Ayo Barley (She/her), MD and EDI Practitioner, Bakare Barley Ltd
It’s been a joyful year for us, we feel lucky to do this work with friends, associates, partners and clients.
How it started
We can hardly believe that 2022 is almost gone, it’s been a challenging year all round again.
This time last year I was getting ready to start my first contract with the NHS leading on EDI for workforce and patients across three Acute Hospital Trusts at a time when Omicron was circulating and staff shortages and the prospect of mandatory vaccinations was creating additional strain and implications around how we maintain equality, diversity and inclusion, particularly learning from the early Covid days and the inequalities which were so prevalent.
Bakare Barley were developing relationships with clients in the voluntary sector which included supporting charities to improve inclusion of ethnically diverse premature babies and their families in support services. We started working on workforce equality in the wider health and social care system.
These projects have been some of the most rewarding of the year as they are leading to strategic and long-term change which will increase accessibility to services, and employment opportunities for marginalised communities.
Focus Group, South Asian Women's experience of neonatal care
We have had the privilege to train and empower over 600 people with the knowledge and strategies they need to make change happen in their own environment. We have done this by speaking at conferences, on podcasts, and delivering training in person and online to multiple sectors and industries.
We are a learning organisation and are always focused on bringing up to date research and education around EDI best practice, so we have been delighted that 100% of people attending our Inclusive Leadership workshop 'highly rated' it.
That said, with 18 years’ experience in the world of equality, we understand that training is not enough, and we can’t take a ‘one and done’ approach to EDI. That’s why we always link training to strategy development support and action planning to build a culture of accountability as we believe this is the key ingredient to sustainable change.
What we have launched
The Inclusion Exchange
We launched The Inclusion Exchange which meets virtually four times a year and brings together EDI experts and everyone from CEOs, Heads of HR, Team Leaders and workplace allies and advocates to exchange experiences, challenges, and trends with the shared objective of creating a better working environment for all.
Our speaker line up included Joseph Harker, The Guardian, Mandeep Rupra, Citizens Advice, Andrew Lynch, Liverpool Historian, and Anoushe Husain, EDI Practitioner and Paraclimber. We have been delighted be the positive feedback from these sessions and are looking forward to bringing you more in 2023.
Notes for Inclusion
We have launched a new line of socially conscious stationery called Notes for Inclusion and our flagship product is the Inclusive Leadership Journal, designed with one goal in mind, to support personal accountability for leaders who wish to improve inclusion in their organisations.
It is designed to be used over a 12 month period and it includes goal setting, and ends with a goal review, and each week has three pages dedicated to help you focus on your daily goals, and highlighting areas you want to challenge yourself to do things differently and develop your allyship and advocacy skills.
How we have shared knowledge
We are focused on knowledge exchange and are also committed to providing advisory services pro bono. We have been an integral part of providing advice around prioritisation, strategy and inclusion policy. It has been a pleasure to support Citizens Advice as Independent Advisors and we will continue to do this into 2023 to support them to continue to make a positive stand for equality.
We have devoted our time in the Liverpool John Moores University Reciprocal Mentoring Programme - I have been mentoring the Dean of the Faculty of Health to improve understanding of race equality issues and make actionable improvements for students and faculty members from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Watch the video about the scheme here:
Finally, we have been hugely grateful to receive multiple nominations for the 2023 Northern Power Women Awards, the nomination alone is a huge source or pride for us!
Going forward to 2023
We have so many ideas and points of inspiration gleaned from our interactions with our clients and have enjoyed providing free consultations to get to know them better.
We would like to thank all our clients based here in Liverpool, and nationally for trusting Bakare Barley Ltd and choosing us as a partner to create visible change in relation to EDI. Also our associates, coaches, mentors and network of EDI Practitioners have been a huge source of resilience and energy for us!
Finally, we would like to thank you, our 3000 strong community of members, subscribers, and followers for engaging with our content, attending our live podcasts and joining and contributing to knowledge exchange, we appreciate and value you, together we are making change happen to transform workplace culture for underrepresented groups.
Here’s to a great start to 2023!