2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland. As we strive towards a world where LGBTIQ+ people can be free to express themselves and live without fear, we spoke with our staff members about the significance of Pride and they shared their thoughts on inclusivity and being an ally in the workplace.
How would you define inclusivity in the workplace?
Ciaran Mellot is our Head of HR here at Iconic Offices. He explains how an inclusive environment allows everyone to feel valued, supported, and empowered to thrive, ultimately contributing to a more harmonious, productive, and enriching work environment.
“The best thing about being in HR is the impact you can have on a team and company culture. You get to create a space that's all about diversity, inclusion, and respect in everything we do - from our processes and procedures to our amazing people and policies. As a nation, we still have loads of work ahead, but here at Iconic, we can hold our heads up with pride this Pride Month.”
Lianne Kavannagh, Chief Commercial Officer, highlights how inclusivity and diversity foster the exploration of unique ideas. She recognises the transformative potential that organisations can unlock when we create a space for individuals to share their perspectives openly. "Inclusivity isn’t a nice thing to have, it’s fundamental to ensure a thriving and high-performing workplace. Embracing inclusivity and diversity encourages collaboration, fosters a sense of belonging and allows us to look at unique ideas and perspectives, ultimately leading us to greater innovation & success."
What does inclusivity and diversity mean to you?
For our Community Lead, Everton, inclusivity and diversity means ensuring that everyone is valued and respected as an individual. He says that it's about creating a sense of belonging among co-workers. For him, when it feels like he truly belongs, it translates into greater productivity and opens up more opportunities for growth. A diverse and inclusive workforce means happier and healthier employees, which leads to a non-toxic work environment.
"Throughout the years, I have learned that one of the best ways to be inclusive is by being my authentic self, always remembering that whatever I put out there will be reflected back. I believe that the more I work on myself the easier it is to be sensitive and open to others."
Share how you personally try to be more inclusive in the workplace.
Chris is our Senior IT Lead here at Iconic Offices. He shares his commitment to being actively conscious and intentional in his day-to-day interactions. He discusses using inclusive language, respecting cultural differences, practising active listening, and promoting equal opportunities as key aspects of fostering inclusivity.
"Throughout my career, I’ve met a ton of people from all walks of life. Many doubt themselves, often because of their background, their specific disadvantages, or other unique reasons that make them feel unequal. I’ve always encouraged these people to aim for the positions they want, to get involved as much as they can, and to keep pushing forward. It comes back to that age-old saying, “Treat others how you'd like to be treated."
Liadh, Sales Executive, really emphasises the huge impact that respectful communication has on creating a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. For her, when everyone feels totally comfortable being themselves and can freely speak their minds, it makes the team so much stronger and more united.
"Being respectful is simple, but it makes all the difference when it comes to making everyone feel included and celebrating our differences. When we all feel at home being ourselves, it's a game-changer for the team. It's a win-win situation for all of us. Having those open conversations is super important. We have to make sure everyone's voices are heard and that no one feels left out in the workplace."
In your opinion, what role does inclusivity and diversity play in creating a positive work environment?
Amy, Chief Operations Officer, stresses the importance of continuous education on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. She discusses the value of applying these learnings to drive meaningful changes within the company and highlights the significance of challenging one's biases and assumptions.
"I think that diversity and inclusion play a huge role in creating a positive work environment and it does so in a large number of ways. It leads to improved decision-making as you can incorporate diverse perspectives and can reduce groupthink leading to a more well-rounded decision-making process. It can increase employee engagement and productivity as employees feel valued and included which can also lead to reduced employee turnover and increased retention."
Sinead brings her unique perspective on inclusivity, placing great emphasis on the liberation individuals experience when they are allowed to fully express their true selves. She recognises the significance of patience and empathy in cultivating a workplace culture that genuinely values and respects each person's individuality, ultimately leading to a stronger, more cohesive team.
"For me, inclusivity is all about creating an environment where everyone can freely be their authentic selves, and where their colleagues not only accept but also deeply respect that. It's about having the patience and empathy to understand that we're all different. It's a reminder that inclusivity is not just a buzzword but a genuine commitment to creating a space where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued."
At Iconic Offices, we embrace diversity and inclusion as foundational pillars that shape our thriving workplace. As we embrace the theme of Pride this year, 'Protest. Remember. Celebrate,' we value and respect every individual, fostering authenticity and recognising the ongoing battle against shame, stigma, and violence.