At Audley, we’re committed to treating all our employees, partners, and clients with mutual respect. We encourage our people to be their most authentic selves at work and welcome unique perspectives and skill sets to create an inclusive culture.
As a Certified B Corporation™ our focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) is intertwined with our dedication to operate as a responsible business. Our shared passion for travel means our employees are naturally open-minded, willing to embrace other cultures, and actively seek out new perspectives to challenge their own. We understand that as an employer, it’s our responsibility to create a platform for our growing diverse workforce so we can continue to learn, grow, and celebrate our differences.
In 2020, Audley set up a DE&I steering committee called Unify to identify and action ways we can foster DE&I within the business. This committee brings together a global network of employees and leaders from across our three offices and pools of homeworkers. It’s chaired by our General Counsel & Chief Sustainability Officer, Sonal Patel, who was recently awarded Corporate Woman Leader in the International Women in Travel and Tourism Forum (IWTTF) Awards 2023.
Each year we set targets focused on:
- • Recruiting a diverse workforce to introduce new perspectives and celebrate differences reviewing and updating marketing activity to be as inclusive as possible
- • Improving outreach and becoming an inclusive brand that caters to a wider audience
The committee also creates a yearly DE&I calendar to support these key objectives and help create an inclusive working environment for all. Here are just some of the ways the Unify committee has engaged our employees in key DE&I initiatives recently:
The Real Lives Podcast
Unify’s Real Lives Podcast shines a light on the stories, experiences, and opinions of people inside and outside of the business to provide new perspectives on a range of topics. The first episode featured a roundtable discussion about neurodiversity, where employees spoke about how Autism has affected them in and out of work. Our second episode then featured a discussion between employees on their experiences of dealing with pre and post-natal depression.
World Day for Cultural Diversity
World Day for Cultural Diversity is celebrated each year on 21st May to encourage people from around the world to reflect on what diversity means within our own cultures. It’s also a time to discuss important issues affecting people from different cultures. To mark the day, Unify hosted a live conversation with Kerth Gumbs, Head Chef at Fenchurch Restaurant in London’s Sky Garden. Kerth grew up in Anguilla, a Caribbean island with a population of around 15,000 people that relies almost exclusively on tourism. Kerth shared his life experiences, culinary career journey, and why he believes food is the glue that holds us all together.
International Women’s Day
Audley’s Women’s Forum, a community that sits within Unify, co-ordinated a week-long internal campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day in March 2023. During this time, the forum ran a series of speaker sessions with inspirational women from our global supplier network to share what it's like to be a woman in the travel industry within their countries. We heard from a tour guide from Canada who is a Captain and member of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation in British Columbia and the founder of Camellia Garden Teahouse in Japan, among many others. Each of our guests brought a unique perspective and gave a voice to the challenges women face all around the world.
To celebrate Pride Month in June 2023, our Unify committee invited a leading LGBTQ+ charity to deliver a bespoke 90-minute training session for 50 employees across the business. During the session, employees were encouraged to explore ways Audley can become a more inclusive company. The sessions covered topics such as anticipating the needs of LGBTQ+ clients, communicating with sensitivity, and working with suppliers on the ground to ensure our service is inclusive of all genders and sexualities.
Our Unify committee has many more events planned to help build an inclusive environment for all.