise, and achievements across various sectors and industries and to acknowledge the ongoing struggle against racial discrimination and inequality. It’s a time to reflect on the progress we’ve made towards equality through our anti-racism work of the last four years, and to identify the work that still needs to be done.

BiW is as important today as ever, especially given the all too recent example of hateful, racist, and misogynistic comments made by Leeds businessman Frank Hester about Diane Abbott MP. This dehumanising and insidious form of racism, known as misogynoir, has no place in our society. It is imperative that as an organisation, we demonstrate that we will not be complicit in our silence, but that we show that we stand with Black women and girls who are our partners and colleagues because we are not willing to allow the normalisation of racism within our communities.

Black Inclusion Week takes place from May 13th to May 19th, 2024. The theme for this year’s event is “Empowered for Change: Building a Better Future Together.” It couldn’t be more aligned with our Vision and Purpose.

**Aims of BiW**

-Make us stronger as a community
-Create a commitment towards change
-Be a celebration of Black people in society
-Empower all and facilitate action
-Connect us through collaboration.

There are lots of online events on the BiW website linked above, there will be other events in your localities that you can find online.

**Why we should, aside from the obvious moral imperative**

Embracing diversity isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also good for business. Studies show that diverse companies perform better, innovate more, and deliver better outcomes to our clients, tenants, and residents. By participating in Black Inclusion Week, we’re not only acknowledging the importance of Black people in our society and workforce, we’re also embracing a variety of viewpoints that can spark creativity and new ideas.

**Reasons to Celebrate**

As you know we have maintained a strong focus on our anti-racism agenda for a few years now and we can see the difference it’s made to the make-up of our workforce; I’m aware that this is only one part of the solution but it’s still worth acknowledging our progress.

A few headlines from October-December 2019/20 to October -December 2023/24
(all data is approximate as I have crunched it myself!)

-There has been a 9-point increase of colleagues who identify as people of colour within our group (from 10% to 19% the actual % increase will be much higher.)
-A 12-point increase of colleagues who identify as LGBTQIA+ (from 10% to 22%)
-A 3-point increase of colleagues who identify as disabled (from 15% to 18%).

The changes are right across the board with 25% of our wider senior leadership team being from ethnic minority backgrounds (a 14 point increase) a 4 point increase in the percentage of LGBTQIA+ senior managers and a 6.5 point increase in the percentage of senior colleagues who identify as disabled.

This just shows the changes that can happen with continued focus and action.

Do take a moment during BiW to reflect on changes you have made in your service, the difference this has made to the lives of our colleagues and clients, whether it be changes you have brought about to improve access, experience or outcomes for our clients, or that you have learnt more about Black history, supported Black-owned businesses, or engaged more in conversations with colleagues about equality and inclusion; your proactivity makes a difference.

Let’s continue to work together to make inclusion a cornerstone of not just our organisation, but our community and society at large; keeping the conversation going and continuing to take action, supporting each other in every way possible! That way we can truly create a more inclusive world; a world where everyone matters.

Ruth Kettle, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire North.