The North East Chamber of Commerce is calling on the region’s businesses to contribute to a national commission which will shape policy recommendations for government.

The British Chambers of Commerce’s flagship Workplace Equity Commission has opened a call for evidence into equality, diversity, and inclusion best practice in business, as well as any challenges firms are facing, and where support is needed.

The findings will shape recommendations to help businesses adapt their workplace practices to make it easier for people from diverse talent pools to access jobs and progress in their careers.

John McCabe, North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “We are encouraging our members to give their thoughts and experiences to ensure that the North East is represented in this commission and to help shape government recommendations.

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“It’s so important for businesses to recognise the value of diverse workplaces. More inclusive business practices will help to break down gender disparity and ensure everyone can unlock their potential.”

Gill Hunter, managing partner of Square One Law and co-chair of the commission, said: “We want to hear from anyone who has experience or views on how SMEs can create workplaces that truly create a level playing field for everyone. Personal testimony will help us fully understand how diverse workforces can be recruited and retained.”

The commission will run for 12 months, with findings due to be published in 2024. The North East Chamber of Commerce will be hosting roundtables and is encouraging members to get in touch.

The Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Forum plays a key role in shaping the Chamber’s approach to an inclusive economy as part of its new policy plan, which aims to build a stronger and fairer North East.