Posted 11/11/2021

Swan’s annual Diversity Day helps to create a workplace where people feel at home

Swan Housing Association’s annual Diversity Day took place digitally on Wednesday 3 November with more than 100 members of the housing provider’s 500-strong workforce joining live and many more catching up on the seminar recordings afterwards.

Now in its tenth year, guest speakers from a wide range of backgrounds shared their experiences during the online sessions which took place throughout the day, with the aim of helping employees think about how to foster an even more inclusive workplace where everyone can feel that they belong and be the best version of themselves.

This year’s speakers were:

Daniel Brooke, Founder and Director of Neurodiversity Specialists, who delivered a session on the value of neurodiversity and the role colleagues can play to ensure that Swan is neuro-inclusive.

Jade Fuller, Programme Manager at Employ Autism and Peter Wynch, Employer Engagement Officer from Ambitious about Autism, who spoke about how organisations can create a more inclusive working environment and access a pool of untapped, diverse talent by offering paid work experience for autistic people.

Dr Amit Patel, who lost his sight in 2013, inspired attendees by sharing his personal story and speaking about the work he is now doing to achieve greater representation of disabled people across all areas of life.

Frances Trought, Founder of Everything D&I, helped attendees to explore the concept of belonging; what it means and how our actions can impact on other people’s sense of belonging.

Sandra Skeete, Chief Executive of Octavia Housing, who inspired attendees by speaking about her experiences as a working mum and sharing how class, race, gender, and occasionally age, have been a big part of her journey to success.

Speaking about the event, Swan’s People Director, Louise Kennison, said: “Since it started 27 years ago, Swan has always aimed to be a place that people enjoy coming to work and can make a real difference.

"In 2021, we are even more aware how inclusion is so integral to creating a sense of belonging for our employees and Diversity Day is just one way we aim to encourage this. We also have an inclusion group of employees who help us get it right, from implementing even more flexible working to how we practically design our workspaces.”