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During our Diversity Dilemma event, every organisation had the opportunity to present their Dilemma (their specific context, actions carried out to date, and the impact of a successful solution). Participants then “quietstorm” ideas from their own perspective, knowledge, and experience, before deep-diving the solution which the organisation believes will have the greatest impact. 

Here we show the first of two examples of dilemmas and solutions from our participating organisations.

Dilemma 1: Engaging Senior Leadership

A UK based energy utility organisation has been working on I&D for a while, with a number of highly energetic Employee Resource Groups in place, and an I&D Steering Committee. They are looking to further engage their senior leadership team to accelerate their I&D journey.

Our Proposed Solutions:

1Clearly define why I&D is good for business

  • Present the facts of today, the KPIs of where your organisation is from a Diversity demographic perspective, identifying if any demographic group is missing from differing levels of the hierarchy. Who are you recruiting and promoting? Who is leaving your organisation? Identify where talent is being blocked, not considered, or simply voting with their feet and leaving…

  • Analyse your customer and stakeholder base. Where are you winning and losing share to the competition?

  • Assess whose voice and input is not being considered when designing new products and services.

  • Create a sense of urgency to act and reflecting the culture of your organisation. An example could be to carry out a competitor analysis; what is your external communication and action, vs your competition's. If you were a potential candidate/customer, would you choose your organisation or a competitor?

2Stakeholders: direct group engagement

  • Involve senior leaders in the process of defining, agreeing, and launching the organisation's I&D strategy. Ensure they have the opportunity for their opinion to be heard in a safe space. Ensure any challenges are understood and discussed.

  • Include I&D on every leadership meeting agenda as standard practice.

  • Define an I&D balanced scorecard, with clear accountability for ownership, progress, and reporting frequencies.

  • Education – everyone should have the confidence and knowledge to lead D&I conversations across your organisation with every employee. Provide ongoing training/upskilling to build confidence/knowledge.

  • Include D&I in performance objectives – consider financial incentives.

  • Ask leaders to speak publicly/externally on the topic. For example being a member of a panel. Subsequently create content on LinkedIn.

  • Carry out storytelling training, enable leaders to share why this is important to them as individuals – facts tell, stories sell.

  • Provide mechanisms for employees to formally support external organisations they are committed to. For example veterans, community schools, and charitites.

  • Embed I&D in your organisation’s ESG/CSR strategy.

3. Reality check

  • Use your networks to benchmark where your peers are doing well. Look into what the industry standards are, and consider how to implement these into your organisation.

  • Set realistic timelines for progress (where possible, based on predictive analytics) and break down what you would like to achieve into key milestones.

  • Have clear communication with stakeholders as to why I&D is a business priority and what the investment will look like in terms of time and resources. If there is push back for a financial commitment, ask how much is invested for R&D for example, consumer testing for a new product/service, this is a business challenge and needs to be resourced accordingly.