By Abi Lasebikan, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Network Coordinator and Co-Chair of the Assembly’s Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage Workplace Equality Network
The National Day for Staff Networks will be the UK’s first ever day dedicated to celebrating all workplace networks, recognising the value and contribution networks provide to organisations and the fact that networks are making work better.
The day aims to encourage staff networks to celebrate collaboratively and shout about their achievements, and to change the conversation about workplace networks so that they are seen as business critical and effective mechanisms of innovation and inclusion.
Our networks are referred to as Workplace Equality Networks (WENs) to reflect the fact that they are open to all Assembly Members, AMSS, Commission staff and employees of our on-site contractors to join either members or as allies. They are a place for people who identify with a protected characteristic group and/or have an interest in matters relating to a particular diversity strand, to come together. We recognise that anyone, not only those directly affected, can have an interest in a particular equality issue.
The Assembly recognises that the WENs are instrumental in helping the organisation to attain its aim to achieve a safe, inclusive and diverse working environment for all and to be a democratic institution and legislature that delivers effectively for all the people of Wales. We acknowledge that the participation of our networks is therefore a critical part of the employment relationship and not an addition function to an employee’s job description.
We are therefore pleased to take part in the day, with the WENs organising activities and articles to promote the networks and our recognition of their value to us.