The North East Chamber of Commerce has published a report which looks at the value of inclusive employment for the region’s businesses.

The Chamber’s latest report, Inclusive Employment for the North East, includes contributions from the region’s leading businesses and details the benefits of recruiting individuals from a wide range of under-represented backgrounds.

The report aims to address the key challenges to organisational growth by unlocking significant reserves of untapped talent, and covers the impact one employee can have on a business if they are given the opportunity to do their best work.

Aneela Ali, executive director of finance and corporate service at the Chamber, said: “This report aims to overcome the tight labour market that we know organisations currently face by considering individual experiences and the barriers that prevent people from entering the workforce or reaching their full potential at work.

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“Experiences and identities often overlap, and a strong theme that emerged from the fantastic contributions to this report is that a successful organisation considers individuals rather than identities.”

The Chamber’s report, with leading local experts, provides insights into: supporting women and people with caring responsibilities; LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace; the value of employing disabled people; and the potential of ex-offenders in the workplace.

Aneela added: “Creating a culture where individuals have the tools, opportunities and sense of empowerment to bring their full self to work makes strong business sense. It allows people to perform as individuals and as teams, respond creatively to opportunities and meet your business ambitions.

“Collectively, we all have a role to play in building a stronger, fairer North East. Not only because it is good for business, but because it’s good for our people.”

The Chamber will continue to be proactive in ensuring organisations have the tools they need to make the most of their workforce through its Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Commission, Women’s Leadership Forum and Future Leaders’ Forum.

The Partner-led report echoes themes being explored by the British Chambers of Commerce’s Workplace Equity Commission, which is tasked with producing recommendations for government and business to progress the equity, diversity and inclusion agenda in the workplace.

The commission is examining workplace equity from several angles including age, disability, race, gender and LGBTQ+, and how employers can be supported to unlock the talent and potential of all individuals in the workforce. The commission’s call for evidence is open until 16 February 2024.