Moving the Dial Against Bias – Championing DEI in the Workplace

London, UK — (SBWIRE) — 04/15/2022 — DEI practices not only improve productivity and engagement but create more positive workplaces that are more collaborative and creative – the investment in change is vital but still has a long way to go.

DEI – Diversity, Equity, Inclusion – practices have huge potential for organisations globally, from helping to create more creative and innovative working environments to more productive business culture. There has been plenty of progress in terms of overcoming bias and creating more DEI-driven processes and practices in recent years. But there is still work to do. Across all industries, from corporate to technology, investing in DEI requires more attention for those organisations keen to reap rewards and level playing fields.

Progression in the corporate world
Feminist, racial equality and LGBTQIA+ movements have made huge progress in changing entrenched practices and attitudes, and creating champions for DEI in the workplace. However, these movements battle constantly against broader societal constructs, economic and political systems and organisational practices that are designed to reinforce the status quo. From executive headhunters to global HR teams embedded in a range of corporates, if the goal of genuine inclusion and authentic positive change is to be achieved then there is still more work to do.

Learnings, lessons and observations for driving DEI

As executive headhunters we have a unique perspective on how to make change happen. We spoke to a group of senior executives who highlighted the importance of the following:

– Allowing for professional individuality – In order for businesses to enjoy the benefits of diversity (including better performance and higher levels of engagement), professional environments need to be somewhere that people feel they can genuinely be themselves.
– Avoiding making assumptions – This arises in particular when it comes to the unconscious bias that can come into play – for example the assumptions we make about what women returning to work after maternity leave want in terms of career development.
– Being intentional – Leaders need to create intentional space to listen and think and truly understand the motivation of individuals. This can provide effective fuel for being more adaptable and resilient, innovating better solutions in uncertain business environments.
– Inclusion isn’t just about the office – For example, after work drinks frequently play a role in company culture but are inaccessible to some.
– Inclusion isn’t just about HR – Team leaders also have a key role to play in implementing inclusion in practice, and company policies are vital for signaling behaviour change.
– Biases can be subtle and need to be actively sought out – It’s not about ticking boxes or being politically correct but proactively unearthing those subtle ways in which progress is stifled. So that everyone gets the chance to thrive, not just the few.
– Human interactions are essential – Tech-driven environments are commonplace now but the importance of human interaction lies in its ability to foster engagement and inclusive dialogue.
– Leaders need to focus on individuals’ strengths and weaknesses – Empowering people to embrace and accept both is key to diverse and inclusive environments that can capitalise on the differences that everyone has.
– Open communication and inclusive behaviour starts at the top – Leaders and managers still have a vital role to play as role models for championing DEI practices.
– Representation is key – Seeing people from the same backgrounds and who have faced similar challenges on boards and in management positions provides motivation and belief that anyone can make it to where they want to be.

From evolving self-awareness and consciously formed behaviours to a long-term commitment to change that is defined by clear policies and intentional management, there are steps that any business can take to move the dial against bias. Leathwaites are executive headhunters who believe a diverse leadership team brings many perspectives and experiences into your organisation, promotes a positive culture and reflects today’s society. We can help you to improve diversity on every level – and enjoy the benefits that brings.

For any media enquiries please contact Gary Elliott at Iconic Digital – 020 7100 0726.

For all other enquiries please contact Leathwaite: +44 207 151 5151

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About Leathwaite
Leathwaite are CFO recruiters, leaders in headhunting recruitment and human capital specialists, delivering an interconnected range of executive search, executive interim and data & insight services. Since establishing the business in 1999, Leathwaite has developed key international client partnerships across a range of industry sectors.

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