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Diversity & Inclusion in Business: Delivering Sustainable Change


Organisations are finally starting to recognise the value of having a diverse & inclusive workforce, transformation programmes of this nature are becoming increasingly prominent in the marketplace, but is the Change sticking? Arguably not…


In our earlier articles we discussed bias in hiring processes and diversity of thought, so we may have convinced you why you should transform your business to make it more diverse & inclusive and now we’re about to explain how to do it successfully.


Avoid the “Tick Box” Approach and Hire a D&I Champion!

Many organisations are transforming their Diversity & Inclusion practices for the sole purpose of ticking boxes and maintaining a good reputation, some even do it just so they can use it as a marketing tool. These businesses are often not the ones that are considered to be the pioneers, this is because they view change as a quick fix and not as an initiative to fundamentally change the values & culture within the organisation.


If the motivations for change at the top are around revenue generation and/or reputation maintenance, there is obviously a lack of care for the core issue which will filter down throughout the organisation. Of course, one can’t simply change their motivations & beliefs without some sort of epiphany, if this is the case, the approach to building a more diverse & inclusive culture should be from the ground up rather than from the top down.


If you want to deliver meaningful, permanent change then hiring a D&I Leader to champion the cause throughout your business is the best way forward. Organisations that have delivered Diversity & Inclusion transformation successfully have done this by finding someone already within the organisation that cares deeply about D&I, and given them autonomy & power to make decisions on behalf of the organisation. The D&I Champion should be held accountable for deliverables that evidence the adoption of a new culture.


Communicate

It’s very common for businesses to be doing lots of work on Diversity & Inclusion but for nobody to know about it. Business leaders right up to board level should be sending out communications advocating Diversity & Inclusion initiatives wherever possible, and encouraging employees to attend external events such as Pride and Women in Tech events etc. Business leaders can even provide free time off for these events where appropriate as this positions organisational culture, values & employee care above revenue generation which is exactly the way it should be! Get this right, and revenue will follow.


Deliver Sustainable Change

By now you’re probably wondering what this all has to do with sustainable Change. Well, using the “Tick box” approach when it comes to Diversity & Inclusion will elicit change that simply fizzles out over time due to lack of engagement, communications & care – organisations that have fallen victim to this tend to end up with D&I events/groups that never get budget, D&I leaders with no influence at the top level and a workforce that doesn’t believe in its leaders.


Doing it right means relinquishing control to someone who really cares, and over time, setting up a network of more of these people that will advocate diversity & inclusion in their respective teams, departments & locations.


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