Inclusivity: It’s About Taking Actions.
This week is the National Inclusion Week (NIW) — an annual campaign that promotes inclusivity organised by Inclusive Employers — an organisation that supports employers, particularly employers in the UK, to shape diverse and inclusive workplaces (Inclusive Employers, 2020). This year’s theme is ‘Each One, Reach One’. NIW is all about connecting and inspiring individuals or organisations to take actions everyday to truly embrace inclusiveness (Inclusive Employers, 2020).
To celebrate NIW, I took some time off on Friday 2 Oct 2020 and joined a webinar — ‘Diversity and Inclusion in 2020: What’s Really Changed?’ organised by Druthers Search. Many organisations started to speak out about their mission in the D&I area and established D&I functions from scratch in their organisations, soon after Black Lives Matter became international news headlines (Druthers Search, 2020).
The panel discussed the role of D&I within our society and what role does it play in our business strategies. I would like to reflect on the key takeaways I learned from the D&I leaders on the panel:
- Embed it: We need to embed inclusivity in our business strategies. Inclusivity needs to be ‘part of the business’.
- Quantify the value: We need to define what success looks like, and track the appropriate performance indicators that we genuinely understand.
- Strong leadership skills: D&I leaders are business and leadership roles. These are the typical traits the panel highlighted: Need to understand the business (aka organisational fit), ‘get comfortable with being uncomfortable’, willing to stand up and fight the battle, thick skin to be successful, be able to influence change at all levels particularly at board level, question the systems, intellectually curiosity is needed, and most importantly, take actions to drive system-level change.
- Be a change agent: D&I is all about change management, it changes the set-up of the organisation, it may also change the set-up of the senior leadership team/board.
- ‘Close the loop’: We need to hold people accountable, ensure people do what they say i.e. their diversity and global vision, and challenge them if needed.
- Learning agility: We also need to learn from the past, understand what did not work in the past, and change the approach along the way.
I agree we need to keep questioning, listening, learning, tailoring our approaches, but the most important thing is that we — each of us, no matter what role we play in society — also need to hold ourselves accountable to take action to do everything we can to drive inclusion, everyday and everywhere.
Druthers Search (2020). Diversity and Inclusion in 2020: What’s Really Changed? Available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/diversity-and-inclusion-in-2020-whats-really-changed-tickets-121397544323# (Accessed: 03 October 2020).
Inclusive Employers (2020). About Inclusive Employers. Available at: https://www.inclusiveemployers.co.uk/about/about-inclusive-employers/ (Accessed: 02 October 2020).
#Each1Reach1 #DiversityandInclusion #Sustainability #Inclusion #BlackLivesMatter