For this year’s National Inclusion Week, RSK’s employee networks have been active in sharing their experiences and calling for everyone to become allies of the communities they represent and to encourage and empower our colleagues to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion.
The RSK group’s success is down to our exceptional people who come from a multitude of backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, sexualities and neurotypes. This year, National Inclusion Week celebrated its tenth anniversary and, to encourage and empower our colleagues and to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion, RSK’s employee networks invited all colleagues to get involved in the week. These networks are groups organised around a shared social identity, shared characteristics or shared life experiences, and are completely organised and run by our colleagues from across our family of businesses. Through webinars, the sharing of personal stories and introductory events, our team celebrate the differences between us that make the RSK group a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community.
RSK BAME gets renamed as RSK with Unity
RSK’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Employee Network was formed in 2021 and this year has renamed itself as RSK with Unity to emphasise its commitment to all ethnicities and move away from the UK-centric term of BAME to show support for all our colleagues globally. The network is focused on celebrating and highlighting the differences and value that diversity brings to our organisation, communities and environment. With National Inclusion Week in 2022 running into October, the UK’s official Black History Month, our network decided this was the perfect opportunity to celebrate both black history and ethnic diversity within the community as a whole, and invited all colleagues to share facts on their country of birth or heritage, as well as recipes for foods of other countries. To top it off, later in the month, an interview with Ayo Sokale, a civil engineer who works for the Environment Agency and a keynote speaker, will highlight the role diversity plays in corporate success.
The Women’s Network presents hard numbers
The RSK Women’s Network brings women and their allies together to discuss issues relevant to them with a gender-positive focus to implement positive action that will benefit all genders, as well as to give guidance to women and managers across the group. For inclusion week, the Women’s Network hosted a company-wide webinar to discuss and present findings from recent research, especially relating to the impact of COVID-19 on women. The webinar was attended by more than 100 members and allies from across the group. The webinar discussed the results of recent research in the European Union that showed women made up 39% of the workforce but accounted for 54% of job losses, as well as the shocking economic costs of failing to advance gender equality. Wrapping up the webinar was a Q&A session with insightful questions, and the network will also be hosting events throughout the year, including an event for Black History Month covering Black Women in History.
Neurodiversity Network shares how thinking differently does not mean badly
If someone is neurodivergent, it means they have differences within their brain that cause them to experience and interact with the world differently. Neurodiversity is used when talking about a group of people who are, as individuals, neurodivergent. Some examples of neurodiversity are autism spectrum condition, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia, but there are many variations. In the past, these differences have often been seen by society as detrimental, but the RSK group and the members of our employee-run Neurodiversity Network aim to show that this is not the case – those who see and experience the world differently can offer entirely new ways of looking at problems and finding solutions.
To celebrate our neurodivergent colleagues during inclusion week, some of the members of RSK’s Neurodiversity Network, including our Wellbeing and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, and our Internal Systems Manager for RSK Biocensus, shared their stories of both genetic and acquired neurodivergency. The network will also be supporting ADHD Awareness Month and Dyslexia Awareness Week, both in October.
RSK with Pride shares the value of allyship
RSK with Pride is the LGBTQ+ employee network that provides a safe and inclusive space for people of the community and those who wish to support it. The network has more than 200 members and allies. This year, RSK with Pride shared the importance of being an ally, the process by which an individual actively works against oppressive systems that may threaten marginalised people. Allyship is of fundamental importance to the LGBTQ+ community. In a statistical sense, the community is a minority group, particularly in its respective industries, and allies are vital.
Allyship in this sense means being an advocate and fostering an atmosphere of intentionality and inclusion in all situations, at all costs, to create a workplace where all individuals are actively working against oppressive systems that may threaten marginalised groups. Good allies recognise that people can perform better if they can be themselves, and allies use their role within an organisation to create a culture in which this can happen. Allies might be at the very top of an organisation or a colleague in a team. Either way, they recognise that it is not just the responsibility of minority people to create a workplace culture that is inclusive of everyone.
Calling everyone in the RSK group to act as allies
RSK is a business built on exceptional talent, and we pride ourselves on the motivation, ambition and enthusiasm of our colleagues to create an environment where everyone feels their contribution is valued and rewarded. As part of that, our aim is always to embrace all people, regardless of differences, and to instil this spirit across our family of businesses. Our employee-run networks and their allies are a key part of removing barriers and discrimination, celebrating and encouraging the differences in thinking that this brings to our group all year round, not just during Inclusion Week.