One business that has embraced the benefits of creating an inclusive culture is County Durham-based Prima Cheese. Launched in 1996, and run by brother and sister Nima Beni and Nagma Ebanks-Beni, the Prima Cheese leadership team has focused on creating a business that puts people, not characteristics, first.
To further its commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, last year Prima Cheese launched a Fairness, Equality and Diversity (FED) Committee. The committee meet bi-monthly to discuss and resolve issues related to D&I, and is run by some of the firm’s most senior members of staff, including co-CEOs, Nagma and Nima.
The group champions valuing, recognising, respecting, embracing and including individual differences, and believes that doing so will add value to the workplace for everyone who works there. The company is also committed to ensuring staff have a safe place to speak in confidence about anything relating to FED.
Speaking on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Manal Hasnain, customer care supervisor at Prima Cheese, said:
“Since being appointed chair of the Fairness, Equality and Diversity (FED) Advisory Committee, Prima has given me the opportunity to influence and change the way that we do things, regardless of my role within the company.
“This shows how, as a company we are working hard to develop a diverse workforce with a variety of skills. We use the recommendations of the (FED) committee to influence and direct company policy toward making positive changes for staff, now and in the future. Embracing differences and actively encouraging voices from across the company demonstrates the responsibility Prima takes with regards to staff well-being and how we shape our company policies to reflect this.”
Speaking about her work to embrace equality in the workplace, Nagma Ebanks-Beni, co-CEO at Prima Cheese, said: “As a business leader, I’m incredibly proud to have built a culture of inclusivity that puts people – not characteristics, such as gender – first. It’s created a much more positive workplace and one that helps everyone in the team move forward together. Unfortunately, some people still feel they can’t bring their whole selves to work, and that’s something the business community needs to address.
“Everyone has responsibility for building an environment where all colleagues can thrive. By becoming allies and celebrating each other’s successes, we can empower the next generation and unlock the fantastic benefits that more diverse and inclusive workplaces create.”