Celebration of diversity and key recognised dates

Whilst recognised dates of celebration are an important way to encourage discussion and awareness, everybody should feel free to be their authentic selves at all times.

Events such as International Women’s Day, LGBT History Month and Black History Month are all important dates to observe and, as you will see from our timeline of dates below, recent months have provided lots of reason to celebrate.

However, the celebration of diversity and inclusion within the workplace (and beyond) should be evident every day, not only during key recognised periods.

Everybody should feel able to bring their whole self to work, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and any disability or other characteristic that they may have.

“Diversity” and “inclusion” are often phrases that many organisations use interchangeably. However, whilst diversity is about the make-up of an organisation, inclusion is about how the perspectives and contributions of different groups of people are valued. As such, it is possible to have a diverse but not necessarily inclusive organisation.

Research indicates that whilst many UK organisations are becoming more diverse, there is still work to be undertaken to ensure that all organisations are truly inclusive. This is demonstrated by recent statistics that show that, unfortunately, inclusivity is still not a reality for many:

  • Scope published figures that demonstrate that one in three disabled people feel that they regularly experience disability prejudice.
  • Stonewall recently reported that more than a third of staff hide who they are at work in fear of discrimination.
  • New research by Business in the Community found that approximately three in five women still avoid promotion opportunities due to caring responsibilities. This disproportionately impacts women from ethnic minorities, who are more likely to have caring responsibilities.
  • More than a third of BAME women have experienced racist jokes and so-called banter at work and 30% have experienced verbal abuse.

By making the workplace a more inclusive environment not only can we make the workplace happier (which means that organisations are more likely to retain their employees) but companies also look set to distinguish themselves from their competitors and attract new talent.

This will all help to combat the severe labour shortages faced by many organisations as a result of several factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.  Further, many clients, customers and investors have also come to expect inclusivity to be enshrined and practiced within the organisations that they work with.

There are many steps that organisations can take to create a more inclusive working environment and celebrating the recognised dates set out in our timeline of celebration is a good place to start.

At Shoosmiths we have these key dates diarised into all staffs’ Outlook calendars, as a way of raising awareness, provoking thought, and opening up discussions between colleagues. Other steps taken at the firm include educating management and establishing our firmwide networks (PROUD, Embrace and Balance, as well as our network of Mental Health and Wellbeing champions) to represent the differing and intersectional make up of our staff so that all employees feel empowered to share their individual experiences and identify areas for improvement.

A growing body of research indicates that diverse and inclusive teams outperform their peers, as such the time to act is now. Not only this, but, above all, everybody deserves to feel able to come to work as their true self without fear of judgement or discrimination. It is also worth remembering that ‘diversity is being invited to the party, but inclusion is being asked to dance’.


Timeline of recognised dates

  • 1 February 2022 – LGBT history month commenced
  • 1 March 2022 – Zero Discrimination Day
  • 8 March 2022 – International Women’s day
  • 31 March 2022 – International Transgender Day of Visibility
  • 6 April 2022 – International Asexuality Day
  • 26 April 2022 – Lesbian Visibility day
  • 17 May 2022 – International day against Homophobia and Transphobia
  • 1 June 2022 – Pride Month
  • 28 June 2022 – Stonewall Riots anniversary
  • 14 July 2022 – International non-binary day
  • 23 September 2022 – Bisexual visibility day
  • 1 October 2022 – start of Black History Month
  • 11 October 2022 – National coming out day
  • 18 October 2022 – World Menopause day
  • 19 October 2022 – International pronouns day
  • 24 October 2022 – Asexual awareness week
  • 26 October 2022 – Intersex awareness day
  • 8 November 2022 – Intersex day of remembrance
  • 14 November 2022 - Transgender awareness week
  • 20 November 2022 – Transgender day of remembrance
  • 25 November 2022 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.

Insights

Read the latest articles and commentary from Shoosmiths or you can explore our full insights library.