Blakemore celebrates equality, inclusion and diversity

Blakemore has celebrated the importance of equality, inclusion and diversity as part of a series of commemorative events to celebrate 100 years in business.

The company’s Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Week, which ran from October 16 to 20, featured a series of colleague and community activities to celebrate equality, inclusion and diversity in the workplace and their importance in growing a sustainable business for the next 100 years.

The events included colleague visits to a Sikh ethos school and the charity Brushstrokes, which supports refugees, as well as a presentation by Group HR Director Ian Diment at the
Women in Wholesale conference in London. The week also featured a series of communications encouraging staff to think about equality, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

Group board director Caoire Blakemore said: “The purpose of the week has been to highlight the importance of equality and inclusiveness in the workplace and to celebrate the vibrancy of our diverse workforce.

“Allowing all the opportunity to flourish at A.F. Blakemore is fundamental in building a stronger and more sustainable business for the future and is central to our values.”

Colleagues currently on the A.F. Blakemore Graduate Scheme visited Sikh ethos school The Khalsa Academy Wolverhampton to promote graduate opportunities at A.F. Blakemore. The volunteers shared experiences and engaged students in a series of activities based around graduate roles in the food and drink industry.

At the Women in Wholesale conference in London, group HR Director Ian Diment outlined the company’s approach to equality, inclusion and diversity (EID) and shared plans for the future, in particular Blakemore’s EID action plan, which will include workshops focused on promoting the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce that will be rolled out to the management team in 2018.

As part of a series of communications throughout the week, a quiz was launched to encourage colleagues to think about the topic of equality, inclusion and diversity. Staff were also invited to feed back their views on how the company can make the workplace more inclusive.

Colleagues also took part in a Seeing is Believing insight event with the charity Brushstrokes based in Smethwick, which supports thousands of local refugees, to research how the company can help the cause.

The week ended with ‘Foodie Friday’, where all staff were encouraged to bring a dish of their choice into work to share and appreciate with colleagues. Staff were also invited to take a photo of their hands, which will be used to create the company’s new EID logo.

Concluding the week of activities, Caoire Blakemore added: “Ensuring that we are embracing equality and diversity to the best of our ability is not just the morally right thing to do, but, as many academic studies have shown, becoming a more diverse thinking business will also improve the profitability of the company.”

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