Fiona Crook: “Diversity and inclusion – not just words”

The owner and founder of Rejig Interiors and co-founder of Directif says it’s time to stop just talking about diversity and inclusion and actually put it into practice in the workplace.

Fiona Crook, owner, Rejig Interiors
Fiona Crook, owner, Rejig Interiors

Diversity and inclusion aren’t just topics I feel strongly about; they’re causes that ignite a fire within me. As a woman, a mother, and someone living with MS, I have personally encountered discrimination that stems from these fundamental aspects of my identity. 

This has intensified my determination to fight for equality and establish workplaces where everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities.

I see a trend emerging as businesses strategically commit to pledges on diversity and inclusion. But behind these strategic pledges and noise, are these businesses truly authentic? In today’s fast-paced corporate landscape, the call for authenticity in promoting diversity and inclusion has never been more critical. Pledges are no longer enough; companies must publicly demonstrate their commitment to these values. It’s easy to make promises, but it’s the demonstration of genuine diversity and inclusivity that truly matters.

The hiring process is the perfect opportunity to be authentic with diversity and inclusion. But flexible working arrangements often face unnecessary resistance and criticism. Why is this? 

By embracing flexible working options, businesses can reduce employee turnover, maximise profits, and attract the right talent to the right roles. Flexible working benefits everyone, enabling more people to enter the workplace. It not only promotes equal sharing of responsibilities among working parents, but gives people the opportunity to enter the workplace. 

Publishing annual reports of flexible working requests is a powerful way to demonstrate your diversity and inclusive pledges. By embracing flexible working, companies can tap into a wider pool of talent and create an environment that values work/life balance and supports diverse lifestyles.

The laws around flexible working arrangements are starting to change, so why not be a leader and a driver of change and celebrate the benefits it offers your business? Flexible working can be applied in many different ways, why not be open to change? It’s time to let go of outdated work ethics.

In an era where transparency is paramount, businesses must go beyond empty words and showcase tangible evidence of their pledges.

Fiona Crook, owner, Rejig Interiors

Employee satisfaction

Maternity leave is another area of employment that can leave people feeling unsure and anxious. I feel that businesses should be celebrating the maternity packages they offer. It should be highlighted in the job offering in order to attract impressive candidates.

Companies can show their dedication to creating a positive and inclusive work environment in this way. This can lead to higher employee satisfaction, decreased staff turnover rates, and improved productivity. Normalised maternity policies can also benefit fathers and adoptive parents who may also need time off to care for a new child. By offering equal benefits to all parents, companies can show that they value family and work/life balance for all employees. 

I am not just a mother and someone living with MS. I am also the proud owner of a growing business, Rejig Interiors, and a co-founder of Directif. My personal experiences have shown me that none of the factors mentioned above define me or hinder my success. 

I am committed to campaigning for inclusive and diverse workplaces, challenging antiquated mindsets, and creating opportunities for individuals regardless of their age, gender, race, or disability. After all, we are all human beings deserving of equality and respect.

Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords, but integral parts of our professional landscape. In an era where transparency is paramount, businesses must go beyond empty words and showcase tangible evidence of their diversity and inclusivity pledges. 

Demonstrating diversity and inclusion requires effort, intention, and a genuine understanding of the benefits they bring to the table. By sharing compelling stories and concrete examples, businesses can inspire trust and build a strong reputation that goes beyond mere claims.

Home > Opinion > Fiona Crook: “Diversity and inclusion – not just words”