DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION & BELONGING
Harness the untapped power and potential of diverse thinking, perspectives and experience
The business case for gender, ethnic and cultural diversity is now stronger than ever. Diverse organisations are proving to be more innovative, more adaptive to change and regularly exceed their financial targets. Today, we recognise we need the rich diversity of lived experiences, mental models, perspectives and skills to challenge the status quo and thrive.
Global events have accelerated much needed systemic change, ignited in recent years by the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movements. We're also experiencing a heightened awareness of neurodiversity, we're striving for equal pay and making inroads into achieving diversity on our boards, at c-suite and executive levels.
However, progress is slow. Over the course of the pandemic, the number of women in the workplace around the world plummeted to pre-2017 levels, and haven't recovered.
We're also becoming aware that our greatest barriers to change and growth lie in our unexamined cultural norms, unconscious biases and our willingness to embrace one another as an equal part of the whole.
What can we do to change?
How should we approach diversity?
What does and doesn't work?
When we attempt to approach change by decree, we set ourselves up for resistance. Decades of social science research points to a simple truth: blaming, shaming or 'reeducating and rehabilitating' biased people does not produce a positive result.
We also know that the positive effects of diversity and inclusion training rarely last beyond a few days and almost 1,000 studies since WW2 suggest that it can activate bias or even spark a backlash.
So, what does work? Engaging leaders in addressing the issues, finding solutions and measuring progress work. Increasing leaders on-the-job contact with diverse co-workers and 'social accountability' (leaders being seen as a champion of diversity and inclusion) all work.
Interventions such as targeted recruitment, mentoring and sponsorship programmes, self-managed teams, forums, task forces and think tanks have also all been shown to boost diversity and inclusion in businesses.
Some of the most effective solutions aren’t specifically focused on diversity.
Whilst many organisations are being transparent and formally reporting on and championing diversity and inclusion, the best results in shifting an organisations' collective thinking and culture are often produced in engagements designed to solve the most pressing business issues of our times.
Engagements covering topics such as Conscious Leadership & Business, Team Cohesion, Resilience, Psychological Safety & Trust, Agile Thinking & Innovation are all built on the foundations of harnessing the power of the collective intelligence, experience and skills found in diverse teams and groups. The results are measurably positive.
Let's work together
Over the years, we've designed and delivered all manner of engagements, keynotes and workshops on this topic. Today, we have a great deal more awareness and data to support our understanding of the powerful, positive benefits of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging on our people, our bottom line and our brands.
Let's talk about your organisation and what you want to achieve. Find a time in my diary that suits you or send me a mail and I'll be in touch.
Interested in learning more?
A small selection of reports and articles, which are worth exploring... There is a great deal of data available to anyone who is interested and trust you'll use this as a starting point into your own research on the topic.
30% Club Research & Articles - this is a great place to find a wealth of reports from a range of organisations around the world
Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, McKinsey & Company, May 2020
2021 Pulse Report: Organizational Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Harvard Business Publishing
Asset owners’ increasingly global diversity lens, Top1000funds.com, June 2021
- Why Diversity Programs Fail and what works better by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev. Harvard Business Review, August 2016
- Diversity & Inclusion, McKinsey & Company, 2021