A CARLOW company was recently awarded for participating in an initiative to create more inclusive and diverse workplaces. The newly-launched Skillnet project aims to address diversity and inclusion gaps among senior managers.
Carlow-based business Magna International successfully completed the programme and won a Diversity Bronze Award in association with the Irish Centre for Diversity and Carlow-Kilkenny Skillnet.
This programme was designed by the three Skillnet Business Networks in collaboration with industry across the southeast and southwest regions. It follows research conducted by the Skillnet Networks, which identified a skills and knowledge gap within SMEs in managing diversity and inclusion among their workforce.
The new programme enables businesses to evaluate, develop and measure their organisations’ efforts in diversity and inclusion using the ICD Investors in Diversity framework. The programme upskills senior managers within SMEs and assists them in creating policies and procedures that prioritise diversity and inclusion as a fundamental company value. It also helps businesses to develop and implement suitable policies to meet the programme’s standards, with the goal of achieving a Diversity and Inclusion Bronze Award.
Siobhan Mellamphy, HR manager at Magna International, said the initiative was a very important one for the company.
“At Magna, we recognise that diversity and inclusion is not only about recognising the difference between us all, but accepting, embracing and celebrating these differences as the true gifts they are intended to be. That’s why we are committed to attracting, retaining and developing talent with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and capabilities.
“By fostering a culture of inclusion, we are working to make our employees feel not only valued but respected. It’s this mindset that increases the participation and contribution of all employees through a collaborative, supportive and respectful environment. We are very proud that we have received the Diversity Bronze Award, it is a clear sign that we are on the right path, which we will continue to follow.”
Ashling Ward, network manager at Carlow Kilkenny Chamber Skillnet, said: “The challenge for SMEs is to put aside time to dedicate to learning about diversity and inclusion and then, when educated, to build the strategies into their companies. The impact as we see it is that companies based in our region will be more informed, educated and involved in the diversity and inclusion conversation at all levels in their organisation, from recruitment stages through to training and development of staff at all levels. We feel this is a strong business strategy to sustain companies and develop talent agenda into the future.”