This blog is written by Data3 Founder and CEO, Helen Tanner.
Our goal is to grow to become a successful global business. That means being a diverse and inclusive business. I believe, in my core, that business success and diversity go hand in hand – you cannot be successful without being diverse and, even more critically, inclusive. There’s tons of research out there that shows that diverse businesses are more successful when it comes to…
• recruiting, retaining and developing talent
• winning and retaining clients
• creating innovative new products and services
• delivering high quality outputs
• and making money
Check out these articles from Gartner and Harvard Business Review for a start. Being a diverse and inclusive business isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s good for business.
The Black Lives Matter movement has brought the race part of the diversity equation to the front of all our minds in June 2020. Like people all over the world, I’m appalled at the way people have been treated in the videos shown on the news. It’s shocking. Appalling. Incomprehensible in 2020. And yet there’s so much that isn’t on video. So, we have made a pledge as a business, to support #blacklivesmatter and be part of the solution, not the problem. To stand, support, endorse and do whatever we can today and in years to come.
We’re talking about diversity…in all its formats
Diversity is often assumed to be about race, gender and sexuality. But it goes beyond that and covers all of the ways that we’re different – extroverts vs introverts, quick thinkers vs reflectors, designers vs deliverers, artists vs technicians, strategists vs tacticians, PhD educated vs GCSE level. Diverse teams are higher performing and more creative. And that’s what we want our business to be.
We’re remembering our values…of which ‘we are diverse’ is one
Diversity has always been one of our values – “We are diverse – we believe that a high performing team is a diverse team so we celebrate our differences”. It’s easy to say, of course. We need to prove that we celebrate differences in our people. We need action and evidence to back it up now.
We’re extending our volunteer and charity work
We’ve supported groups like Girls Talk Data, Back Her Business, 180dc and now babbasa. We give our time to offer training, mentoring, coaching, presentations…whatever the groups need in our areas of expertise. But as we grow our business, and have more time/money available, we can, and will, do more.
We’re reviewing our website content and job profiles
We’ve used tools like textio, to ensure our job profiles attract all genders. We’re going to extend and widen this analysis to review our website, and other communications too, to identify unconscious and unintentional bias which could put people off working with us.
We’re reading, watching and educating ourselves
This is a complex subject with no quick wins…it will require daily changes, constant effort and regular evaluation. So we’re educating ourselves in all mediums – books, film, events, webinars. There are lots of great tools out there which we’re working out way through.
We’ve made a pledge to our employees, customers and partners
We’ve asked to be held to account. Our employees, customers and partners need to know who they’re working with and what we stand for. Both today and in the future.
We’ve created a monthly team meeting agenda item asking ‘what we can do to ensure we increase diversity and inclusion within our business as we grow?’
The potential solutions we’ll come up with will be varied, I’m sure. And it needs to be a team effort, not only a top-down approach.
We’re recruiting a Chairperson, Board and NEDs later this year
Our Board needs to be diverse and inclusive from day one so we need to ensure our recruitment process attracts diverse and inclusive Board-level talent.
We’re recruiting more roles in the coming weeks and months
We need to ensure that our job adverts attract a diverse range of talent and that we demonstrate that we’re an inclusive business. It doesn’t start with the applicant sift, it starts with the promotion of the job to a diverse population in the first place.
We’re reviewing our suppliers, partners and customers
We’re not an island. We work closely with many different people, entities and the community. So we need to consider our end-to-end business when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
We’re going to track success
As a data business, of course we always recommend a data-driven approach. So we’ll track our performance on an employee, customer, supplier, distributor and partner level…and implement changes as we go.
I’ve written this blog for our employees, our customers, our partners and our suppliers…as well as for our future employees, prospects, potential partners and future suppliers. It’s important that they know who they’re working with and what we stand for.
WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED TO DO?
I really want to know. Tell me. Educate me. Point me in the right direction. Hold me to account.
Founder & CEO