10 May 2018


CBI Inclusive Workplaces Conference: Picking up the Pace of Progress

Global competition for people and skills means that the UK cannot be complacent on progress towards more inclusive workplaces, says CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn

The CBI’s third Inclusive Workplaces Conference took place on 1 May, hosted by Simmons & Simmons. Around 160 delegates and more than 15 speakers joined a mix of plenary and breakout sessions with the aim of sharing best practices and discussing practical steps and experiences to enable them to enhance their strategies for becoming more inclusive.

Joined by CEOs from different sectors, CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, discussed how leaders can address the barriers to greater diversity and inclusion by clearly making the business case for action. This starts with having a frank conversation in every business about what progress looks like. It is important that diversity and inclusion is modelled from the top but fostering employee engagement through networks can help to ensure that there is buy in from all levels of the company.

During workshops and panel breakouts, speakers from multiple sectors such as retail, recruiting, consulting and finance shared how employers can turn their inclusive workplace into a brand, design roles that enable people to work flexibly and improving recruitment and progression practices. As attraction and retention of talent remains business’ top priority, small changes like assessing employees not on background and experience but on skills and competencies and tailoring training and coaching to enable people to reach their full potential can have a big impact.

Underpinning an inclusive workplace is a culture in which people are confident to openly talk about mental health – an issue that affects everyone. Raising awareness of mental health in business, can help people to bring their full selves to work which is key to boosting engagement and driving workplace productivity.

Going forward, the CBI will be helping businesses to build more inclusive workplaces and will be holding Inclusive Workplaces Conference across the country. Join us and book your place for the next Inclusive Workplaces Conference in Newcastle on 26 September.

For further information please contact Anna.Koch@cbi.org.uk or Eugenia.Migliori@cbi.org.uk