Progress has been made over the past 20 years but there’s a long way to go to ensure workplaces are more diverse and inclusive. This was the message from three panellists at a Social Business Trust and LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) event on 28 November, drawing attention to the need to for more representation within organisations – and more inclusive and respectful cultures.

Bayo Adelaja, CEO and Founder of Do It Now Now, an organisation that supports social mobility of Black people, offered her personal experience of working for an organisation where she didn’t feel included and the support was not there for her to voice her concerns. She’s now turned bad into good by founding a social enterprise addressing the problems she encountered first-hand, helping others avoid the situation she found herself in while encouraging better workplace environments.

“There’s been a shift in thinking on how companies can best support diversity and inclusion,” said Bayo. “And it would be great see more and more volunteering from skilled workers, lending their time and expertise to support organisations in the local communities where their companies operate."

Bayo noted the progress that's been made but said more for more representation is needed within organisations to ensure companies better reflect the demographics of countries where they work. 

On the panel was also Zaheer Ahmad, Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Haleon, and Jig Ramji, Global Head of Talent at LSEG. They agreed with Bayo that organistions that introduce practical internal measures such as affinity groups (e.g. Asian Affinity Group, Black Affinity Group, LGBTIQ Affinity Group) leads to marginalised groups being better heard, ultimately leading to healthier and more productive working environments. 

The wider context of diversity and inclusion in society was also a focus of discussion. 

“Societal change is crucial if we are to shift the dial on organisations becoming more representative of the wider community,” said Zaheer. “Workplace cultures are unlikely to change unless attitudes in society evolve to become more inclusive.”

The panel was chaired by SBT's Joanne Hay, who highlighted how our partnership with LSEG helps amplify these crucial messages on diversity and allows us to bring the discussion to a much wider audience.

Nitin Parmar, Director of Developer Advocacy at LSEG, hosted the event and helped frame to conversation by brining his expertise and experience from his work with LSEG's Asian Affinity Network.