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Support for diversity charter

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DOZENS of business people yesterday pledged their support for the development of a charter to improve diversity and inclusion in Jersey.

Royal Yacht hotel. Institute of Directors IoD Diversity for Inclusion breakfast seminar. Dr Emiko Caerlewy-Smith Picture: ROB CURRIE. (27174566)

At its inaugural diversity-series event yesterday, the Institute of Directors presented their 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Vision Statement at a sell-out event at The Royal Yacht hotel.

Dr Emiko Caerlewy-Smith, chairperson of the IoD Jersey diversity sub-committee, said that she hoped the move would be a ‘game changer’ in the Island.

‘We aim to give the IoD membership and the wider business leadership community access to the widest pool of talents,’ she said.

‘And also the knowledge, the resources and the appetite to build diverse and inclusive organisations. Today we are really excited to share our vision statement to create an IoD Jersey diversity and inclusion leadership charter.

‘The vision statement sets out our intention to collaborate across the Island to create a charter that we can all buy into.’

A total of 55 businesses and individuals signed up to support the statement, which outlines a number of key commitments and suggested activities, at the end of the event.

The vision statement says: ‘In 2020, the Institute of Directors Jersey has a vision that its membership and wider on-Island business leadership community will commit to embedding progressive diversity and inclusion activity in their organisations.

‘This is not only because IoD Jersey believes D&I is the right thing to do but, importantly, because D&I is the right thing for businesses to succeed.’

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Guest speaker Kate Wright, co-founder of the Diversity Network, said that the steps required to develop diversity and inclusion were ‘not rocket science’ but businesses ‘need to be brave’.

She said that recent work carried out by her organisation had determined that more data was needed to be provided by firms to help understand diversity issues.

‘We contacted over 50 organisations from across different industries and only two were willing or able to volunteer data about the people they recruit in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and so on,’ she said.

‘A lot of organisations don’t even collect that data at a basic level.’

Ms Wright urged firms to change their procedures and processes to encourage diversity, claiming that this was a more effective mechanism than staff training.

She added that people who were disabled or had severe impairments had particular issues getting into the workplace in Jersey.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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