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Leeds pioneers the diversity and inclusion evolution with launch of new collaborative learning network

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Four national brands today launch Leeds based learning network, CIC (Creating Inclusive Cultures). Joining this is a pledge to not only share existing and develop new strategies to foster cultures of inclusivity in their own organisations, but to advance their respective industries' understanding of the impact of diversity and inclusiveness. The founding members of CIC are commercial law firm DWF, leading international professional services organisation EY, leading global specialist recruitment group Hays and nationally recognised transport network Northern Rail

 As a Northern economic centre, Leeds is positioned to pioneer the Diversity & Inclusion evolution as, not only does Leeds have the foundation of a top city to do business, but resources and support have been committed to the city to see it improve:

–  Leeds was voted 'Britain's Best City for Business' by Omis Research in 2003, but not enough has been done in the 12 years since to preserve this title. Yet the potential of this city is still present.

–  The Sustainable Economy and Culture Board for Leeds Council champions and sponsors new activities that support the aspirations of the Vision for Leeds’ ambition to be the Best City in the UK by 2030.

–  In the IPPR's 2011 report The Wrong Track it was reported that to build a more sustainable and balanced UK economy requires the potential of cities like Leeds to be realised.

–  In January 2015 the BBC reported that former cities minister Greg Clark said that through City Deals, the government is committing £7bn to Northern cities.

–  According to a report in May 2015 by eBay, the North of England is overtaking the rest of the country in online retailing, and becoming the real Silicon Centre.

 
Charlotte Sweeney, previously heading up Diversity and Inclusion for Nomura and special advisor to former Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf, developed CIC to support organisations that see inclusivity as a strategic advantage. Companies that understand socio-economic trends, such an ageing population, increased global migration and the laptop lifestyle movement, are able to adapt and thrive. The result is a company that has better talent attraction, development and retention. This has a positive impact on profitability and shareholder attitude.
 
Companies looking to capitalise on the benefits of Diversity & Inclusion can join the network at any point during the programme, which commences in September 2015. For more information on becoming a member contact info@charlottesweeney.com. Representatives from the member organisations of CIC will benefit from:

–  Identifying and progressing a small number of focused work-streams that respond to issues that are important to member organisations.

–  Commissioned research on issues of inclusivity and recommendations of how to create change.

–  Participation in a learning network where business leaders can collaborate, mentor and support each other.

–  Access to four prestigious, invitation-only events per year.

–  The championing of Leeds as a good place to work, live and learn.

–  CIC launching in other UK cities from 2016.

 
Charlotte Sweeney, CIC founder & CEO, comments on the launch:

“175 years after the Industrial Revolution changed the way we perceive an effective organisation, the D&I evolution is set to do the same. Stagnant and homogenous workplaces of the 20th century are being overthrown by business leaders who can see what the workplace, and workforce, of the future looks like.
“Not only do tomorrow's success stories see the value of innovation, creativity and better decision making that comes from diverse teams today. But they see the advantages of the changing demographics of tomorrow's workforce, and adapt to work with them. 
“They see a generation of workers with skills and experience that are second to none getting to retirement age with little or no pension. They see a generation of workers entering the workplace with new attitudes and values, that work to live, not live to work. They see a generation in the squeezed middle, that need to adapt their work pattern to caring for ageing parents, or looking after children without giving up work. These are the business leaders of the future. And CIC is here to support them.”

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