What does inclusion mean to me?
This week it’s National Inclusion Week. The week is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms, with the theme for this year being, “Each One, Reach One.” It’s about the opportunity we all have to connect with someone else, or another organisation, to help us all understand the opportunity of inclusion and connect, with the aim of inspiring each other to make inclusion an everyday reality.
For Civic Engineers, building a culture of inclusion throughout the practice and through our designs is fundamental. By having a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture we can be more creative, challenge more and understand the needs of others and the world around us better. So, to celebrate National Inclusion Week, we asked some of our team to tell us what inclusion means to them? They didn’t disappoint.
Design engineer, Emilie Leclerc talked about how inclusion is crucial when it comes to designing, “To me inclusion means reminding myself that the end users of my design are not all like me. Different people have different needs, different fears and different aspirations. Being inclusive is not an easy thing to do but can be improved, in my opinion, by being in contact with different people, different realities. This is why I believe the more diverse we are as a practice the most suitable for happy living our design will be.”
Senior engineer, Gina Wood, emphasised about the impact inclusion has on a company’s culture, “Inclusion to me means ensuring that no one ever doubts whether an opportunity or event is for them. Ensuring that no one is afraid to share their perspective and creating a culture of kindness.”
Jess Foster, Associate mentioned about how inclusion should be inbuilt, “Inclusion in its best form should be entirely unnoticed. We’ll know we’ve got it right when we don’t need a ‘Women in Engineering Day’ or ‘Black History Month.’
Senior engineer, David Shodeke highlighted the importance of inclusion reaching every part of the organisation, “Inclusion to me is more than simply a feeling that one is accepted in a space or organisation. It is a holistic approach to policies and practices that accepts individuals and groups from different backgrounds and cultures and treats them equally.”
Finally, our Head of People & Culture, Caroline Todd looked at inclusion from a more personal perspective and how feeling included at work actually makes us more productive, “Feeling I can be myself at work, definitely enables me to be more creative, productive and happy! We want all our people to feel like this, it’s incredibly important that we continue to talk, challenge improve so as to create the optimum conditions for everyone to thrive and be happy.”