This category recognises individuals or businesses that address the needs of a diverse community and workforce. An inclusive society facilitates the needs of all its members, and encourages participation by all in everyday activities, regardless of ability, age, gender, race, lifestyle, religious belief or any other element of diversity that makes individuals unique.

What is inclusion?
Inclusion embraces and recognises the perspectives, needs and contributions of all individuals. In the process of becoming more inclusive, organisations increase awareness and sensitivity to the unique gifts brought by each individual, whether they are a customer, employee, supplier, or any other touchpoint into the organisation. An inclusive nature is cultivated through curiosity, sensitivity and expanding awareness beyond one’s self.

There are multiple elements of inclusion that go beyond regulatory compliance to create a functional and welcoming environment: These elements include:

1. Physical. How your place of business or workplace is set up, including but not limited to the space, technology, furniture, access, and methods of communication used
2. Policy. Does your organisation have clear policies that support the needs of a diverse community and workforce?
3. Social and cultural. Do your employees, suppliers, customers and their family and friends feel welcome and included? Do your staff understand the needs of a diverse community?

To be eligible for this award, you must enter a business award category, AND answer the below stated question (this is listed in each relevant category):

“How does your business adopt inclusive practices and recognise the needs of a diverse community?”

Please note that you cannot directly enter this award. Judges will select finalists from the responses to this question as it appears in each of the following business categories:

– Excellence in Small Business
– Excellence in Business
– Excellence in Innovation
– Excellence in Sustainability
– Employer of Choice
– Excellence in Community Service (not-for-profit)
– Excellence in Professional & Commercial
– Outstanding Home Based Business
– Excellence in Tourism & Hospitality
– Excellence in Retail & Personal Services
– Excellence in Production

If the judges for the Excellence in Inclusion category select you as a finalist, you will be required to have an interview specific to the Excellence in Inclusion award.

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Members of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber get access to a large number of benefits.