Written by: Rob Drury

Many medium and large organisations in the UK may now have resources internally for diversity and inclusion (D&I). How this resource is structured will vary according to institutional prioritisation of D&I, funding, and the size of the organisation; some will have a few hours ‘bought out’ of someone’s contract, some will have a single member of staff, and some will have a whole team.

A common talking point around managing an internal D&I function focuses on where they are located within the organisational structure, and commonly, there are two main thoughts on this.

HR, Sweet HR

A common home for D&I is within HR or People & Culture functions. There are some key reasons for doing so, which have some merit to them:

  • Both HR and D&I have a fundamental commonality in working with people
  • HR often produces management information (MI) and holds data that is useful for D&I, including information on the characteristics of the workforce
  • D&I can be complex, and can benefit from the social skills developed by HR professionals

However, there are many reasons why HR isn’t an ideal home for D&I.

An initial hesitance comes from the perception that HR is there to protect the organisation. The work of strong D&I work will challenge organisational norms and may require it to change ways of working and long-held attitudes and systems. If HR exists to protect the organisation primarily, can it adequately challenge and change systems?

Another reason against housing D&I in HR, particularly small-medium sized organisations, is the transactional or operational nature of the work. Administration, recruitment, payroll, pensions are all discrete tasks and can be siloed from the wider work of the organisation. D&I should be located in a position where it can influence strategy, mission and values across the whole organisation.

On the Road Again

So, if we’re not going to house D&I in HR, then where can it go?

One suggestion could be for D&I to be a department in its own right, with a reporting line to the Chief Executive or Managing Director. Realistically, D&I can impact every aspect of a business, from marketing to finance, customer service to IT. Therefore, being given the status of its own full department could provide leverage and the sight across the organisation needed to do it well. In addition, this approach recognises D&I as an area of work in its own right, and not simply part of something else or just a case of cobbling together a policy or action plan. For D&I to be successful, it needs the appropriate care, resource and oversight, which it would receive as its own department and not as a bolt-on.

In a similar notion, housing D&I in an Operations team or department may be sensible. Operations in some larger organisation incorporates HR too, so the functions could be related but separate, and benefit from links to Chief Operating Officers and other key departments for organisational clout and relevance.

Another suggestion for larger organisations could be for D&I specialists to be deployed into different teams or units across the organisation, with a senior officer accountable for joining the lines across the whole business.

Granted, there are issues with these approaches too, which will often boil down to funding or lack of commitment. If those leading an organisation do not fully embrace D&I, they may be reluctant to commit to establishing a core function, when another department could absorb D&I. Additionally, departments require budgets for staffing, doing their work, and for events, engagement and interventions. In a cost-of-living crisis when more and more organisations are cutting back to what they consider their bare essentials, it could be hard for funding to be given to forming a D&I department if it is seen as a ‘nice to have’ by the leadership.

Whenever, Wherever

Ultimately, we must consider that the home for D&I must be relevant – and challenging – for every organisation’s specific context. Smaller organisations may have to make do with limited resource and function due to their operations, and larger organisations may need to go further on their journey before considering moving D&I.

Wherever D&I is located in the organisation, it must be given equal clout within the organisation as any other function, and not seen as a ‘nice to have’. The role of practitioners is to provide the challenge and support necessary to continually ensure that D&I is relevant, impactful, and welcomed in organisations and business planning; regardless of where the team sits in the (physical or virtual) office.

By Rob Drury


The causes of diversity fatigue and how brands can keep the momentum going with their DEI initiatives.

The Gist

  • Fatigue factor. Diversity fatigue is real among brands, often due to societal pushback and limited progress, but maintaining DEI momentum is crucial.
  • Business bonus. Companies committed to DEI are more customer-centric, attract top talent, and gain a competitive edge through a broader appeal.
  • Marketing  merits. Diverse marketing teams create more innovative campaigns, positively impacting customer loyalty and the brand's overall performance.

To read the full article click here.


The Global Gender Gap Index annually benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment). It is the longest-standing index tracking the progress of numerous countries’ efforts towards closing these gaps over time since its inception in 2006.

Access the report here.


