PRME 2018 UK and Ireland Conference – how we can become more responsible enterprises


PRME - The Principles for Responsible Management Education - is a United Nations-supported initiative founded in 2007 as a platform to provide business management students around the world with the understanding and ability to make the world a better place to live in.

Working through Six Principles, PRME engages business and management schools to ensure they provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals, while drawing attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning academic institutions with the work of the UN Global Compact.  

On June 25th-27th 2018, PRME held its 5th Annual UK and Ireland Chapter conference at Queen Mary, University of London. With the theme being 'Leaving no one behind' - Inclusive Responsible Management Education in an Era of Precarity', scholars and academics from across the UK and Ireland gathered to engage in interesting dialogue about responsible business management education. From themes such as human rights, environmental issues to gender equality, academics and scholars delivered valuable speeches and presentations that we as social enterprises can learn from in order to become more responsible businesses.

PRME

Below is a list of important advice given by PRME during the conference that your business can follow to contribute to the greater good of society:

1) Offering paid internships to students

By bringing university students into your organisation to work for a certain period of time, not only will your business benefit from fresh ideas and additional skills and knowledge, however, you will also be contributing to the greater good of society by gifting students with valuable skills and job experience, assisting them in their search for future employment.

2) Inspiring the future generation

There currently exists a frustrated ambition drive amongst school leavers in the UK, or rather, there is a lack of school leavers who aspire to attend higher education. It is important to note that this issue is even more pronounced for school leavers who come from a lower socio-economic background. However, fortunately businesses of today have the opportunity to help alleviate this frustrated ambition drive by offering school leavers work experience. Not only will this give them a taste of the working world, however, it can also nurture their confidence and aspiration, helping them to develop both personally and professionally.

3) Fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace

Be a company that values all people and champion diversity and inclusion in your workplace. You may do this by:

  • Educating your leaders in unconscious bias reduction

Unconscious bias occurs when an individual makes a judgement about a person based on their race, gender or other factors without noticing that they’re doing so. Training your managers in unconscious bias will lead to greater awareness of this issue and enable them to detect and prevent such bias.

  • Celebrating diversity within the workplace

Celebrating the diversity of your workforce is one of the most important ways you can create an inclusive workplace. You may decide to show your employees that you respect their culture and background by highlighting and celebrating important dates and holidays from all cultures. Likewise, you may also opt to host a diversity day where all employees bring in dishes that reflect their cultures.

diverse workforce

4) Test your employees’ knowledge of environmental issues – The Sulitest

Another way of becoming a more responsible business is by simply being aware of environmental issues and by implementing policies and procedures to address them. The Sulitest, otherwise known as The Sustainability Literacy Test, is designed to measure and improve sustainability literacy. This test offers a great, fun way to test your employees’ knowledge of environmental issues that is free of charge and it can promote learning and encourage curiosity.

For more advice and tips on how your business can be socially responsible, read our article Great ways to make your business more environmentally friendly