Today, Day One of IP Inclusive Week, we have a guest blog from Heart of the City.  This is an organisation that helps its members set up responsible business activities, including to improve equality, diversity and inclusion.

IP Inclusive Charter signatories Beck Greener have been closely involved with this year’s Heart of the City programme, winning the prestigious Heart of the City Dragon Award for their ‘STEM: Branching Out’ programme.  Among the panellists in the photo above, taken at a recent Heart of the City business leaders’ breakfast, is Beck Greener’s James Stones and Heart of the City Director Sarah Mitchell.

What better way to mark IP Inclusive Week than to commit to joining the 2019 programme?  Help your business become a force for good: applications close on 30 November.  Read on for more information…

Heart of the City write:

Winning a prestigious Dragon Award for excellence is always a highlight of the year, but for one of our members, Beck Greener, it was extra special. Rather than recognition of their standard business practice, they won the Heart of the City Dragon Award for their ‘STEM: Branching Out’ programme. This project works closely with schools and potential IP specialists of the future, aiming to inspire talent for the future into the profession and improve ethnic and gender diversity in the sector. Beck Greener developed the initiative as part of their membership of the Heart of the City responsible business foundation programme.

This celebration of Beck Greener’s responsible business journey highlights an important topic for all businesses: how to encourage diverse talent into your companies and profession. SMEs are not yet required to report their gender pay gap, but it’s key to any responsible business to develop an inclusive and diverse workforce. Clare Tunley, Head of Employability at the City of London Corporation recently blogged for us about the importance of gender diversity at work, highlighting the most effective (and practical) ways for employers of all sizes to tackle their pay gap.

For Beck Greener, the focus is on informing, empowering and encouraging women and young people from less privileged backgrounds, into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers. Since launching the programme in January 2016, they have reached over 2,500 students and seen a 90% increase in the number of those students considering a STEM career.

The project hasn’t only impacted the students taking part. James Stones, Partner at Beck Greener recently spoke on a panel at our Business Leaders’ Breakfast at Mansion House. He observed, along with panellists from David Miller Architects and Module Media, that by making advancements in diversity and inclusion a business goal, they’ve seen a tangible improvement in staff retention, motivation and wellbeing.

At Heart of the City we support our members to take action on improving diversity, equality and inclusion (amongst other issues)as part of their responsible business journey; we want our member businesses to do well by doing good Two of our eminent Board Advisory Panel members highlighted the big issues in responsible business in an article for us for 2019, and both Kate Hursthouse (Slaughter and May) and Sam McCarthy (Nando’s) agreed that improving diversity, inclusion and retention will be increasing priorities, with ethnicity pay gap reporting on the horizon.

We’re proud that diversity and inclusion has become a focus for our members as they develop their responsible business strategies. It’s a big part of making sure businesses have a positive impact on people, places and the planet, and we’re looking forward to hosting a webinar on the topic for our 2019 members as part of the programme of events, 1:1 support and online resources we offer. A limited number of funded (i.e. free to you) places are available but applications must be in by 30 November, so we encourage all SMEs who would like to follow In Beck Greener’s footsteps to apply or get in touch with us for more info!

We look forward to working with you, to help your business become a force for good.

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