The 2022 Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report is the seventh publication, since the WRES was mandated and covers all nine indicators.

The report has the following key roles:

  • To enable organisations to compare their performance with others in their region and those providing similar services, with the aim of encouraging improvement by learning and sharing good practice
  • To provide a national picture of WRES in practice, to colleagues, organisations and the public on the developments in the workforce race equality agenda

To read the the report click here.


A few words from Gamal Turawa...

Growing up as a young Black Gay boy in both the UK and Nigeria in the 1970s and 80s I didn’t see any role models that I could relate to or mentors to guide or show me that I was included in society. I couldn’t hide my colour, however I did all I could to hide and suppress my sexual orientation because of the of the blatant and unrestrained homophobia that was around me and I was in that place until my late 30s and am even as I now approach my 60s I am still unravelling the legacy of that suppression. However now I am very visible and use my story to help others to find theirs. I want to be that person in the room whom I needed when I was that scared Black Gay boy.

National inclusion week for me is about celebrating ways in which those of us that are able to can be a beacon for those that need someone to give them confidence, something to aim for and above all give them hope in their own future.

The importance in inclusive practices goes beyond the nice policies or the glossy brochures, its about giving the future a voice, its about allowing all of us to know belonging, both in the workplace and in society so that all our creativity, passions, skills and hearts can reach their full potential and beyond unhindered. So don’t make National Inclusion week just a week, make it a way of being so that it becomes the fertiliser that grows a brighter world for us all.  

Gamal Turawa
Facilitator Purplefrog Connections

A few words from Caroline Turner... 

The current landscape in the UK for Neurodiversity is in a period of flux and uncertainty.  Organisations are reacting to unprecedented disclosure of unseen disabilities,  attempting to understand their obligations and decide who should drive the portfolio.   This uncertainty (and often confusion) provides opportunity for positive challenge and change but where do you start?.

5 years ago organisations were choosing not to engage in the Neurodiversity conversation, it wasn’t the right time or it wasn’t the right ‘focus’.  Now, and for some time, it has been accepted as a ‘need to have’ but how do you start, how much does it cost and who should you go to for support?

  • Identify resources – don’t just rely on staff associations to drive this alongside their ‘day to day’
  • Ring fence budgets – quality training and consultancy costs money, relying on the good will of charities does not provide sustainable change
  • Agree a timeline – what do you want to have achieved in your organisation in 6 months, 2 years, 5 years?
  • Find quality partners – An experienced Neurodiversity company has had years of assisting organisations to build their portfolios, tap into their knowledge and expertise
  • Agree stakeholders – identify who should be around the table, Occupational health, HR, Staff associations, Corporate communications?
  • Don’t do a launch – big launches make for big promises, the most successful initiatives have developed organically and gained momentum with time and commitment

Getting started is the hard part, doing something can often make for uncomfortable conversations and challenge.  However we see everyday the impact that an organisation can have on neurodivergent individuals lifestyle, progression, well-being – the view of themselves.  There is no ‘business case’ to prove anymore, just the answering of the question “Do you want to be relevant?”

Caroline Turner

A few words from Barry Boffy... 

"If not now, when?" It's a deceptively simple question that I'm sure many of us have asked ourselves over the years. In those four words are a very clear challenge for us to take direct and immediate action, even if it feels like there's a reason why we shouldn't or we're nervous about the timing, impact or outcome. As we head into National Inclusion Week it's a question that seems particularly relevant to this year's theme of "Time to Act: The Power of Now". However, for anyone working in the field of equality,diversity and inclusion, I know that you'll already be reacting to emerging trends and issues on a daily basis: so the question is - what do we mean by "the power of now"? How exactly is this different to what we're already doing every single day?.
This National Inclusion Week is a direct challenge to us all to ensure that we never lose focus on those who need us the most, particularly those with the quietest voice or who are being drowned out by others. The 'Time to Act: The Power of Now' theme is a challenge to us all to remain curious and observant and to ensure that we're tackling all those inequities, inequalities and injustices that may be getting less attention than others. Ultimately, let's stop asking the question "if not now, when?", and make it our mantra instead.
Barry Boffy MBE FIEDP

A few words from Marsha Ramroop...

