An inclusion calendar is a recent yet important addition to workplace communications plans. These calendars mark various cultural and religious events important to different communities. They remind leaders and teams of the great variety they all bring to work, and the importance of history, education, understanding, and celebrating these occasions.
They are one of the most basic ways to start to build a culture of respect and belonging, and must be matched with meaningful action to support historically marginalised communities.
Using a calendar is a proactive way for managers and colleagues to intentionally promote recognition and involvement in events that may not be well recognized but are important to different people and communities.
An organisation that celebrates a range of cultural events as part of their wider inclusion strategies and action plans sends a strong message: every employee's background is important to the culture of their workplace.
Key Events from the Inclusion Calendar
Our calendar outlines various significant dates that can enhance our understanding and appreciation of diversity.
Here are some key events that stand out for us:
● International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February)
● International Women's Day (March)
● National Day for Staff Network (May)
● Pride Month (June)
● South Asian Heritage Month (July)
● Remembrance of the Slave Tradition and Its Abolition (August)
● World Alzheimer’s Day (September)
● Black History Month (October)
● Transgender Day of Remembrance (November)
Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion-Related Events
When celebrating diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the approach should be as varied and vibrant as the events themselves, and should be informed by the communities that are being celebrated.
We recommend that each event should be used as an opportunity to review company policies and practices, gain feedback from colleagues and ensure you are regularly providing channels for honest reflection in support of diversity and inclusion.
Some suggested events to support your calendar include holding workshops or seminars that delve into the history and significance of a particular event or cultural practice with a focus on informed action that your organisation can take to improve equity.
Inclusion Calendar for Equality and Inclusion Strategies
The inclusion calendar should not be just a symbolic gesture but a strategic asset for advancing equality and inclusion within the workplace. Its proper implementation can be a catalyst for organisational change and personal growth among employees.
Here’s how companies and individuals can use the inclusion calendar to enhance their equality and inclusion strategies:
Strategic Planning and Awareness
One way is to integrate with company events. Align company events with significant dates on the inclusion calendar to reinforce the commitment to these occasions. Moreover, use the calendar as a foundation for awareness and accountability campaigns throughout the year, focusing on diversity and inclusion.
Personal Engagement and Development
Empower employees to observe and celebrate dates that are important to them and offer flexible scheduling or resources for the celebration. Offer learning opportunities related to diversity events to encourage a deeper understanding, respect, and awareness.
Inclusive Environment and Policy Enactment
Ensure that workplace policies reflect the spirit of the inclusion calendar by promoting inclusivity, accommodating religious and cultural practices, and preventing discrimination to ensure your efforts to mark cultural occasions doesn’t become tokenistic or damaging to trust and authenticity.
Engagement and Collaboration
Partner with and financially support internal employee resource groups or external community organisations to plan events that mark specific calendar dates, enhancing authenticity and engagement. Also, establish channels for employees to provide feedback on your diversity initiatives, ensuring that they feel heard and that their input can shape future actions.
Always remember to track participation and feedback. Monitor employee participation in diversity-related events and gather feedback to assess the impact of the calendar on workplace culture. Use the data collected to refine strategies and initiatives, ensuring that they remain relevant and effective in promoting a culture of inclusion.