As Scotland emerges into the new reality of life post-Covid one thing is clear – it is going to take the skills and talents of every single one of us to ensure that our society and our economy flourish in the months and years ahead.
There’s a lot of ground to be made up before the disruption to our daily lives can be put behind us. But while the last 18 months have been challenging, they have also made us realise that we are stronger when we rely on each other and that everyone has something to contribute to the wellbeing of Scotland.
Companies that are more diverse do better, that’s a proven fact. They benefit from the varied perspectives that a workforce made up of different races, sexes and physical abilities brings to the job.
And we all do better when the barriers that prevent any one of us from fulfilling our potential are removed.
The sight of so many ethnic minority NHS workers risking their own health in order to fight covid in our hospitals has at times been humbling. Their dedication, alongside that of their colleagues, is a powerful argument in its own right for the importance of diversity.
And then there are the 33 Scottish athletes, amongst them triathlete Alison Peasgood and swimmer Conner Morrison, currently making their final preparations for this year’s Paralympics. Their stories are truly inspirational.
But success stories don’t need to be sensational to be important. Every trainee who gains a place that would once have been denied them is a triumph, every worker who gains parity with their colleagues is a step towards equality.
Amongst the previous winners of the awards are Arnold Clark, a company which has been built on the family values of integrity, tolerance, diversity and stability.
Arnold Clark are title sponsors of this year’s awards and Lynne McBurney, Group Head of People with the company says: “Our door is open to everyone with the aim to provide an environment where anyone feels welcome to bring their authentic self to either work with us, or as a customer.”
It is a sentiment that we share and that is why we want to hear about your diversity triumphs, both big and small, because at the end of the day it will be small steps as well as bold leaps that will get us to our goal of a fairer society.
If you have instigated a campaign to ensure equal rights in the workplace, addressed discrimination, championed the cause of disabled employees or persuaded organisations to question the make-up of their boards or change their recruitment policies in order to level the playing field, then tell us about it. Every positive step counts in the fight to make our society inclusive.
In recent years The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards have been at the forefront of recognising the great work that is being done to open closed doors and give everyone the opportunities that they deserve. The pandemic may have slowed some activities but it will also have created fresh opportunities.
Remote working and technology is helping unlock potential and make our society more diverse.
So don’t hold back. You have until August 26 to tell us about individuals and organisations who are making a difference.
And for more information on this year’s categories and how to apply visit here or contact Stephen Laughlin, Events Manager, on 0141 302 6050/ firstname.lastname@example.org.