enei's CEO proudly reflects on the recent networking event held at the House of Lords, cherishing the opportunity for individuals to share their distinctive life experiences.
Every year we host a networking reception at the House of Lords for our Corporate members. This year’s theme was “Intersectionality: exploring our overlapping social identities”, as we at enei are all about celebrating the wonderful and different things that make us humans.
The word “Intersectionality” in the diversity, equality, and inclusion space is generally used to consider how different characteristics overlap to cause oppression or discrimination. For so many years, those working in DEI focused on individual characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010, and this approach is now being overtaken by an intersectional one – looking at the whole human and all the things that intersect to make them who they are, whether these be protected characteristics or not. We feel this is a much better way to ensure that everyone in the workplace can feel respected and valued, not only as an employee, but as a whole human being.
Although discrimination for many, including me, is a daily reality, just aiming to eradicate discrimination is not enough and so we remain focused on our goal to help employers create inclusive cultures that have a true sense of belonging for all. To do this, we need to be joyfully shouting from the rooftops about the richness, beauty, and variety of humankind.
As I sauntered around the event, speaking with so many different people from a wide range of organisations doing fantastic DEI work, I was struck by how taking a holistic, human rights approach and looking at employees as individuals, and not just their individual characteristics, was really bearing fruit. Although human beings are far from simple, taking an intersectional approach has made their work more straightforward and balanced.
Sandi Wassmer, enei CEO
Listening to our two incredible speakers, enei patron Lord Blunkett, and maths marvel Bobby Seagull, really brought our theme home as they reflected on their personal stories and all of the wonderful things that make them think, feel, behave, and navigate the world in the way they do.
As the day progressed, the room was buzzing with all manner of human stories about the myriad characteristics, experiences, disappointments, choices, random occurrences, and opportunities that shape us, I truly felt like I was part of a movement that was going to make the world a better, kinder, more compassionate place.
So, for those of you who have the psychological safety to do so, I encourage you to tell your stories about who you are, and for those who do not feel psychologically safe to do so, it is incumbent on the rest of us to create an inclusive world, where everyone feels safe and secure to be themselves.
This blog post was written by Sandi Wassmer, enei CEO. It was originally posted on 22 June 2023.
- Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion – Toolkits – Applying Intersectional Principles in the Workplace (enei.org.uk)
- Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion – Employer Guides – Inclusive Language (enei.org.uk)
- Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion – Quick Guides – Intersectionality (enei.org.uk)