One of our key EDI initiatives, our relaunched Inclusion Networks, are providing staff with opportunities for support, networking, socialising and learning.
What are they?
Our Inclusion Networks bring together staff who share protected characteristics, building and expanding on the strengths of existing communities at Solace. The networks are run by our staff for our staff, with plenty of opportunity to get involved as hosts, co-hosts and active participants.
The networks are spaces for each group to explore their unique experiences and challenges, as well as to support each other through peer-led meetings and discussions. All our staff have a weekly Inclusion Network allocation so they can take part in activities they feel would be of greatest benefit to them.
There are four networks, led by and for:
- People of colour
- People with diverse abilities (visible and invisible disabilities)
- LGBTQ+ community
Each network has its own area on our intranet, Solace Space, where staff can find out more about how it works, see a calendar of events and discover how they can get involved. Our hope is that the networks are interesting and enlightening, and as enjoyable as possible.
What are they for?
We hope that all our staff will benefit from the connections and mutual support the networks offer, and that employees will be able to grow both professionally and personally as a result.
The Inclusion Networks also give dedicated groups a voice within the organisation, allowing them the opportunity to shape and influence policy and have a positive impact on the workplace more widely.
What happens in Inclusion Network meetings is decided by members, and meetings might cover anything from learning opportunities and professional development to wellbeing matters, stress management and how to build resilience. Networks each have a budget, so meetings have the potential to include a wide range of activities, presentations and guest speakers. Staff engagement underpins the everything the networks do and we hope participants will be as active as possible in putting forward ideas and shaping them to suit their needs.
We created Solace Inclusion Awards to celebrate colleagues across the organisation who have gone above and beyond in supporting and including their peers.
The awards are a valuable opportunity for staff to highlight excellent examples of inclusive practice across the organisation. The ceremony allows us to collectively show our appreciation and celebrate our achievements together.
See some of the highlights from our last ceremony in the video below.
Future Leaders Programme
Our People of Colour Inclusion Network has led the development of this initiative to support the advancement of future leaders with the organisation.
The Future Leaders Programme is designed to prepare aspiring leaders and strengthen their resilience through a mixture of:
- Solution-sharing sessions
- Group reflection
- Practical exercises
The initiative is intended primarily for people from the global majorities to work towards achieving greater parity. Participants are invited to reflect on their career progression so far and understand the new challenges they may face as they achieve management positions within the organisation.
Places are open to members of staff already in management positions and those seeking promotion. We also encourage those who are already experienced managers to take part, as we recognise that their wealth of knowledge and expertise is invaluable for colleagues new to the world of management.