Fostering Inclusivity in the Workplace: The ChangeMaker Approach to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

Posted By:
WheelWorks Arts

17th Oct 2023

“Art has the power to change the world, to inspire and to bring about positive transformation.” – Robert Redford, Actor and Founder of the Sundance Institute


“True collaboration is the key to unlocking the potential of diverse teams.” – David Lammy, Labour Member of Parliament


Promoting and delivering equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace is not just a legal requirement; it’s a fundamental aspect of effective people management. To fully harness the benefits of EDI, organisations must cultivate environments and cultures that nurture every individual’s sense of safety, belonging, and empowerment, enabling them to reach their full potential.


In the United Kingdom, the Equality Act of 2010 offers legal protection for nine protected characteristics, including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. While adhering to these legal frameworks is essential, a truly effective EDI strategy transcends mere compliance, adopting an intersectional approach that adds significant value to an organisation.


This approach contributes to the well-being and equality of outcomes for all employees, regardless of personal characteristics and experiences, such as accent, age, caring responsibilities, colour, culture, visible and invisible disability, gender identity and expression, mental health, neurodiversity, physical appearance, political opinion, pregnancy and maternity/paternity, family status, and socio-economic circumstances.


ChangeMaker represents a transformative learning experience that seamlessly combines coaching and artistic techniques to delve into the crucial realm of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within the workplace. Through a series of interactive sessions, participants embark on a journey to acquire practical skills, deepen their understanding of biases, and explore creative approaches to fostering an inclusive work environment.


By enrolling in this course or incorporating it into your staff training programme, you become part of a network of forward-thinking professionals dedicated to creating workplaces that celebrate individuality, embrace diverse perspectives, and actively promote inclusion and a sense of belonging.


This dynamic learning approach can be tailored to suit employees at all levels within any organisation committed to leading the charge in the inclusion and diversity movement, ensuring that everyone within the workforce feels valued, respected, and empowered.


Feedback from individuals who have experienced ChangeMaker is testament to its impact:


“I’m not creative, but look what I created!” – Health and Social Care employee


“I didn’t think I was biased, but this has been inspirational.” – Community Worker


“This course showed us that the community’s strong roots are its foundation; it should be rolled out across the board.” – Local Councillor


“Dedicated to the invisibles, who opened my eyes to what is now visible.” – Community Worker


“Things are changing so much, and this course helps us understand changes, respect choices – culture, identity, class. It made us look at ourselves before judging others.”


“It showed us that we are all biased in some way, even from a good place. We see how easy it is to offend with compliments as well as with derogatory comments.”


“The creativity element made us all the same, experiencing bias differently and expressing ourselves in new ways.” – Girl Guide Officer


“The tutors were excellent. They made us feel we could be open and discuss issues, especially in the youth and community field.” – Community Worker


“I was proud and invigorated after the course. It renewed my love for my job.” – Youth Worker


“We have so much to do, but this course was excellent at addressing issues we often ignore. It should be available to all community, youth, and public-facing workers.” – Local Councillor


The Evolving Landscape of Today’s Diverse Workplaces


Contemporary workplaces are more diverse than ever, featuring individuals from various regions and backgrounds. This diversity brings forth numerous opportunities but also presents a set of unique challenges. EDI is an integral component of workplace training, and ChangeMaker offers a distinctive perspective on these principles through its mentoring, coaching, and innovative creative techniques.


ChangeMaker harnesses creative methods within a coaching framework to examine participants’ perceptions, stereotypes, and misconceptions. It encourages a deeper understanding of the values, heritages, biases, and experiences of fellow contributors. Moreover, it sheds light on how many of these perspectives may be unintentional, unconscious, and often unexamined.


The course unfolds in a collaborative workshop format, fostering reflection on one’s own identity, perceptions of others, and how others may perceive them. WheelWorks Arts facilitators and artists provide coaching support to guide participants through this reflective journey. This serves as a platform for discussions on diverse viewpoints, conflict resolution, questions of identity, and perceptions of those deemed as ‘others.’


ChangeMaker caters to groups originating from different community traditions, diverse genders or sexual orientations, or individuals hailing from various religious backgrounds, geographical regions, social classes, and demographic groups. Its primary objective is to enhance mutual understanding and create space for personal transformation while demonstrating that self-pride and community identity need not conflict with appreciating the differences in others.


It underscores the fact that many of the attitudes we hold are often unconscious, and it is only through acknowledgment that we can consciously decide to effect change.


To learn more about Change Maker, listen to CM facilitators Lesley Cherry and Paul on our Creative Works Podcast. Lesley Cherry, a seasoned Good Relations Coordinator at WWA, and Paul Tracey, an experienced life coach and mentor, join Tom Thorpe for an insightful conversation. This unique initiative strives to boost workforce morale, productivity, and a sense of belonging through artistic activities. Both Lesley and Paul highlight the program’s immense value in fostering cooperation, dialogue, and personal growth.


🎙️ Listen to the episode via the WWA website ( or Spotify, Google or BullHorn:


Contact Stevie McGirr at for more information.