Embracing Belonging: A Year of Inclusive Progress

2 min 13 March 2024

Reflecting on 2023, we take pride in the impactful strides we have made towards continuing to foster a culture of inclusion and belonging. Our journey was marked by collaboration, allyship, and a continued commitment to diversity, both within FSP and across our external engagements.

Throughout 2024, we aim to amplify our efforts with a strategic focus on four major events per year, each designed to educate our employees with purpose.

Our commitment to inclusivity was evident from the beginning of 2023 when we collaborated in organising an International Women’s Day event at our Reading HQ in The Now Building, Thames Valley Park. The engagement from everyone who attended in addressing critical questions surrounding gender equity demonstrated true allyship. The turnout of 50+ attendees reinforced the importance of collaborative efforts in promoting inclusion.

Our dedication to social responsibility shone through at the Prince’s Trust Brilliant Breakfast event, where we partnered with Smart Works. This initiative not only showcased our commitment to allyship but also raised awareness about the challenges faced by under-resourced women. The event served as a testament to our desire to make a meaningful social impact.

In June, we furthered our commitment to inclusion by inviting a guest speaker from Support U, a local organisation supporting the LGBTQ+ community. This collaboration with businesses emphasised our dedication to understanding and educating ourselves on the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

Participation in the Pride in London parade in June was a memorable and unifying event for our employees. We also organised a group of employees to attend Reading Pride in September to showcase our active support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Black History Month saw us ‘Celebrating our Sistas’ and addressing unconscious bias with a guest speaker from the BYP Network, facilitating an open dialogue around stereotypes and misconceptions of black women. In addition, we organised an internal roundtable meeting to promote and educate our employees on allyship.

Throughout the year, we acknowledged and celebrated various awareness days, including Neuroinclusion, Stress Awareness Month, Eid, Diwali, and International Men’s Day.

Belonging Chats also became an integral part of our culture, providing a platform for employees to feel supported, heard, and to contribute valuable feedback to improve their workplace experience.

Looking further ahead into 2024, our focus is on advancing our commitment to belonging, inclusion and diversity through targeted initiatives. This will ensure that we continue to raise awareness, mutually educate ourselves and others, and continue to make a difference.

All of these activities and programmes will provide key information and calls to action to encourage and support people playing their part in our inclusion and belonging journey.

We can all play vital roles in this – whether it is contributing to career discussions in schools, providing work opportunities or support networks for young people, donating time and effort to any number of worthy causes or attending awareness events, being open to discussion and leading by example. All of these inspire and encourage change.

As we continue our journey, data collection and analysis will support our progress, ensuring a workplace that thrives on inclusion and belonging. Our commitment remains unwavering, and we look forward to a year of impactful initiatives that reinforce our dedication to creating a workplace where every individual is celebrated and valued.