Ayo Barley (She/Her) ID: Ayo standing in a power pose with hands on hips wearing a white top and black trousers.
In the last working week of the year for Bakare Barley, we have much to reflect on, learn from, and celebrate. This year has seen our approach to knowledge exchange, learning and development, and the evaluation of impact and outcomes develop and deepen with our clients. We have taken part in numerous speaking opportunities, and supported over 800 colleagues to learn and develop their skills in equality legislation, inclusive practices, policy development, action planning, and evaluation.
With the support from our mentors, coaches, and associates – we have been able to move forward, stretching our ambitions for change, and have continued impact in raising awareness about social justice, and ultimately supporting people and advancing equity in the workplace.
The political and social environment in the UK grows increasingly challenging for organisations and individuals trying to affect change and sustain Board level dialogue about the inequalities still rife in our society. We have seen widening inequalities in employment, socio-economic status and health worsen for most protected groups in the UK, however this is by no means matched by consistent action on a systematic level to improve the lives of the most vulnerable.
We see an increasingly volatile and unpredictable global environment, a painful reminder of the need to never stop discussing and acting on all forms of discrimination and hate rooted in a lack of understanding or appreciation of people different to ourselves. We are privileged to work with organisations who wish to advocate for equality in their workplaces, but we understand that this doesn’t come without challenge, a commitment to education, alyship and advocacy, and the desire to make a positive change now, and future generations.
Celebrating our achievements together
This year we have been focusing on celebrating our achievements to refill the resilience needed to continue on into 2024 with renewed vigour.
So what are we most proud of?
Ongoing Knowledge Shared
As the months have passed us by, we have been privileged to feature blogs aimed to give our readers the knowledge and evidence they need to have honest conversations in the workplace.
Our top Five most popular blogs of the year include
The voices that inspire
We have featured prominent figures in equality, advocacy and social justice on the newly launched Season Two of Inclusion Exchange Video Podcast.
We have amplified awareness, covering topics such as:
· Gender Equality
· Trans Inclusion
· Neurodiversity and more!
Marking Milestones, Celebrating Strides
This year we have worked with over 25 organisations on a range of projects and programmes all focused on advancing inclusion in the workplace. We have travelled up and down the country supporting more than 800 people to have confident and progressive conversations about improving workplace cultures and outcomes for staff and customers facing marginalisation or discrimination.
We are proud to have earned more 5 star reviews for our work, and have gained valuable testimonials and feedback which drive us forward every day.
Our business turned two in 2023 and has taken on some seriously talented associates to support our delivery! We are extremely grateful for all those that have celebrated with us throughout the year and collaborated on projects and initiatives that have given us the drive to move forward into year 3 of our SME operations.
Initiatives That Resonate, Creating Meaningful Impact
This year we launched our evaluation and impact services which are an integral feature of our learning and development and strategy development offering. Whether it’s running independent staff surveys, or analysing the impact and transfer rate of our workshops, we are committed to providing our clients with the data they need to have an evidence based discussion about their needs and focus points.
Our EDI learning and development reports have highlighted issues and solutions ranging from supporting race equity, neurodiversity, disability and inclusive language in the workplace, and equipped us to make focused, sustainable change for our clients.
Leading the way, having a voice for change
Our founder, Ayo Barley was appointed as Chair of the Yorkshire Consortium for Equity in Doctoral Education (YCEDE) External Advisory Board earlier this year. YCEDE is a collaboration between five universities in Yorkshire, 12 UKRI funded Doctoral Training partnerships and Centres for Doctoral Training plus a number of external partners dedicated to equity at doctoral level. Central to YCEDE is the question of access to doctoral study for UK-based graduates from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
We are pleased to be working alongside EAB partners including Reach Society, Aziz Foundation, Stuart Hall Foundation, and the UK Council for Graduate Education – all advocating for race equity in Higher Education.
It has been a year of stretch, challenge and achievement, and we would like to send a heart felt thank you for joining us on our journey of advancing equity and supporting people.
See you in 2024!