Public Affairs Ireland | Training and Development | Conferences

If an organisation was a workforce of 100 people that reflected the diversity within Ireland’s working-age population 54 would be men, 46 would be women, 83 would be Irish nationals, 17 would be foreign nationals and 8 would identify with one or more minority groups.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) has risen up the agenda to become a key organisational and business concern.  Even with plenty of valuable advances and ‘work in progress’ including the Government’s focus on and prioritising EDI with the publishing and adoption of a Department of Public Expenditure and Reform ‘Our Public Service 2020’ paper – which lays out the vision statement, commitments, and maturity model for Public Service organisations to promote EDI – there is scope for plenty more progress on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Irish corporate and Public Sector life.

The opening anecdote – which is widely-shared in the recruitment world – highlights the scale of the ‘unfinished business’ for organisations to better reflect society to better serve all stakeholders.  Those charged with ensuring high standards in corporate governance, especially those in Public Service and Semi States responsible for implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty (which is everyone in an organisation) should not be daunted by the ‘unfinished business’ or be in a hurry to rush to the end game.  There is no finishing line – the path to EDI progress is a journey of continuous improvement.

Julie Hutton, Irish Centre for Diversity Head of Operations will be joining a panel of expert speakers and a keynote from Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform as part of Public Affairs Ireland’s upcoming Corporate Governance Conference | Effective Governance in a changed Public Service, 9:00am-1:15pm | Thursday 21 October, 2021.  Julie will be discussing EDI’s raised priority in effective corporate governance, how it has come about and the value it contributes to an organisation’s culture.

Julie comments: “There has been huge EDI progress in the Public Sector and we have noticed EDI increasing as a focus across the last 12 months.  While the pandemic has had an impact on bringing progress to the workplace, a lot of organisations – including many in the Public Sector – have made EDI a priority even while working remotely, which is testament to the commitment to this area.  A number of public bodies and semi states have engaged with our Investors in Diversity framework and have been accredited for their EDI progress.”

The Irish Centre for Diversity (ICFD) works in partnership with organisations – of all sizes, from all sectors and at all stages of the journey – from across Ireland to advance EDI for all in the workplace.  Bodies and organisations including HSE, Bord Na Mona, Dublin Bus and Dept of Foreign Affairs have prioritised progress on EDI and partnered with ICFD for EDI consultancy; training and development modules covering the full scope of EDI-related areas and to engage with Ireland’s premier EDI accreditation mark – Investors in Diversity

Supported by Ibec, Investors in Diversity is a holistic programme that recognises existing EDI efforts and supports the journey of continuous improvement by providing an all-encompassing and structured framework to transform practises and culture.  Investors in Diversity’s credibility comes from robust assessment criteria and from being built on over 12 years of EDI expertise.  It should be noted that the Govt’s ‘Our Public Service 2020’ paper – and in particular its Maturity Model – mirrors much of the Investors in Diversity framework with an emphasis peer learning and continual improvement –

While there can be many triggers to starting the EDI journey and moving it up the agenda – such as focussing on inclusive recruitment and retention, compliance, evidence for tender requirements and many others including simply ‘doing the right thing’ – it is helpful for an organisation to have a framework to provide clarity about where they are, where they need to go and also to measure the improvements they are working through to ensure what they are doing is tangible.

Investors in Diversity presents the benefits inherent in sector-specific quality marks.  They are a sign that the sector is taking the quality of its reputation and standing seriously, especially when the need to achieve such an award is not linked to funding, tendering or procurement processes.  Many forget the value that lies in building the confidence of service users, improving an individual team member’s ability to make informed choices and helping to improve the overall level of quality in the profession – and the tools it uses.  Furthermore, external and objective assessments are more credible to a range of internal and external stakeholders.  Put simply, telling yourself and others you’re doing a good job is never as rewarding or persuasive as someone else who knows what they’re talking about telling you (or, telling others).

Julie’s contribution to the conference will expand on all of these points and more.  Full details and registration here   For further information about ICFD’s supports for EDI progress including Investors in Diversity, visit the website here, or email: enquiries@irishcentrefordiversity.ie