At the Martin James Network, we are committed to diversity, inclusion and equity. This is driven by our vision for a society in which every individual is valued and where all dreams can be realised without fear, limitation or prejudice. We believe that with diversity comes power of diverse thought processes, a difference in perspective and improved creativity and innovation. In a world where technology makes us all so connected, we need to remember our humanity. We are committed to fearless futures, where everyone is valued for their difference.
The Martin James Network is formed from a variety of organisations from charities to leading-edge technology brands, that operate in different sectors. We range from start-ups to well-established brands that have been in business for over 15 year. This means that we have a variety of different business needs and challenges. However, we are committed to having a representative workforce, that reflect our service users, customers and communities in which we serve. The Network has a Diversity Charter established, which outlines some of the ways in which we aim to address this statement. In addition to this, we have invested in a dedicated Head of Inclusion, Loreal Stokes. She joined in February 2021 and has joined to oversee the long-term diversity and inclusion strategy.
Our Inclusive Culture
We believe that human connection, communication and language are key in creating a work environment where everyone can express themselves freely. So, we aim to use accessible and inclusive language. In the short term, we have started with removing the term “BAME” from our language and in replace we want to empower people to address who it is they are directly addressing. We will be replacing the word “BAME” with ethnic minorities. Additionally, we are working towards ensuring supporting gender identity and expression through pronouns. We have also chosen to lead with equity over equality because we believe in supporting people with whatever they need to be successful. In order for equality to work, everyone needs to start at the same place in society and everyone needs to same support. This is not realistic of wider society. So, we are keen to ensuring that everyone starts at the Martin James Network in an equal place but has a tailored journey in supporting their needs. As a result of this, one of the initiatives we are developing is a mentoring programme which has initially been offered to employees who are from either an ethnically minoritized community or from the LGBTQ+ community.
As well as supporting minoritized communities, we also raise awareness and celebrate different cultural activities and key advocacy and awareness events. In order to ensure our employees, enter the MJN with an open mind, we require everyone to undertake unconscious bias awareness training during their induction process. In addition to this, we are now working towards committing to making more anti-discriminatory training modules compulsory. Inclusivity is embedded in our culture. We even have our own social app, TalkOut, where we share stories, resources and activities both locally and globally. We also ensure our team socials and reward schemes are inclusive. Our TalkOut app also hosts our annual “This is Us” survey, which we will use to collect data and feedback which will inform our diversity strategy.
We understand in order to have a diverse workforce, we need to ensure our recruitment procedures are inclusive and accessible. We aim for all our job descriptions to be fair and objective, so we run them through bias decoders before publishing. In addition to this, we only work with recruitment agencies who are actively committed to diversity and can and will put forward candidates from different backgrounds for interviews. We also have made a commitment to ensuring recruitment panels are diverse, so you can expect at a minimum a gender balance and/or a member of an ethnic minority to be present. This is to ensure that unconscious biases are avoided in our hiring process.
We make continuous improvements
In our eyes, diversity and Inclusion is never “complete”, it is a continual journey. It is not the responsibility of one; we believe it takes a community to achieve a goal. We understand that in order to attract new talent as well as retain and promote our current talent pool, we must be open with our culture and commitment. Whilst we are not legally required to report on our Diversity and Inclusion activity, we are actively working towards being an organisation who is transparent and accountable when it comes to representation. Therefore, we have committed to releasing an annual voluntary Gender Pay Gap report. In addition to this, there is a requirement to evidence progress of diversity at board meetings, as a base line against to the wider UK population.
We are committed to having a diverse work force. We don’t just talk about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, we do it.