The Future of Inclusion and Diversity

At HSM we have been exploring how to ensure your I&D strategy is future-proofed and fit for purpose in today’s hybrid world of work, through our I&D Framework. Both this month’s two-day Future of Work by HSM Masterclass and our latest webinar on 15th March focused on this topic, and particularly on what more organisations can do to accelerate change and create a sustainable and impactful approach to I&D.

I&D leaders including Wayne Page, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Brit Insurance, Nhlamu Dlomu, Global Head of People at KPMG, Kristine Remedios, Global Head of I&D at KPMG, and Emma Birchall, Global Head of I&D at Ericsson, joined us to share their views and experiences. Here are five key insights from the discussion.

Diversity and inclusion are separate – It’s important to remember that while diversity and inclusion may be related, they have different goals and require different approaches for success.

Leaders must sponsor those driving I&D – In most organisations, underrepresented groups are often the ones expected to lead and support I&D – but they often don’t have the power to drive large-scale change.Senior sponsorship is key to driving real change and energising the “frozen middle” managers.

Leaders need diverse networks – Leaders need support to improve their understanding of I&D. Colleagues taking the lead in I&D can support this by inviting leaders to learn more and help expand their networks.

Narrative is key – If you’re going to embed I&D in your organisation’s DNA, you need to be clear about where it fits in your overall story: from how I&D will help your CEO reach their goals to how you talk about it, how it influences your perspective on your industry and how it benefits each employee. You need a strong story that everyone can understand and contribute to.

Psychological safety is vital – We will all make mistakes along the way when it comes to I&D, which is why creating a nurturing, psychologically safe environment where people feel they are allowed to be vulnerable is key. Leaders can help by encouraging safe spaces for conversations around I&D.

The most important thing is never to think of I&D as “done”. It is an organic part of your organisation’s narrative, one which must change and grow as you do in order to embrace emerging or underrepresented identities and new situations.

Interested in taking your I&D strategy to the next level? Contact Ciara to find out more about how we can support your I&D goals.