Custom Search 1

Leading diversity champion calls for inclusion in the North

PICTURED: Garth Dallas, lawyer and founder of Diversity Magazine

ONE OF the UK’s leading diversity champions is calling for the Northern Powerhouse to embrace the diversity agenda as the group’s first business summit gets underway.

Lawyer and Diversity Magazine founder, Garth Dallas, wants to bring together businesses in the north of England to consider and act on diversity and inclusion in all aims and objectives of the Northern Powerhouse.

“We’re calling on Northern business leaders to look at their supply chains and ask how many of those firms are run by women, black people, people with disabilities or elderly people?

“In the long run it will benefit business – there is a measurable return on investment,” Dallas said.

Dallas’ comments come as the three-day event to celebrate Northern innovation and discuss the future direction of the Powerhouse begins. The summit is on until Friday July 6 at the Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle Gateshead.

The discrimination law expert, who has created the Diversity and Inclusion Business Forum to address these issues, is keen for the Powerhouse to organise business awards to celebrate companies who “practice what they preach with diversity”.

“It’s certainly not about ticking boxes”, Dallas said.

“It’s about making businesses more efficient and getting the best skills base from the widest possible workforce, and that means including people who have hitherto been excluded.”

With Brexit looming, Dallas said it is time for organisations across the north to fully embrace better representation in their supply chains for business and ethical reasons.

This week’s summit will bring together businesses, government ministers, Northern mayors and business leaders from across the North of England to help shape the next stage of the Northern Powerhouse through panel discussions, presentations, workshops and speeches.

Last year the Northern Powerhouse conference in Manchester was at the centre of controversy after a press release revealed the 15 main speakers were all men, and only 13 out of the 98 speakers at the two-day event were women.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.