North of Tyne Mayor reaffirms the importance of ‘good business’ to business leaders in Newcastle

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll joined over 150 business leaders in Newcastle on Tuesday 23 May to discuss what doing ‘good business’ means for the region and how diversity and inclusion are the keys to economic growth, resilience, creativity and progress telling delegates that the people of the North East are our superpower.

The Good to Grow event, hosted by Charlie Charlton, took place at INNSiDE by Melia on Newcastle Quayside and was created to empower businesses to grow through doing good, highlighting the impact that the Good Work Pledge which on-track to have 120 businesses signed up.

The North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Good Work Pledge scheme is designed to help employers prove their credentials as good places to work, highlighting their determination to provide secure jobs with development opportunities, fair representation, and wages that provide a decent standard of living.

Speaking at the event North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll said, “Change happens when people step up, when they don’t accept that the way things are today is the way they always have to be. Right now we have 68,700 people in the North East claiming unemployment related benefits and in total there are 105,000 who are unemployed or economically inactive who want a job.

“Over quarter of those in work are insecure, zero hours or temporary work, with 12 percent of men and 17 percent of women in the region in the North East being paid less than the real living wage of £10.90 an hour.

“The strength of any society is its people and people with financial security live longer, they have healthier more productive lives, educational attainment rises and crime falls. Every employee should strive to be a good employer. Diversity in any eco-system is resilience, it brings good ideas and it brings progress.”

A panel discussion, held with Simon Hanson (NEPO), Jonny Grubin (SoPost), Sheena Widdowfield (Opencast) and Kari Owers (O Agency) discussed the concept of doing better business and the opportunities available for leaders to make positive change.

Key themes from the discussion included the need for businesses to have integrity when they look at investing in social change, the avoidance of bold statements that lack substance and the importance of looking in alternative places for new talent.

Keynote speaker, writer and film maker ‘Big’ Ian Donaghy ended the event by imploring business leaders to face up to their responsibilities, be kind and do something to ‘champion the people who say champion’.

He said, “What if you don’t do anything? This implies that everything is going to stay the same, and standards change. If you just get on with what you have always been doing, you’ll get left behind and the world that you leave behind will be worse than the one that you found. There are 150 individuals in this room that’s a lot of power to make change.”

Credit: Bdaily

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