We are supporting inclusion for everyone during World AIDS Day and the UN’s International Day of People with Disabilities.

What does inclusion mean?

To me, it’s about feeling valued, respected and supported. I also think it’s about ensuring the right conditions are in place for us to achieve our full potential. The fact we are all different is evident – man, woman, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, black, Asian, the list goes on…but we come into our own when we feel included and safe to be our ‘whole self’ especially whilst at work where we spend the majority of our time.

Some have asked – does diversity and inclusion even matter, surely, it’s about equality as we are all equal right? Unfortunately, this isn’t true and we know this as many tell their individual stories based around discrimination and hate. We know this isn’t everybody’s story but inclusion only works well when it is applied to all and not the select.

It’s only when you successfully combine the mixture of diversity with the power of inclusion that you get to progress forward and talk about equality on any platform and start to take it seriously.

Family is often the epitome of feeling safe, belonging and a natural sense of inclusion. Within bartlett mitchell, we call ourselves a family – the #bmFamily💜💚 to be precise, and this was at the forefront of our core DNA when our Founders set up bartlett mitchell 20 years ago. This family mentality and our sense of looking out for each other paved the way for inclusive conversations amongst our teams around being ‘obsessive about our people’ and ‘open and honest’ which are two of our core values.

 Being obsessive about our people harnesses the essence of diversity, inclusion and equality. It means that naturally, we have a drive towards ensuring every one of our #bmFamily💜💚 members feel that they can genuinely bring their whole self to work each day.

Continuing on our path, with inclusion in mind, during the month of December we supported World AIDS Day and the UN’s International Day of People with Disabilities. It’s important to celebrate days of inclusivity as this enhances our genuine commitment to ensure our teams feel supported, valued and respected.

World AIDS Day – 1st December

World AIDS Day is a day that brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV / AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. It’s also a time to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. In 1988, World AIDS Day marked the first ever global health day and it has been going strong ever since.

We used Yapster, our internal employee communications app to post key facts, messages and showing support for those living with HIV. The hashtag #RockTheRibbon was used which is the official hashtag for World AIDS Day.

I was so inspired by our teams’ posts, as it genuinely showed to our #bmFamily that this day of inclusion did matter and there was a lot of genuine care for each other – dispelling any past myths and striking down the stigma that is usually attached to HIV and AIDS.

We also used a past official #RockTheRibbon World AIDS Day video on all of our external social media platforms to show the world that we take inclusion seriously but more importantly that we support all of our colleagues.

UN’s International Day of People with Disabilities – 3rd December

In 1992, the United Nations set International Day of People with Disabilities to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support around dignity, rights and wellbeing of those with disabilities. According to the World Health Organisation World Report on Disability, 15 per cent of the world’s population (or more than 1 billion people) are living with a disability – this is an incredible number!

This year the theme is ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ which is an important area of awareness, as many often think that having a disability often means it needs to be a physical disability which isn’t true.

The day focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions plus many more.

We will again use Yapster to engage with our teams – raising awareness around ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ by posting key facts, messages and showing support for those living with a disability.

It’s important that our teams feel that with a visible disability or not, they are totally valued and that they contribute to our daily successes.

Let me finish by asking you to be kind and taking your own personal commitment to becoming an Ambassador of Inclusion. We can only genuinely be our ‘whole self’ in an environment where we all feel comfortable, feel safe valued and included.

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