The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has announced the launch of the BCC Workplace Equity Commission, with members including Stonewall Chair Iain Anderson, Ayesha Hazarika MBE, Women of the World founder and CEO Jude Kelly CBE, Scope CEO Mark Hodgkinson and our Chamber CEO, Paul Butterworth.
Convening national experts, business leaders and representatives from the UK and international Chamber networks, the group will produce recommendations for Government and business to progress the ED&I agenda in the workplace.
The Commission will examine workplace equity from several angles including age, disability, race, gender and LGBTQ+, while also considering the intersectionality of these factors. It will also look at how employers can be supported to unlock the talent and potential of all individuals in the workforce.
This is the first of its kind body of work from the BCC as the organisation takes a leading role in furthering equality, diversity and inclusion across the UK economy.
The Commission is part of the organisation’s three-year workplace equity campaign, the inspiration for which came from the findings of the BCC International Women’s Day research, published last March, that surveyed 4,000 people.
The Commission will hold its first meeting on September 19th, and the inquiry will run over 12 months.
Speaking about his role, Paul Butterworth, CEO, Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:
“As a voice for business, Chambers across the UK are championing equality, diversity and inclusion in their local communities and businesses. I’m delighted to be representing our Chamber network as part of the Commission and look forward to bringing the voice of the network and our member businesses to the table.”
Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, said:
“True equity across our workplaces is not only important for our society, it is also imperative to the functioning of a healthy economy.
“This Commission will look at how employers are currently addressing ED&I issues in the workplace, and the impact this has on the recruitment, retention and progression of a skilled workforce – an issue of particular relevance given today’s incredibly tight labour market.
“We are delighted to have renowned national figures, such as Iain Anderson and Jude Kelly CBE, joining us to bring their expertise and lived experiences to the group. Together with industry and Chamber leaders, our aim is to deliver a pragmatic and ambitious ED&I roadmap for businesses and Government that will leave a lasting and meaningful impact on workplaces across the UK.
Sarah Howard MBE, Chair of the BCC, said:
“The motivation to develop this Commission was born out of the stark findings from our International Women’s Day 2023 research which highlighted the work that remains to be done to enshrine full gender equality across our economy.
“However, the need to create a truly equitable economy goes far beyond International Women’s Day; we cannot solely limit our ED&I focus to the issue of gender equity. With the help of top-class experts and business leaders, this Commission will be examining a range of issues requiring attention, in a bid to truly embed equity into our workplaces.”