Joined in: 2019
Job title: Talent Manager
Marianne joined as a Talent Manager looking after our technical recruitment and talent activities. As well as this, she also spearheads our diversity and inclusion workstream and here she shares some tips for organisations to get started on their own journey.
The fundamental principle that we believe in is that all of our employees have potential to achieve great things in their career. We don’t judge by a cover. This is why we removed CVs in our hiring process to reduce unconscious bias. It is why we developed a framework for pay. It is the reason why we have a mobility target of 65% as part of our standard operations. These are steps in the right direction, but we realized that there were more that we can do to level up the playing field.
Over the past 6 months, I have learned so much about diversity, inclusion and belonging. Since being part of the D&I working group, I have been exploring all the information out there from blogs and books to podcasts and films to understand more about the lived experiences of people in marginalized groups. I was also interested in organisations and people who are out there doing great work in this space as a source of inspiration and mental challenge. All of this has taken me on an incredible learning journey and still learning more each day. If you’re a leader looking for a purpose - creating an inclusive culture is it.
In this post, I aim to share the steps that we took to further build on some of our values, One Advanced and Do the right thing, to further inspire the sense of belonging and inclusivity across our organization. This framed our conversation throughout which allowed us to connect everything we do back to this. For anyone that may feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of driving change in this space or not knowing where to start, I have summarized the approach that we have taken to further facilitate inclusivity.
Evaluating and Reflecting
The research out there tells us that a more diverse workforce produces better business outcomes and even more so from inclusive organisations; yet today’s organisations struggle to achieve a diverse and inclusive culture. Before jumping into actions, we used the events of the Black Lives Matter movement to reflect on where we are as an organisation and what actions we have taken to address equity and a sense of belonging. If you’re in a similar boat, recognizing that what you have is not quite there yet is okay.
I realized that the work that we’re doing is no longer just about process, scorecards or frameworks. These are relevant and the right thing to do. But there’s more that can be done which is daunting and exciting all at the same time! The challenge is on the things that you can’t measure. The things that you can’t always see or be made visible that drives culture.
To this point, we needed to find out who the people that work in our company are and what we really know about them. We needed to hear the stories and voices of our employees across different communities. For people to be heard and seen and for others to be connected and educated.
Finding the answers to our questions
Wherever you are as an organization on your D&I journey, committing to doing something is the first step. However small or big your action is it needs to be meaningful and authentic to your organization.
For us, it was the right time to start collecting data on the diversity characteristics of our people. This will allow us to answer some of our key questions; how diverse are we as an organization? Do we represent the population that we live in? Is there a pay gap issue?
Asking for diversity data may feel uncomfortable so being transparent and positioning your why will be key to help increase your uptake and build trust that you’re using data for the right reasons.
Bringing people on a journey
Whilst it’s important to ensure that there is buy-in from the top to role model the expected behaviors, long-lasting change comes when everyone is free to participate, initiate and lead conversations. To create change, inclusion has to be everyone’s business.
A great way to get messages out is to have a communications strategy that reaches everyone. We kept it simple and shared our message on an all staff town halls and follow up emails at the right touch points. Each step we took to communicate or called out for action was to open up the dialogue.
Through opening up the communications channel we were able to achieve four things:
- Providing clarity on why we needed data to continue our work on inclusion activities
- Engage with our employees and encouraged those to step forward as D&I Leaders to champion the inclusion agenda
- Share stories from our employees from different communities
- Build inclusion networks to connect, engage, discuss and drive action
Lean in and commit to action
Lastly, keep the momentum up and don’t leave things too long before getting started. Committing to action is a key step to holding accountability and trust across the organization. We have committed to using the data to provide us further insight to our key questions mentioned earlier and to use these to drive meaningful actions.
There are tons of resources out there to help you get started, but ultimately it starts with self-reflection in your own organization wherever you are in your D&I journey. I have so far learned so much and it is only the beginning!