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Blueprint for workplace equality: Scottish employers invited to flagship conference 

This opinion piece is 8 months old

Scotland is gearing up to host a major conference shining a light on workplace equality and diversity

Scottish workplaces are evolving rapidly, making it more important than ever for everyone to feel included.  

Shifting to a four-day week not only boosts employees’ happiness and productivity but also contributes to a healthier planet.  

Business owners are noticing a range of benefits, including better staff retention, the ability to attract top talent, increased productivity, better customer service and fewer sick days.  

After the pandemic, organisations are rethinking how they work to include everyone and engage their workforce better. 

Celebrating diversity at work means opening the door to people from all walks of life, fostering a more innovative and fair work environment. 

Scotland is gearing up to host a major conference shining a light on workplace equality and diversity, highlighting the potential advantages of these forward-thinking strategies.  

Hosted by author and broadcaster Sally Magnusson, the conference will also feature a keynote address from Neil Gray, the cabinet secretary for wellbeing economy, fair work, and energy.  

The event is organised by Advice Direct Scotland, which administers the national Workplace Equality Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. 

Established in 2018, the fund targets a variety of priority groups, including women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and individuals over 50.  

Recent investments totalling more than £750,000 are directed towards breaking down persistent barriers in the job market, fostering a more inclusive economic landscape. 

By 2024, these initiatives will positively impact thousands of employees and employers across Scotland through user-friendly resource packs, online learning modules and interactive platforms. 

The conference will bring together a diverse range of businesses, public bodies and expert organisations dedicated to fair work practices.  

It is designed for senior managers, frontline managers, HR, learning and development and EDI (equality, diversity, and inclusion) specialists. 

Beneficiaries of the fund and experts will share valuable insights for creating fairer workplaces, addressing ageism, menopause support, refugee potential, gender equality and shorter workweeks. 

Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “This event will assist employers in overcoming longstanding barriers faced by under-represented groups within the labour market, promoting and embedding principles of inclusivity and fairness within Scotland's workplaces. 

“For SMEs, it's an opportunity to forge partnerships, explore business prospects, gain insights from inspirational speakers, and engage in workshops.  

“The knowledge acquired at the conference will aid businesses in retaining and encouraging staff, attracting and recruiting new talents, and maximizing supply chain opportunities.

“While many Scottish businesses and organizations strive to improve equality-related outcomes for priority groups in the workplace, there is always more to learn - and this conference offers that opportunity.” 

Ensuring fairness for all employees isn’t just a good idea — it’s critical for Scotland's long-term economic and social wellbeing.  

With an ageing workforce posing some unique challenges, it’s crucial to explore strategies that address these concerns. 

Embracing a diverse workforce doesn’t hold businesses back; it propels them forward, fostering innovation and success. 

The conference takes place on Friday, 10 November at the Technology and Innovation Centre at the University of Strathclyde.  

Tickets, starting at £65, can be purchased at