The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to businesses in Walsall to help understand and shape a regional response to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is leading a three-phase project which will provide a regional overview of how Walsall businesses are responding to the inclusion agenda and needs of a diverse workforce and community.
Commissioned by Walsall for All and the Department for Work and Pensions, the leading business support organisation is spearheading the project which officially launches at the start of December 2020, set to run through the spring of 2021 and encompasses a comprehensive research project, the delivery of a Walsall Business Diversity and Inclusion Conference and a drive for local businesses to pledge on-going support to further their work in this vital area.
The first phase of the project will be delivery of research which has been developed and designed by the project’s research partner, the University of Wolverhampton.
Walsall based businesses are being invited to participate in the confidential study to explore how a diverse workforce delivers success and seeks to highlight the needs of key groups including women, ethnic minority communities, workers with disabilities and workers over 40 years old.
Neil Anderson, Director of External Affairs at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said:
“The Chamber plays a pivotal role for businesses to better understand how they can respond to many different challenges and opportunities in order to be productivity.
"Diversity and inclusion have been hot topics for many in business for a number of years with many unsure about what they need to do and how they can get it right. 2020 has been an unprecedented year for businesses across many areas with COVID-19, the Black Lives Matters movement and Brexit continuing to shine a spotlight on policies and practices.
"Fundamentally, an organisation which is representative of its customers and communities is good for business and this project is designed to help businesses and policymakers further.”
Zara Khan from Walsall for All said:
“We are delighted to be working with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce on this project. Our vision is to create an integrated and empowered community local were individuals from all background celebrate what they have in common.
“Walsall is an amazing place to live and work and our communities share a desire to ensure that we have a strong and resilient business community which both reflects and celebrates its diversity. We encourage all businesses in Walsall to get involved and help make the borough one of the best places to do business in within the whole West Midlands.”
Professor Nazira Karodia, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Regional Engagement from the University of Wolverhampton added:
“It is becoming common acceptance that a diverse and welcoming business can foster creativity, innovation and productivity.
“Our Business School within the Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences is thrilled to be working on the research aspect of this project at a time when equality is never far from the headlines and businesses are looking at organisations such as ours, Walsall for All and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce to understand what more they can do in this area.”
To show their appreciation, eligible businesses participating in the study can enter a prize draw to win one of two funded places at a future Management Development Programme (worth £1,995 + VAT).