Recap: Málaga’s first Belonging, Inclusion & Diversity Day

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The Málaga BID Committee

Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity (BID) are cornerstone issues for our organisation, and the work to drive awareness around these values never stops. It’s all part of creating a truly inclusive culture, something that’s close to the heart of our BID committee – a team that’s made up of our own people with their own unique perspectives on what makes a business diverse, and ultimately, a happy place to work.

When the BID committee was recently tasked with bringing more awareness to what they do and why they do it, it didn’t take the team long to suggest a way forward – the first ever BID Day in Málaga! We asked them to recap the day and give us the lowdown on all the insights.

Why BID Day?

The BID committee made great progress in 2021, but after listening to some constructive feedback from across the organisation, it became clear that there was a lack of visibility around us as a team, why the committee exists and why its efforts are so important.

We also understood that to be more successful we needed to adopt a ‘local first’ approach, so that we could address topics and issues that mattered to our people on a local level.

So, what better way to get this message out than by giving everyone the chance to meet and learn more about their local BID team, and get their voices heard on its agenda for the year?

And so, our first BID Day in Málaga was born with the aim of listening to what our teams in Spain wanted to hear and learn more about.

Facing the challenges

We knew we couldn’t wait for people to feel inspired to find out more about us; we needed to facilitate their understanding of why BID topics and initiatives are so useful to the organisation as a whole.

So we developed a structure for the day that would cover all our BID topics and keep engagement levels high with a mix of talks, activities, workshops, and food:

  • An overview on BID, why it’s important, our current programmes and how to join or give feedback.
  • Diversity panel: how we champion diversity and what real inclusivity looks like in the workplace.
  • Unconscious bias and communication workshops.
  • Activities and Q&A sessions on allyship, privilege and more.

Exploring the BID topics

On 31 March, after catching up over coffee and breakfast, our first BID Day began with a panel of diverse representations of gender and orientation, religion, race, age and neurodiversity.

We debated topics like:

  • How we champion diversity as an organisation.
  • What real inclusivity looks like in the workplace.
  • What BID means to us all, including personal experiences with BID issues in the workplace, how far we’ve come as a team and where the main gaps are in enhancing our agenda for the year.

Next, it was onto our session on unconscious bias – a universal truth that we can work to identify and avoid. It was a great opportunity to explore the topic through theory, exercises, discussions and mutual experiences.

Sharing cultures through food

Food is the ‘great connector,’ so what better to way to help everyone feel more comfortable discussing BID topics than a delicious lunch? We invited everyone to give us a taste of their culture and share a dish from their home countries as we sat down for lunch, which meant we got to taste some spectacular food from all over the world, including Venezuela, Korea, Poland, Bulgaria and France!

Acknowledging all experiences

Then it was onto our brainstorming sessions, designed to help us find new ways of making our workplace even more inclusive based off the experiences of all.

We found the sessions around privilege especially enlightening, as we touched on the types of privileges we actively experience and those we’re unaware of. By acknowledging the variety of privileges that exist, (legal, social, racial, financial etc.) we were able to understand more about how underrepresented groups have limited access to privileges in general, but also that for some, having any privilege at all may feel essential to their daily lives.

It's honest and eye-opening sessions like these that make events like BID Day so important – giving people the chance to be heard and learn more about their colleagues in a way that considers their lived experiences.

Measuring the impact of BID Day

We couldn’t let such an important day go by without measuring its successes and opportunities that could make our next BID Day even more accessible to a wider internal audience.

One way to do this is through collating the spontaneous feedback of our audiences on the day, listening to people talking about what BID means to them, the atmosphere of the office, and the afterthoughts of each member of the committee.

Another is through our survey that collects the opinions and thoughts of our attendees. We’re delighted that some of the most positive post-event feedback we’ve ever received has revolved around the BID Day, but we’re also grateful for those who took the time to give us some improvement points – it means we can build our BID roadmap in a way that’s more useful for our colleagues.

On the other hand, we can measure success with a more quantitative approach using participation numbers, social media reactions and the satisfaction results of the survey.

With 150 attendees overall, BID Day Málaga was also our biggest in-office event yet!

We can’t wait to use our learnings to create the future of BID and inform the committee’s roadmap for the next year.

“The BID concepts have been gaining more visibility, which has helped us gently shift the mindset towards embracing our true selves and the acceptance of others – things I think we do brilliantly here. But we won’t be resting on our laurels: we must stabilise engagement for those crucial subjects and continue to dedicate the necessary resources to make BID a reality for all.”

– Justine, Learning & Organisational Development Consultant, BID Committee Member

If you’d like to learn more about our Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity initiatives, follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn to see how we champion a healthy workplace culture.

From all of us in the Málaga BID Committee, we’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the attendees and everyone who helped make this first BID event possible!

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