Neurodiversity is an umbrella term used to refer to the variation in the human brain with regards to social interaction, learning, attention, mood and other brain functions, and can cover a range of conditions. Recent studies suggest that 1 in 10 people in the UK are neurodivergent, meaning that organisations that fail to meet the needs of their neurodivergent staff, customers and service users are neglecting a significant demographic.

With ‘diversity of thought’ now recognised as being key to innovation and creative problem-solving, employers who are able to attract and support neurodivergent employees can tap into a uniquely skilled talent pool who quite literally ‘think differently’. Skill Boosters’ neurodiversity course examines the nature of neurodiversity, the challenges neurodivergent people face and how organisations can support neurodivergent staff, customers and service users.

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Allies use their power, voice and privilege to act in solidarity with individuals from marginalised or minority groups to tackle inappropriate behaviour and bring down systems of oppression.

VinciWorks and Skill Boosters recently hosted an interactive webinar where they were joined by business psychologist and diversity expert Binna Kandola OBE, founder of business-psychology consultancy Pearn Kandola, as well as psychologist Ashley Williams and Skill Boosters’ Head of Content Ros Fordyce. They looked at real-life scenarios and explored what makes an effective ally. Using short video scenarios, we polled the audience on how they would best handle a given situation and share insights from leading D&I experts.

The webinar covered:

  • Why is allyship important?
  • The different minority and marginalised groups to whom we can be allies
  • What it means to be an effective and inclusive ally
  • Actions that allies can take to support people from minority or marginalised groups
  • The ‘Open The Front Door’ communication framework and how to use it
  • A brief overview of the new Allyship course by Skill Boosters

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Celebrating who we are

Diversity, equality and inclusion are deeply held values at VinciWorks. Those values drive us to create products that help organisations promote ethical and inclusive workplace culture. They also instruct our corporate mission to create a safer, fairer and more honest world.

Our work to provide compliance expertise and promote best practice in the area of ESG often involves the seemingly tricky task of tracking diversity data. Finding out who works in the organisation is the first step to increasing talent and representation. A diverse, representative workforce is not merely about looking the part, it helps the organisation thrive. 

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The best companies are investing in diversity because they know a diverse workforce, and more importantly, one where everyone feels included is critical to long term success. New  talent  and  younger  generations  often deliberately choose workplaces where diversity is celebrated, and a business with a global outlook needs to put diversity front and center.

But the places we grow up in, our own education and cultural background can prove a challenge to managing a diverse workforce. Our own ideas about race, religion or sexual orientation may not be shared by colleagues in other parts of the world, and sometimes the systems and processes in our companies are not always set up to deal with a global workforce.

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What is the difference between traditional diversity and harassment training and bystander intervention training?

Organisations have been trying to address sexual harassment and diversity and inclusion training for decades now, but the efforts have been largely unsuccessful. In recent years, the need for effective training has come to light again as a result of the widespread sexual misconduct allegations that inspired the #metoo movement, and a more diverse workforce than ever. 

An organisation that embraces a culture of diversity, equality and inclusion has a better chance at sustainable success. But what’s the best way to create a work culture in which everyone, from the CEO to the managers to all employees, embraces diversity and promotes equality? What is the best way to effectively train on respectful engagement with others?

Experimentation and research (mainly conducted on university campuses and in the military) have shown that while traditional diversity, inclusion and harassment training is largely ineffective and can even aggravate existing problems, a different method, known as bystander-intervention training, is more effective.

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Diversity webinar

As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and businesses begin to return to the office, companies are taking a variety of approaches to managing the transition. While some are staying at home for now and others have gone back full time, most are opting for a hybrid working policy. But many people are anxious, or at least conflicted, about returning to in-person work, with these worries likely to be exacerbated for those requiring reasonable adjustments.

During our webinar, we delve into the challenges faced by disabled staff during the pandemic, and the impacts on inclusion in changing workplace practices. We will also discuss how to ensure reasonable adjustments are made for disabled staff, and how to ensure all staff feel included in return-to-office policies.

We were joined by disability and reasonable adjustment experts:

  • Daniel Holt, Founding Chair of the Association of Disabled Lawyers
  • Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP, first permanent wheelchair user elected to the Scottish Parliament

The webinar covered:

  • What are reasonable adjustments?
  • How to make workplaces more accessible
  • Reasonable adjustments and the law in a pandemic
  • Best-practice guidance for return to the office policies
  • What does effective inclusion training look like?

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Diversity has become an important component of a successful business, and employers have a responsibility to ensure a culture where people from all backgrounds feel welcome. But what’s the best way to create a work culture in which everyone, from the CEO to the managers to all employees, embraces diversity and promotes equality? What is the best way to effectively train on respectful engagement with others? What about training for managers; what is the most effective way to make managers aware of their responsibilities, with training that does not feel judgemental?

VinciWorks is excited to announce it has released a new, innovative diversity suite that will provide solutions for all of these issues and more. The new suite includes four different courses, each with a different focus.

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All Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulated firms have an obligation to collect, report and publish data about the diversity make-up of their workforce every two years. The next report is due on 2 August 2021. Firms can report their data to the SRA from 5 July.

What information needs to be collected?

  • Employee role
  • Age
  • Employee sex and the gender they identify with
  • Information on any health issues or disabilities
  • Ethnicity and religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Education and background
  • Childcare responsibilities
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All Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulated firms have an obligation to collect, report and publish data about the diversity make-up of their workforce every two years, and the next collection date 2 August 2021.

What is the source of the reporting requirement?

The SRA Code of Conduct for Firms in SRA Principle 6 states that a firm must “act in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion”. The SRA believes that monitoring the diversity of people working in your firm will help you assess whether your firm is diverse and whether you could do more to encourage equality, diversity and inclusion. 

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