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Inclusive Communication Builds Inclusive Cultures

"The first challenge in communication is the discrepancy between what we intend to say and how it is perceived. The degrees of that vary greatly. We are so focused on what we are trying to say that we often neglect to consider the receiver’s experience. This becomes especially evident when trying to convey complex information over email."

- Sasha Graham

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D&I Due Diligence - A Value Creator for Private Equity?

"PE funds have been locked in a battle for talent for years, seeing huge value in having the brightest and best in their investment teams in order to increase the quality of due diligence and, therefore, the likelihood of making successful investments. Without downplaying the significance that decisions made during the life of an investment have, many deals are hamstrung before the ink is dry on an acquisition agreement due to missing key details during the due diligence phase."

- Simon Norris

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Chapter 10 | Humanise Work. Social Sustainability

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget  what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

- Maya Angelou

There is a deeply human element to our work. Without people, there would be no need for organisations. Embedding inclusion, diversity and equity into teams will increase the personal and relational dimension of business. It will also bring with it all the complexity of our humanity.

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Chapter 9 | Positive Policies. Inclusive Foundations

“The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundations be laid.”

- Thomas à Kempis

Positive policies are the firm foundations of an inclusive business. Policies serve a vital purpose in supporting and protecting an organisation and its people. They create boundaries for acceptable behaviour within the workplace, and serve as a guideline for best practice in particular work situations.

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Chapter 8 | Reviews, Retention and Promotion. Reach for parity.

“I always say that talent and capability is everywhere, all it needs is  opportunity.” 

- Kathrine Switzer

Once you have built a diverse team, the last thing you want is to lose them. Unfortunately, this happens at many companies. The “leaky pipeline” is a challenge across all industries. Multiple research studies have shown starkly higher attrition rates among underrepresented groups, especially as you progress up the hierarchy.

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Chapter 7 | Incentives and Accountability. Celebrate Success.

“Track your small wins to motivate big accomplishments.”

- Teresa Amabile

When you want your inclusion and diversity strategy to become a reality you need the right incentives in place. Focus on the carrots that will motivate everyone in the organisation to drive inclusive actions. Reserve the sticks for worst case scenarios. All too often there is a blaming and shaming culture around inclusion and  diversity, which can hamper progress.

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Chapter 6 | Purposeful Action and Positive Returns Enhance Business Values

"Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

- Verna Myers

The spirit of inclusion is about action. The welcome words and the data gathering agenda are essential first steps. The expert choreography is in the strategy you create, the roadmap you put in place and the engagement across the whole business. This chapter will explore the most robust inclusion and diversity initiatives based on the latest academic research. Successful delivery of an inclusion and diversity strategy across your whole business will yield positive returns.

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Chapter 5 | Inclusive Hiring: Debiased Systems

"Erasing all the individual 'rot' in the world would not lead to equality until our systems were also debiased.”

- Dolly Chugh

The traditional recruitment process is riddled with bias. This in turn minimises effective decision making. To ensure we are hiring inclusively and smartly, there are several scientifically-grounded techniques and tools to understand and utilise. Debiasing systems takes courage and effort.

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Chapter 4 | Data matters; Benefits for compliant companies

“What gets measured, gets managed.”

- Peter Drucker

If words are the welcome, then data sets the agenda. As with any area of business management, what is measured, is managed. You never set out to grow a division of your business without sourcing key business data to inform your planning. The same is true with inclusion and diversity. If you understand that this is a critical driver of strategic growth, then you will approach it with the same rigour and thoughtfulness.

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Chapter 3 | Communication is key; Welcome words

Our words have the power to transform. They have the power to heal. They have the power to welcome. Thoughtfully chosen and carefully communicated, they can signal to every stakeholder what really matters. An absence of mindful communication is a dangerous void in organisations. The fear of making a mistake or of being criticised often prevents leaders from speaking up on the topic of inclusion and diversity.

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Chapter 2 | Lead and Learn; Inclusive Leadership

“Reach in for the stars; go within yourself and search for the hidden, latent, buried and unknown talents that you can bring out and use to lighten, brighten the darkness or minimise the setbacks of people around you.”

- Dr Christiana Ayoka Mary Thorpe

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Chapter 1 | The time has come; Why inclusion matters

The time has arrived for inclusion. The year 2020 has accelerated our collective awareness of what happens when we exclude whole sections of our society. It has been impossible to ignore the cost of exclusion because of several major issues that emerged, including: the death of George Floyd in May; Black Lives Matter; and the deep inequalities highlighted by Covid-19. Nor were these events limited solely to civil society. They immediately impacted the private sector with rapid accountability demanded of corporate institutions and leaders...

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