You're on the guest list

Ian Clarke

Article author

Reading time: 3 min

Last updated: August 10th, 2022

You're on the guest list

Consider for a moment the team events your business intends to operate in the coming period, from the most mundane (e.g. team meetings) to the most elaborate (e.g Christmas parties):

  • Are the venues religion-neutral and accessible?

  • Is the multimedia clearly visible/audible for employees of all ability?

  • Are there non-alcoholic drink options and sufficient variety of foods for employees with special dietary requirements?

  • Also consider if there is a pattern in the subsets of colleagues that routinely attend these events, versus those that routinely make excuses to not participate.

For larger businesses, it’s quite natural that for certain events, only a handful of colleagues may be likely to attend. It would be incredible and advantageous for all staff to attend an Indigenous People's Day memorial or Chinese New Year celebrations.

However, in reality, these types of targeted events are most likely to attract a disproportionate number of under-represented staff and allies at the expense of a white majority. This is acceptable, so long as there is a balanced range of opportunities and events throughout the year for all colleagues to appreciate and celebrate, where they can comfortably and safely engage and feel included.

The Diversity and Inclusion Calendar

Most businesses already mark certain holidays (such as Christmas) with extensive celebrations and time-off, but remember that, for some, other dates may be far more meaningful. Instead of giving mandatory time off for Christmas to all staff, you might try offering colleagues floating holidays they are free to use around their own cultural calendar.

Showing awareness of these events/celebrations, or discussing them openly with your colleagues can make all the difference in fostering an inclusive atmosphere, even if you have little knowledge or understanding of their significance yourself. You could try privately inviting colleagues you suspect may feel comfortable in sharing their experience and knowledge of these events, with the wider team.

You should never be made to feel in any way intimidated by the diversity of events hosted by members of your workforce. By simply reaching out to colleagues who don’t identify themselves as the norm, or come from diverse backgrounds, you are one step ahead in becoming more educated, culturally-aware and an ally to those who’d appreciate your trust the most.

Find out how Deilight can help you to recruit, retain and champion diverse talent. Contact us to get started.

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