National Inclusion Week: Time to Act - The Power of Now
I’m concerned about the number of companies still expecting staff networks, volunteer groups and hobbyists to fix the issues of racism, discrimination and social injustice in their organisations.
It’s not their responsibility; that’s the job of leadership. Staff networks and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are there to raise issues, provide insights, and celebrate identities. It’s not for the discriminated against to mitigate people’s bias.
If you actually want Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) efforts to succeed in your company you need these six elements; I say, you need to STREAM© your EDI:-
Support, Time, Resource, Effort, Agency, Money.
Support: Leadership demonstrative and vocal about EDI in thought, behaviour and practice;

This means:
  • Recognising diversity: valuing all people intrinsically, individually and as groups, appreciating how different diversity dimensions intersect, and acknowledging that demographic and other personal characteristics can possibly be protected by law and regulation.
  • Governing effectively: exemplifying and promoting leadership commitment to EDI through the use of inclusive organisational governance systems, policies, processes, practices and operations.
  • Acting accountably: acting in an ethical and socially responsible manner, promoting productive employment and decent work for all.
  • Working inclusively: enabling and developing an accessible and respectful workplace environment that fosters inclusion and a sense of belonging, for those who wish to belong at work.
  • Communicating inclusively: recognising and responding to the needs of people who access, understand and relate to communications in different ways.
  • Advocating and championing EDI: actively influencing and promoting inclusive organisational practices and stakeholder relationships.
  • Time: People given the opportunity to change and EDI team given the time to reflect and support comprehensively;
  • Resource: Facilities made available to allow for the full implementation of inclusive changes;
  • Effort: Proper expertise and enough people on the EDI team to manage the workload effectively;
  • Agency: Most senior EDI colleague to have the unmediated ear of the CEO and full influencing access to the Executive and Board/ decision making leaders;
  • Money: Budget expectations met and sustained as the EDI work grows and develops.
Without this you’ll not be successful and the underrepresented who you’ve been relying on will be frustrated and despondent.

To get a proper return, requires proper investment.

National Inclusion Week prompts us to Act Now. Having the best polices, most amazing ERGs, award-winning procedures etc. won’t move you or your team, or your organisation forward without the right behaviours, making conscious your unconscious, and tackling unhelpful bias at personal and organisational level.

The framework of behaviours proven to create inclusion, and the prompt the STREAMing of EDI, is Cultural Intelligence (CQ), the capability to work and relate effectively with those different to you.

Working on your CQ is a step you can take now, to start to make a difference and be the change you want to see.
(Part of his blog was first published on LinkedIn on 28th April 2022. STREAM as an acronym for prerequisites in organisational EDI is Marsha Ramroop’s original work, and the author asserts copyright over the term in this usage).

Marsha Ramroop

A few words from Cherron Inko-Tariah...

I tweaked the words of the poem ‘First they came’ by Martin Niemoller to reflect the impact.

The Rude Awakening 
First they came for the
Diversity and Inclusion roles
And I did not speak out
Because I’m not a D&I lead
Then they came for the equality legislation
And I did not speak out
Because I’m not a protected characteristic
Then they came for the staff networks
And I did not speak out
Because I’m not involved in a network
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Cherron Inko-Tariah

A few words from Tony McCaffrey...

It has been 78 years since the UK first legislated to close the Disability Employment Gap. Seventy-eight years! Yet, we still have employment rates for people with disabilities hovering just above 50% compared to just over 80% for non-Disabled people. The mid 1990s saw the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act, which was then superseded by the Equality Act in 2010. Clearly, legislation isn’t having the desired affect. So in the spirit of the 2022 theme for National Inclusion Week, employers must recognise that “Time to Act: The Power of Now” isn’t just a clever slogan that that requires a week-long performative nod. Instead, it’s a rallying cry. With continued talent shortages affecting most sectors of the labour market, now is time to take action to leverage the enormous skills and value that an increase in employment for Disabled People will bring to businesses, the economy and society as a whole.

