By Daniel Hunter
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with the Government Equalities Office (GEO), has launched a new booklet which explores the many ways that Business is Good for Equality.
The launch event is being hosted by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and is being attended by Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Business and Minister for Women and Equalities.
As part of the campaign, Chambers of Commerce across the UK have held business workshops where they have been discussing the importance of equality in the workplace.
The events each featured a government speaker, including Ministers Jo Swinson and Helen Grant, and Mary Macleod MP. This is the first time that the government has reached out in this way to engage with the business community on equality issues.
Key messages from the report include:
- Avoiding discrimination and treating staff fairly ensures access to the best talent, which allows businesses to maximise profits and create wealth;
- Diverse workplaces are usually stronger, because different individuals each bring their own strengths, which complement each other when working as a team.
Commenting on the report, BCC Director General John Longworth said: “This report showcases the fantastic work that Accredited Chambers of Commerce members and the GEO do to focus on equality in the workplace. Employers throughout the Chamber Network value their staff and are working hard to create flexible and happy workplaces.
“Companies always want to hire and retain the best staff to fulfil their business functions. The conversations that have formed this report have shown us that Chamber members want to drive the economic recovery, and equality in the workplace is crucial to that success.”
Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Business and Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “Despite the challenges facing businesses today, it’s simply good business to be treating people fairly and ensuring we are drawing on the talents of everyone if we are to bring sustained benefit to the British economy.
“We wanted this programme of business engagement to raise awareness and to promote a greater understanding of equality laws. This new booklet is a fantastic example of the excellent work the BCC and employers all over the country are already doing to highlight how diversity is good for business.
“What I’ve learnt from meeting local businesses, across the country, is that employers don’t need convincing of the positive business case for equality in the 21st century workplace. However many smaller firms have told us they don’t always feel they know enough and they want to be confident that they are complying properly with the law. This new booklet will be a helpful new resource which should give them that confidence.”
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