INCLUSIVE NETWORKS IS THE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION HUB FOR SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH OF ENGLAND. WE ARE A SPACE TO CELEBRATE COMMUNITY AND WORKPLACE ROLE MODELS AND PROMOTE AND RAISE AWARENESS OF INCLUSIVE EVENTS, DIVERSITY CAMPAIGNS AND COMMUNITY FOCUSSED INITIATIVES ACROSS SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH OF ENGLAND…AND BEYOND

I launched Inclusive Networks (IN) as a pilot in October 2014 – with a message of support from national treasure Stephen Fry.

With my background being in the world of staff diversity network groups (I was the Chair of The Co-op’s LGBT+ staff network group), the initial focus was celebrating the awesome work of workplace staff network groups and the unsung heroes driving them. This is something I’m passionate about.

Hundreds of online articles, many IN events, a magazine, and our very own awards programme followed. In recognition of our innovative events and initiatives, Inclusive Networks was shortlisted for the ‘Community Initiative of the Year’ award at the 2016 British LGBT Awards and a handful of other diversity awards. I’ve always preferred to work quietly in the background and this recognition was something I didn’t pursue, but is something I’m proud of.

A few years passed, I relocated from Manchester to Edinburgh, and it was time to mix things up and align IN with the new diversity landscape (which has become very commercialised) and my evolving personal interests.

I said last Summer I was going to close IN down permanently. After receiving many messages of support and with the rise in hate crimes, hostility against LGBT+ people and beyond, and the general lack of community focussed diversity platforms…I’ve changed my mind. I believe IN is needed now more than ever before.

“Through our work we will be promoting and celebrating diversity, inclusion, equality and acceptance. We are a collaborative organisation and will be using our platforms to support others.”

The new Inclusive Networks is a not-for-profit, grassroots community focussed organisation. We will focus on celebrating and shining a light on diverse role models from all walks of life across Scotland and the North of England. Although the focus will be on LGBT+ content, we will publish wider diversity, health and wellbeing and equality related content too – as well as other more general content that interests us.

IN will also feature interviews and special features about diversity and inclusion focussed charities, community groups, inclusive employers and staff network groups and local and national initiatives – encouraging support, collaboration and engagement.

Through our work we will be promoting and celebrating diversity, inclusion, equality and acceptance. We are a collaborative organisation and will be using our platforms to support others.

Say hello to PrideFace…

I’ve had the idea of launching a community and people focussed platform dedicated to celebrating and profiling diverse LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or however best describes your identity) role models and inclusion allies for a while. The LGBT+ community is made up of millions of people from all walks of life and with multiple identities.

By wearing their PrideFace everyday our contributors will be helping make the UK a more inclusive place to live, work, be happy and be our true selves in every part of our lives. They do say you can’t be what you can’t see.

Following the launch I’m aiming to publish one new interview every weekday of the year (with the support of contributors), as well as a regular blog. I hope to build a community of LGBT+ role models and inclusion allies from every corner of the UK (and beyond) who will inspire and shine a light on the diversity of the LGBT+ community in the UK and beyond.

The interviews and special features will be linked to diversity and inclusion awareness raising days, such as International Women’s Day, Black History Month, National Coming Out Day and LGBT History Month, as well as community events, awards ceremonies, media and news events and community campaigns…

By wearing their PrideFace everyday our contributors will be helping make the UK a more inclusive place to live, work, be happy and be our true selves in every part of our lives. They do say you can’t be what you can’t see.

It’s a simple concept and one that I hope will be an authentic and positive addition to the LGBT+ and wider diversity media and community group landscape in the UK. It will exist to support and share the work of existing and new diversity and inclusion initiatives.

New content coming this week…

Watch out for our Northumberland Pride and Pride Edinburgh features.

If you’d like to send us a press release, discuss how we could work together, or just want to find out more about IN or PrideFace, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at hello@inclusivenetworksuk.co.uk