Tony McCaffrey


To mark NIW 2022, the Grey Area are excited to publish our third survey which is looking at the future of equity!

We have heard a worrying narrative from the government regarding its stance on the equity, diversity and inclusion agenda. For example:

·    Promises to review the Equality Act 2010

·    A push for “anti-wokism”

·    Ministers now questioning the need for EDI practitioners;

·    Efforts to suppress employee voice,

We at the Grey Area want to know how employees in the UK feel about the EDI agenda.

​This should take about 5 minutes to complete and we welcome your thoughts because your voice matters!



Hearing loss needn’t mean job loss

Hearing loss, deafness and/or tinnitus affect 12 million UK people so being fully aware and catering for the requirements of any staff members with additional needs is essential for inclusive employers.

For most employees with hearing loss, there should be no need to change jobs as extensive support is available. Hearing loss is an invisible disability so employers need to be aware of the challenges an employee may be facing.

Speaking openly about how hearing loss affects the ability to work may cause inhibition and embarrassment, even anxiety and pretending all is fine while straining to catch what people are saying, is common.


by Gamal ‘G’ Turawa

We are in unprecedented times and the challenges that has brought are pushing us to explore new options and ways of working and let's be honest for those that like to feel the energy of the room and use it to work their magic this is not ideal.

However if we look at the positives we have found ways to connect to the world through a tablet or computer screen. I recently found myself talking to delegates in 15 different countries from my sofa. There has been an explosion in how many ways we can now interact online all with various networking softwares with a myriad of conferencing features and facilities.

The pandemic, politics and injustices across the whole diversity spectrum have come to the fore in ways that have put our work front and centre and the market place is now becoming awash with ‘consultants and specialists.’ Buzzwords like unconscious bias, resilience, humanistic, allyship and inclusion are entering the vocabulary of our profession at a phenomenal rate. It seems that almost every conversation has to have them included if one wants to be taken seriously.


My childhood dream was to by a ballet dancer, Dame Margot Fontaine was my hero. Once I turned 16 I realised that dream would never come true. Musical Theatre replaced dancing – watching not performing!

ADHD month brings full circle my passions of ballet, musical theatre and neurodiversity in the of Gillian Lynne Choreographer.



A short while ago, I posted on Twitter about privilege and the impact on me as racism, and I received a lot of challenge on that.

I – absolutely – understand the challenge, which is why the conversation is so important. What are our different perspectives? And how do we come together?


2020 is the year many would say that we witnessed two viruses killing black people: COVID19 and racism.

Many of our brothers and sisters were taken away from us this year – some before our very eyes. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd to name a few. We saw hundreds of people from the Black community lose their lives to COVID 19 – many of whom were working on the frontline.

We also said goodbye to those precious souls, like Dame Jocelyn Barrow whose work has left an indelible mark on the Black community in the UK.

2020 has truly tested us. It nearly broke us.

Written by: Gamal Turawa (MIDHP) (QBE)

In 1971 the then Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police in London, Sir Robert Mark was concerned about relationships between the Police and the then called 'coloured' communities of London and he launched an initiative that sought to recruit more 'coloured' people to become police officers.

Written by: Sally Bibb
Director engagingminds™

The ‘Pause…’ programme for people who have been furloughed or who are working from home (and could use some support). 12 modules packed with useful and insightful content to help navigate discombobulating times.

Written by: Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE
Author of 'The Incredible Power of Staff Networks' and Founder of The Power of Staff Networks consultancy

Do you remember that programme called Monk? The former police detective who suffered a breakdown after the death of his wife Trudy. Monk had numerous compulsive habits and a number of phobias but had a sharp memory and could solve the most complex of cases.

But one nearly got the better of him.

Written by: Roland Chesters
Author of 'Ripples from the Edge of Life' & Founder of Luminate Consultancy

There has been much discussion of late in the international HIV community of comparison between the current Covid 19 pandemic and the ongoing global HIV/AIDS pandemic. In terms of the statistics, as of today, 29 April there are 2.8M cases of Covid 19 worldwide, and more than 200K deaths worldwide. Since the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1981 an estimated 74.9 million people globally have become infected with HIV and 32 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses.


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