Business and equality go hand in hand

Business is good for equality, and vice versa, according to a new report by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Government Equalities Office (GEO).

The report maintains that avoiding discrimination and treating staff fairly in the workplace ensures access to the best talent, therefore allowing businesses to maximise profits and create wealth.

In addition, they claim diverse working environments are usually stronger, because different individuals each bring their own strengths, which complement each other when working as a team.

The report was released to coincide with the launch of a new booklet which explores the many ways that business is good for equality.

As part of the campaign, Chambers of Commerce across the UK held business workshops where they discussed the importance of equality in the workplace.

Each event featured a government speaker, including the likes of Jo Swinson Minister for Business and Minister for Women and Equalities and Mary Macleod MP. This is the first time that the government has reached out in this way to engage with the business community on equality issues.

"Companies always want to hire and retain the best staff to fulfil their business functions," said BCC director General John Longworth.

"The conversations that have formed this report have shown us that Chamber members want to drive the economic recovery, and equality in the workplace is crucial to that success."

Jo Swinson said treating people fairly is simply good business. She claimed that drawing on the talents of everyone could help to bring about sustained benefit to the British economy.

"We wanted this programme of business engagement to raise awareness and to promote a greater understanding of equality laws," she added.

"This new booklet is a fantastic example of the excellent work the BCC and employers all over the country are already doing to highlight how diversity is good for business."

Copyright Press Association 2013