Diversity Matters in the Workplace

How inclusive is your workplace? Does your employer create a positive and inclusive work environment, where staff feel their contribution is recognised and valued? Is there a culture of respect and dignity for the individual? Is there a culture of fairness and equality of opportunity?

Today’s employees don’t just want to hear broad statements or future pledges about diversity and inclusivity in their workplace. They want to see the hard facts and real evidence. They want action. They want their experience in the workplace to feel safe, secure, respected, included and valued.

Diversity is no longer just about generation or gender; it is also about diversity of thought, skillsets and experience. A positive workplace, in turn, brings out the best in people, fosters collaboration, innovation and promotes creativity, attracts best talent and boosts employee engagement and retention.

The ‘why’ is easy to understand. It is the ‘how’ that can be difficult for many. How can an organisation truly achieve an inclusive workplace? Setting out a clear and comprehensive diversity strategy and areas of focus is the first obvious step.

For ESB, the areas of focus are on Gender, Disability, Family, Ethnic and LGBT. As outlined below, a number of initiatives and programmes are being undertaken. To ensure best practice is implemented, they are also working with independent organisations such as IBEC Diversity Forum, AHEAD and Women in Technology and Science (WITS).

ESB’s Maternity Positive Programme

Through our Maternity Positive Programme, we are able to understand and support the challenges experienced by staff through the various stages of maternity leave. Our structured programme also includes support for new fathers, line managers and HR.  

Disability

Understand the challenges – perceived or otherwise – facing people with disabilities in the workplace.

  • Access Group for people with disabilities established
  • Traineeship Programme including mentoring
  • Disability Awareness Training
  • Partnering with AHEAD

Positive Parenting Programme Themes

  • Supporting working parents through short, tailored support sessions
  • Identify challenges facing new parents
  • Different Children – Different needs
  • Who’s being tested? Support for parents of exam year students

Supporting an LGBT+ Inclusive workplace

ESB’s BeMe@ESB LGBT+ & Allies Network helps to increase the understanding of and address some of the challenges and experience of LGBT+ colleagues in the workplace.

Participation in Workplace Equality Index 2015

The Workplace Equality Index is open to all employers, is the benchmark of how LGBT and inclusive is your organisation.  

Diversity & Inclusive Training and Briefing Initiatives

ESB holds regular briefing and training to raise awareness of a Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. This includes induction briefings for new employees through to line manager training, team briefings and events to mark International Women's Day and Men's Day.