University of Edinburgh Business School
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Network Launch Event
March 21, 2016

We are proud to announce The Network is officially launched!

It has been more than a year in the making but thanks to strong engagement from Scotland’s determined sustainability professionals as well as dedication from the Sustainable Business Initiative (SBI) team, our Scottish Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Network (CRSN) is officially launched. We welcomed around 50 guests on 10th March 2016 for the launch event titled Inclusion: Progression and its Sustainability and the group enjoyed two excellent presentations. Academic perspectives were delivered by the University of Edinburgh Business School’s Professor Wendy Loretto (Deputy Dean and Professor of Organisational Behaviour) and industry perspectives were provided by Royal Bank of Scotland’s Marjorie Strachan (Group Head of Inclusion).

In her presentation, Professor Loretto discussed how we can work towards creating and sustaining an age-inclusive workforce. Given that successive governments have slowly been changing expectations of working lives and now expect people to work longer, she considered the context and the opportunities and challenges of the ageing population. She related current literature to the surveys and research that she has personally conducted in different environments and for various projects. She felt employers needed to stop adopting the ‘ostrich position’ and begin reconsidering age stereotypes, the definitions of the ‘older worker’ and avoid ‘othering’… because we all are or will be older workers.

Marjorie Strachan’s presentation complemented Professor Loretto’s insights and looked at inclusive leadership through a gender lens. She drew on her professional experience from RBS and more than 20 years’ experience working across the Financial Services industry in HR, change and organisational development roles. Marjorie feels that it is a ‘long hard slog’ to get inclusion right – plans need to be kept simple, tight and focused and organisations need to honest and accountable.

Network members were then invited to the Q&A session and they did not miss their chance to quiz the presenters. Some of the topics discussed included how to tailor recruitment adverts and how to progress as an ‘older worker’.

We also thank Aidan Hetherington who provided welcoming remarks and expressed how delighted the Business School was to be hosting The Network and their support for such an exciting and new initiative. It was great to also have an overview of the Network’s aims, objectives and motivations from Sustainable Business Initiative’s (SBI) Director, Dr Kenneth Amaeshi.

SBI are thrilled with the attendance and support for the launch event and thank all those that have been involved. The Network aims to provide a new and open platform that brings together Scotland’s sustainability professionals to meet, network, discuss best practice, consider challenges and debate issues of mutual interest. For those who could not attend the launch event but are interested in being engaged then please get in touch with us and follow us on twitter.