Randi Bryant, chief diversity and inclusion officer for Freshworks (pictured), shares her perspective on how to ensure diversity and inclusion at work.
Whether a school, sports team, tech startup, government agency, or Fortune 100 — companies of all types are trying to develop and execute plans to foster diverse and inclusive environments.
Over the last two decades I’ve had the opportunity to create programs that impacted organisational culture, and were woven into the fabric of a company, while providing practical skills to improve interactions.
In this time, I’ve created two D&I workplace strategies — led by the executives of the company, and others led by employees. Here, I delve into my top tips to help your business tackle diversity and inclusion head on.
Put very simply, diversity in the workplace means that a company hires a wide range of diverse individuals. It is often misconceived as solely multicultural matters, however, it in fact applies to diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, language, educational background, and so on.
For executives, a crucial first step is to ask, “where are we over-represented?” This may not be something you think about right off the bat, but it’s important to have an open view of this in order to know the next step to take.
For example, I once had a client that sold hockey equipment, and much of its staff were former hockey players. Once we had an understanding of where there was an over-representation, we were able to hone in on our focus.
For this specific client, our definition of diversity meant the business was to include people from other sports in the hiring process to encourage a diversity of thought within the business.
Provide alignment through leadership
An effective way to drive change forward is to empower and educate the leadership team of an organisation. This ensures that those who are capable of change are willing and ready to do so with new goals and accountability.
This could come in many forms, whether it be hiring a diversity and inclusion officer, tying diversity and inclusion to performance metrics and reviews, or even implementing diverse hiring incentives.
The bottom line is that diversity and inclusion need greater priority within organisations, and leadership is an important driving force.
Start conversations from the bottom-up
It’s not just enough to look at diversity and inclusion from the perspective of the executives, but rather to get a holistic view. How can you do this? By getting everyone in the company involved, including your employees.
A climate survey is a great way to make this happen as they are generally used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a company from an organisation-wide perspective.
Provided that the survey is designed and conducted properly, the information it collects can be used to gain an internal understanding of the company that no external consultant would ever be able to contribute.
Besides its benefits for employers, conducting a climate survey also gives employees the chance to voice their opinions through an official tool.
The simple fact of allowing workers to express their opinion and know that it will be heard and taken into account by the company management is an improvement in the work environment itself.
Another way to get them involved is by introducing ongoing opportunities for employees to elevate their thoughts.
For example, at Freshworks, we’ve been doing “Weekly Global Conversations”, where employees have a safe space to share their culture with the wider team. Not only has this enabled open conversations to take place, but it has allowed everyone to learn something new.
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
We know that innovation can only flourish when employees feel safe bringing their whole selves to work and utilising Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) can be a powerful tool to do this. According to Catalyst, ERGs are “voluntary, employee-led groups that foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organisational mission, values, goals, business practices, and objectives”.
First created by former Xerox CEO Joseph Wilson in the 1960s, ERGs build high-trust relationships that help companies flourish.
They also help groups foster a sense of belonging and inspire conversation, bringing new ways to look at issues and drive innovation.
When there are gaps in experiences, leaders often turn to ERGs to ensure that everyone, regardless of role or demographic, can succeed. Today, many companies continue to experience the effectiveness of employing ERGs, including Freshworks, EY, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson and KPMG.
Tackling diversity and inclusion is by no means a tick box exercise, but rather something that needs to be constantly monitored, reviewed and widely encouraged. It’s also about recognising that being different is a strength and ultimately, it’s these differences that bring about the greatest innovation.
In a massive shift in the broadcasting landscape, Amazon Prime has secured the Australian rights to the next cricket World Cup alongside a range of other tournaments run by the International Cricket Council (ICC) until 2027. The deal means that Australian Cricket fans can only access the tournaments if they have a paid subscription to […]
With just over 24 hours to go until the world premiere of Addy Lala and the Mood Tea Thieves, limited tickets are still available for the pantomime, which will run for one night only at the Everest Theatre in Sydney’s Seymour Centre on December 5th. All in the industry are encouraged to come along to […]
2045, a Melbourne-based creative agency founded by Tim Evans and Nick Auditore has just launched. The agency takes its name from the year futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted organic and artificial intelligence would converge. Lead Image: 2045 Team Evans was formerly a Partner and Executive Strategy Director at DT (now AKQA), before co-founding B.B.E in 2015. […]
The National Breast Cancer Foundation has been announced as the Charity Partner for Sydney New Year’s Eve. The Australian not-for-profit organisation is represented by the pink ribbon and raises money to fund world-class research towards its vision of zero deaths from breast cancer. Research that saves lives through a better understanding of how to prevent […]
This holiday season, Emporium Melbourne has announced its festive creative campaign that celebrates and encourages the Melbourne community to embrace their personal ‘untraditional traditions’ – the unique traditions that make Christmas truly special for them, and their family. The campaign’s tagline, “Every tradition starts somewhere”, reflects Emporium’s commitment to embracing, inspiring and applauding diverse traditions […]
Reddit has announced updates to its new ads placement with Carousel Ads and Product Ads. These new units, placed in the heart of Reddit discussions, provide an even more dynamic and compelling way for advertisers to scale to relevant audiences, deliver deeper value to users, and drive stronger, full-funnel performance among the hundreds of thousands […]
Automotive Network Drive has announced its 2024 upfronts, its biggest in more than a decade, with a suite of more than 12 new products that underpin its vision to be the number one automotive network in Australia. Now in its 27th year and with a monthly audience of 2.45 million, Drive is leveraging its reputation […]
B&T unaware of the vitriol & acrimony between the online mattress companies. We were aware of it between News & the ABC.
oOh!media continues to rapidly expand its large format digital network, launching seven new sites at premium locations across major arterials in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The latest large format digitals include another premium site in the exclusive Sydney suburb of Mosman. Positioned at the gateway of the lower north shore on Military Road, the high-impact […]
The Seven Network revealed the results of the second round of its flagship innovation initiative – Ignite – which saw seven employee-led generative AI concepts selected for prototype development. An inspiring three-week event, Ignite brings together internal cross-functional teams of engineers, data scientists, product managers and staff from across the business to collaborate and develop […]
Australian tech consultancy Engaging.io has scored a major business win with the appointment by a leading Texas-based US National Basketball Association (NBA) team to revolutionise its marketing and communication strategies. The powerhouse NBA franchise turned to Sydney-headquartered Engaging to spearhead a major HubSpot implementation, driving greater efficiencies, personalisation and a more seamless experience for fans. […]
Dentsu Queensland has formed a strategic partnership with DeadlyScience, an organisation that provides science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) resources to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students across Australia. The partnership is in collaboration with UnLtd, which helps connect the media and marketing industries with charities helping children and young people at risk. This is […]
Victoria-based Venetian Media Group (VMG) has acquired web and digital strategy shop Digital Native. Lead image L-R: VMG CEO, Michael Fishwick; Digital Native big chief, Matt Gardan. Digital Native specialises in digital strategy, branding, UX and web design it has deep experience in renewables, emerging technology and not-for-profit. Its web design process and collaborative approach […]
One of Australia’s biggest off-street car and motorbike festivals, Rare Spares Rockynats, is returning to Rockhampton for Easter 2024 and has kicked off its promotional calendar with a high-octane media campaign. The two-phase campaign, via award-winning marketing agency Murmur-Group, will launch across large format out-of-home and retail placements and will be supported by local radio, […]