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To embed diversity and inclusion into your organisation's DNA the questions to ask are:
💫 Who isn't being serving?
💫 Who is involved in decisions that affect people?
💫 Are underrepresented and overrepresented groups getting the same good experience?
💫 What data can be used to track progress?
💫 What keeps decision makers accountable?
Making inclusion conscious is the foundation to staying relevant in a world that is constantly changing.
⏪ The industrial revolution separated work and families
⏪ It was illegal to be gay just over 50 years ago
⏪ People with disabilities used to be separated from families and workplaces
⏪ 40 years ago England and Wales was 94% White
⏪ The global population has increased 7-fold in 200 years and our demographics are ever changing
So…workplace, marketing, products, services and everything in between weren't designed with everyone in mind…and it's a big job to modernise for organisations that have been around for a while or adopted an out of shape approach.
Inclusion can happen in any team, at any level without permission.
Everyone can make the experience more inclusive for colleagues and customers or consumers.
A compelling culture is top down, bottom up, diagonal and everything in between.
Check out the VT to hear more
The way organisations hire, promote, gather research, advertise, measure success, and everything in between was likely set up by people with similar personal characteristics and economic background.
Over 90% of our thoughts are automatic and based on personal experience. Great for leading busy lives…less great for creating a world that works fairly for everyone.
Here's how to disrupt bias
Equality is treating everyone the same. The picture on the left shows three people have been given identical stools to see over the fence. It's only working for the tallest person.
Equity is providing solutions that create the same experience. The picture on the right shows stools of different heights, so everyone gets the support they need for their height.
Inclusion is taking down the fence.
Make sure you know the difference
❌ Positive discrimination is hiring someone purely because of a characteristic and not for skill and experience. It’s illegal, no one wants to be that hire and your business would fail.
✅ Positive action is taking steps to attract underrepresented groups.
Here are some examples
"They must be a good culture fit" - this approach could be limiting your success in addressing underrepresentation and building high performing teams.
When we break it down, it means wanting someone so similar to the rest of the team, you don’t even notice they joined. Bit like getting the cookie cutter out.
The signal being sent to applicants, is they'll need to assimilate to the way things are already done, rather than bring fresh perspective and add strength to the existing team.
At best, people will focus on fitting in, and meet expectations. At worst, people will go elsewhere, and exceed expectations.
Most barriers are deliberately exclusive and designed to filter people out. For example:
🚧 Must have x qualification
🚧 Must have industry experience
🚧 Must hit the ground running
It's believed the best talent, comes from people who have a similar career path to successful people already in the organisation. The reality, is people develop skill and experience in multiple ways.
When happens when you remove barriers?
✅ you stop fishing in the same pool
✅ you add new skills and experience
✅ you increase innovation and creativity
✅ you create a more inclusive culture
✅ you address underrepresentation
Use “addressing underrepresentation” instead of "increasing diversity" to place focus on the group/s responsible for change.
For maximum impact, adopt the language in all the places you talk about colleagues and customers.
The language works everywhere, for example:
There are almost 2 million people living with sight loss in the UK.
Many use screen readers to read back what’s on the screen and capitalising the first letter in each word, supports the tech to read back your hashtags as intended.
Here's some advice for planning your events
Humans have tonnes in common and it's how we build brilliant relationships. Celebrating diversity helps us understand more about the world, increases our empathy and leads to better serving customers and consumers.
Check out this brilliant calendar from Dual Frequency to help you plan.
Build your confidence in engagement, diversity and inclusion and find out what other organisations are doing.
The Crown Jewels and Whoopsie-daisy newsletter delivers great examples (the Crown Jewels), and what we can learn when it goes wrong (the Whoopsie-daisy...it happens).