World Culture Day: celebrating diversity in the workplace

| minute read

As an Australian living in the UK, I often think about culture, even though for me, navigating UK society isn’t difficult. I mostly get on fine with the language, the customs, and the food, although pickled eggs, pantomime and “Are you all right?” as a form of greeting remains deeply confusing to me. In turn, most British people are genuinely interested when they find out I’m Australian, if slightly disappointed in my lack of Aussie accent.

It’s fair to say that I feel I fit well into one type of UK culture, but it’s not the whole sum of UK society. It’s also not the whole sum of our workforce and this is why we celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, also known as World Culture Day. World Culture Day was earlier this week on the 21st of May, so we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate it this week, within our organisation, with an array of exhibits, interactive activities, and discussions, plus some food and music.

As a Diversity and Inclusion leader, I want to attract more people from diverse cultural backgrounds to work here. There’s a lot of data (or ‘darda’, as I would say in my accent!) which demonstrates that having a diverse workforce makes organisations better – more interesting, more innovative, and more resilient. We also aspire, as a business, to properly represent the communities we work in and serve, understanding their ambitions and priorities. 

As part of our commitment to an inclusive culture, our organisation supports a number of wonderful inclusion networks. They provide our people from across the business with an opportunity to connect and share their cultures, perspectives, and experiences. A worldwide cultural and religious festival that has taken place recently is Ramadan. Many of our people observe this Islamic holy month, and we asked Maqboul Khandia, Sopra Steria’s Chief Storyteller to share his recent experience during Ramadan. 

During this year’s Ramadan I had a positive experience at work, thanks to the flexibility and understanding given to me during the month. Fasting during Ramadan goes beyond abstaining from food and drink; it's about self-reflection, acts of charity, and strengthening the bond with our community. My workplace recognises and respects these aspects, allowing me to work flexibly to accommodate additional Ramadan activities. It was a time of detoxifying both body and mind, reducing distractions, and focusing on family and the wider community. My supportive work environment enables me to fully embrace the holiest month in the Islamic year.

Maq’s experience is encouraging because it shows that embracing different cultures isn’t just about a single day where we have fun learning about different foods, religions, languages, or music. Making everyone feel respected, understood, and able to embrace what’s important to them, and creating an environment where our people don’t feel they have to sideline or downplay their cultures in order to succeed, is what makes a workplace truly inclusive. It’s important for everyone to come to work and feel “seen”. That is what really matters.

To learn more about diversity in the workplace you can email me:



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