The future of inclusive work

Our research is helping businesses to become more inclusive by working with key partners to develop implementable business strategies at all levels of practice, as well as having a positive impact on policy making and wider society.

What’s changing?

Powerful socio-cultural movements have led to a drive in workplace inclusivity. Workplaces in the future will be embedding inclusivity at the heart of leadership diversity and building learning cultures that allow for sustainable and responsible leadership. Day-to-day strategies will be built on the aim of achieving outcomes that support a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion. As one of the most diverse generations, Gen Z will be expecting issues relating to sustainability, diversity and inclusion to resonate strongly in their organisations work cultures.

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The future of the environment and work

75% of millennials and Gen Zs state that the pandemic reinforced their desire to help drive positive change in their communities.

Deloitte, 2020

What can businesses do to prepare?

Inclusivity goes beyond increasing representation of diverse individuals, inclusivity ensures that all employees feel valued, a sense of belongingness and feel safe to voice their opinions, express themselves and be heard and respected. How can business improve their inclusivity? Inclusive workplaces will:

  • Create and embed an equality, diversity and inclusion strategy
  • Support leadership development for employees from all backgrounds
  • Ensure recruitment and promotion practices are transparent and unbiased
  • Put resources into developing a more distributed and sustainable leadership dynamic in the workplace
  • Communicate with their workforce in a way that is accessible
  • Embed policies, such as shared parental leave and returning to work, that support new parents
  • Support neurodiverse employees
  • Offer flexible working practices
  • Provide training on digital skills
  • Create open space for conversation
  • Instil mentorship programmes
  • Create a varied and high-quality learning and development offering

Work Inclusivity Research Centre (WIRC)

WIRC are committed to the critically engaged study of issues of equality, diversity and inclusion in employment, guided by principles of social justice.

Visit the WIRC website

Why should businesses support change?

Creating inclusive workplaces will benefit both businesses and society, but striving for greater inclusion is a collective responsibility.

Inclusive workplaces not only reflect the society and communities in which they are based but they invest in ensuring that they are at the heart of public good, and positive relationships with communities allows for better outcomes and talent pools.

Inclusive workplaces create many positive outcomes, such as increased job satisfaction, retention, organisational commitment, trust, well-being, creativity, and innovation (HBR, 2015). 

Fathers in the Workplace Toolkit

Holly Birkett and Sarah Forbes have developed a set of accessible, easy-to-use tools for organisations to support fathers in the workplace.

Visit the toolkit

Allowing for learning and development that supports progression, especially for those who learn in on-traditional ways, will see a more diverse and complex talent pipeline, one that represents our communities.

If these improvements in inclusive education happen, those entering the workforce will not only see people who look like them in organisations, but they will imagine their own leadership contribution being allowed and valued within those organisations.

5 Ways Your Brand Can Champion Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Beyond Black History Month

Jasmine Cruz

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Only 48% of businesses have a diversity and inclusion strategy in place.

EY Ireland D&I report, 2019