Council helping businesses to promote equality and diversity

Wakefield Council is looking to actively promote, support, nurture and encourage equality and diversity for local businesses within the district.

Following the success of the first live ‘Equality First’ seminar at The Hepworth Wakefield in October, the Council recently ran an intimate roundtable event focused on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), which involved Council staff and businesses such as Wakefield College, NEXT, Theatre Royal Wakefield and many more.

Workforces should be inclusive and provide opportunities for all in terms of race, religion, gender, age, orientation, and education.

Darren Byford smiling
Cllr Darren Byford

It is key that employers promote a culture of inclusion where diversity is embraced, and equality is provided in order for individuals and workforces to reach their true potentials which ultimately increases business productivity and success.

Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economic Growth and Property, said: “We know the best place to start is to talk openly with businesses and professionals from across the district in a range of sectors to share their experiences of EDI and help us shape the solutions to tackle the barriers.

“The aim of the event was to talk challenges, success stories and all things equality and diversity in business and we will be reflecting on what actions we as a Council can take today to improve EDI in our business community.

“We are very much looking forward to the future and working together with local businesses and organisations to support this district-wide initiative.”

Anna Button, DEI Specialist at NEXT, said: “‘The more we learn, the closer we get’. Diversity, Equality and Inclusion is not a new concept or theory that has been plucked from academia, but a very real ethos which underlies the fundamental human rights of dignity and respect. For businesses today, understanding what tangible difference actually looks like and how to harness that to not only tap into the mass of talent out there, but to help all reach their full potential is a difficult but not an impossible task. A collective voice is better than a ‘lone wolf’ across all business sectors and being part of a county wide discussion and support network on how we can learn together is a great initiative to move the agenda forward.  I am proud that myself and Next are a fundamental part of those discussions.” 

A series of events and roundtables are planned for 2022. To find out more, please contact with the subject title ‘Equality First’.