Five learnings from my first year as Head of Inclusion and Diversity

30.09.20

by Katie De Paoli

During National Inclusion Week (28 September–4 October), our Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Katie De Paoli, reflects on her first year in her role. Read on as she shares her key takeaways and her plans for the future

30.09.20

by Katie De Paoli

During National Inclusion Week (28 September–4 October), our Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Katie De Paoli, reflects on her first year in her role. Read on as she shares her key takeaways and her plans for the future

A year on and I’m more determined than ever to drive change and work with our community to make sure we all feel that we belong. Ensuring we’re valued, respected, heard, and happy to contribute together is vital to the success and the future of our global organization.

So, with that in mind, what have I learned during my first year in my role?

  1. If you open up to people within the company and give them a safe space to speak, act, and share, you’ll find people who are passionate, available, and willing to do whatever it takes to make our community a better place.
  2. Often, it’s the small things that matter and it takes just a small amount of time (like sharing a personal profile on your official website and social pages, for example), to make someone feel so happy and proud. These small but important acts can give a whole new meaning and purpose to their professional journey. By asking a true and heartfelt “how are you today?” you can learn a lot about your colleagues, and you can build a strong relationship that will help you not only in your professional, but also in your personal life.
  3. During a challenging time, companies can unlock the power of inclusion and diversity as an enabler of business performance and organizational health. As highlighted in McKinsey Quarterly, pulling back can place organizations at a disadvantage – not only because they could face a backlash from employees, customers, partners and talent, but also, down the line, they could fail to better position themselves for growth. When companies invest in inclusion and diversity, they are creating and promoting more adaptive and effective teams. New and fresh perspectives and the ability to spot and seize game-changers are so important and they are likely to be stronger in organizations that can draw on the full spectrum of diverse talent available to them.
  4. In this space, there isn’t room for competition. We need all the voices, ideas, visions, experiences, journeys, and backgrounds at the table to really make an impact and push for change.
  5. There is a long way to go before many people understand the true meaning of inclusion, diversity, equity, and equality, but this shouldn’t prevent anyone from taking action. Every small step we take is an achievement and every achievement will make someone’s life better.

So, what’s next? I’ll be sharing more information throughout the year, but my main focuses for 2021 are:

  1. Creating and consolidating the spaces in which each and every one of us can safely contribute to building an inclusive environment.
  2. Giving a voice and greater visibility to the incredible talented diverse pool of talent that we already have, positively influencing the business and attracting even more diverse talent.
  3. Partnering with organizations that, like us, are committed to build a better future for everybody.

We always love to hear from you. Join the conversation on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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