What are you thankful for this year?

For me, the festive period is a time for reflecting not only on our successes – of which I am delighted to say there are many (more of those in a moment) – but for giving thanks for everyone who made them possible. To our colleagues and supporters, to the leaders and individuals who have truly embraced the importance of diversity and inclusion, invested in our vision, stretched us and challenged us to be better tomorrow than we are today, I wholeheartedly thank you. We couldn’t have done all this without you:

In 2018 we expanded our cross-company mentoring work, reaching more than 6,500 mentors and mentees, and more than 200 organisations, within the 30% Club cross-company mentoring programme alone. With more than 2,000 people, the launch celebration at the Barbican was our biggest event to date.

We made strides in our gender-specific mentoring programmes yet went beyond gender with programmes like Mission Include, and – indeed – beyond mentoring, launching LEAD, our flagship professional development programme. Our industry-specific work is also going from strength to strength.

We also solidified our foundations of research and storytelling. In March we published our third research report into workplace wellbeing, the findings of which have inspired fresh thinking and new projects (watch this space). And we developed the Moving Ahead Speaker Academy, adding more diversity to our pool of leading thinkers and subject-matter experts.

Looking back on this year, there is much to celebrate. However, with each step forward I cannot help but become more aware of how much further there is to go. I feel – in fact I know – that we have built a huge amount of momentum within the field of gender diversity, yet there are other, equally potent, areas of diversity in which progress still needs to be made. I very much hope you will join us there next year.

But first, rest. Eager as always to put our values into action, we will be closing over the festive period to allow all our hard-working team the opportunity to spend time with loved ones. It is this that will, I am sure, lead us into 2019 with renewed focus and energy, more resolute than ever to work towards a more inclusive society, and more steadfast in our approach.

For now, let me say a final thank you. I wish you and your families a wonderful festive break and a happy New Year, and I very much look forward to working with you in 2019.

Liz Dimmock