Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is a difficult topic to broach and a challenge to implement. Why? It’s ultimately about organisational culture change. Posters and policies have their place in the change process however they’re not the answer to the question.
A simplistic way to understand why is to consider what we mean by Diversity and Inclusion. A simple illustration might help here.
Diversity is asking someone to go to a nightclub, Inclusion is ensuring that when they’re there, that they dance alongside everyone else.
Most organisational processes understand the need to ensure that everyone is invited but there’s limited success in ensuring that everyone then participates equally. The participation of others is reflected through an organisations culture.
Another limitation that’s frequently seen is that of D&I initiatives being a single-issue activity be it a focus on disability, gender, or sexuality as examples. For any D&I initiative to be truly inclusive it needs a holistic approach. Afterall, it’s not like a sweet ‘Pick-n-Mix’, we don’t get to decide who we will and will not include, that’s not what D&I is about.
The illustration below highlights the three key pillars to successful Diversity & Inclusion implementation
Succesful D&I initiatives take a three-pronged approach that considers:
Advocacy – helping to understand and value D&I
Governance – making sure that we are effective in our D&I efforts
Support – change requires support, hand holding and training
I'd love to come and talk to you about the approach, experiences, and key learnings behind succesful D&I initiatives and help you to change your organisational culture so that both the individual and the organisation realise the real benefits of working in a truly inclusive environment.