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Key Takeaways: Why Diversity and Inclusion Matters August 19, 2019

Key Takeaways: Speaker Deep-dives and Discussion Groups

Why Diversity and Inclusion Matters| 14th August 2019 | Barclays Rise


Speaker Deep-Dive Led by Rebecca Ormond, Inclusive Workplace Leader, PwC

Feedback presented by Ucheora Obi, Senior Customer Strategy Manager,  HSBC

We heard a lot of good examples from Rebecca about the initiatives she’s involved with. The key takeaway from our group was that at organisations it has to be a cultural change, there has to be a real desire to want to change and improve things rather than it being a tick box exercise.

"There has to be a real desire to want to change rather than it being a tick box exercise."

We talked about having role models and people who are really showing that they have come through a journey. For example, PwC sponsored a Pride float this year to show their younger LGBTQ+ members that they can be part of the conversation as well. 

Another good example was from BDO who run a podcast called ‘Shine A Light’ which is for people who may feel that they can't come to an event, or they feel awkward about it or maybe geographically dispersed so they can all join in the conversation too. 

We also talked about the importance of sponsorship for example with reverse mentoring to try to get sponsors reaching out to people who they may not normally be in touch with so they can bring them along on the journey. 

And a big thing we talked about was recruitment and data. At PwC they take an approach where they look at the whole base of who they have today and if they didn’t do anything what would happen. And then looking at how you can set realistic stretch targets so that things change over time. 


Speaker Deep-Dive Led by Tariq Maonah, Digital Product Leader, Legal and General

Feedback presented by Tim Thornton, Forensic Accountant, BDO

We discussed how you need to focus on the employment proposition in a holistic way. We talked about the lines of communication between network groups as you can have groups working in silos and doing brilliant things - but separately.

We talked about recruiting for behaviours rather than skills; looking at how people handle situations and how it could increase diversity to not just recruit for a job but recruit the right person and then develop their skills in the role.

We also concluded that a lot of organisations are a lot more dynamic and a lot more empowering than we give them credit for, you just have to jump in there and show what you've done. 

"A lot of organisations are more empowering than we give them credit for, you just have to jump in there and show what you’ve done." 

Speaker Deep-Dive Led by Kate Bohn, Innovation and Strategy - Incubator and Accelerator Lead, Lloyds Banking Group

Feedback presented by Vishnupriya Paramathayalan, Quality Engineering Lead, Lloyds Banking Group

We discussed getting more clarity on diversity and inclusion and Kate shared some wonderful examples of her experience and the initiatives at Lloyds Banking Group.

The most important thing that is still in my head is that essentially everyone is different; backgrounds, ethnicities, everything, so most of the time we don't talk to people or ask the right questions and there can be an awkward silence because you don't know what to ask, or you might not be comfortable with the answer so we talked about how we can change this.


What are the success stories and failures of D&I initiatives in your organisation?

Feedback presented bSian Rowe, People & Production Lead, Lloyds Banking Group

We had a really interesting debate actually on whether we need to focus on diversity at all. This was interesting and quite controversial and was focused on the question of whether diversity is something that is actually coming down the line anyway as we take on a younger, more connected workforce. Or is it something that we still need to champion and support and accelerate. 

"Is diversity something that is coming down the line anyway as we take on a younger more connected workforce?" 

We also talked about diversity of thought as being possibly true diversity, and someone in our group shared an example from a previous employer, who instead of looking at CVs, looked at her team’s Myers Briggs profiles to identify the gaps, and then used that to hire people that would fill the skillset gaps to achieve diversity, rather than saying you need to be this ethnicity or gender or whatever it might be. 

"Is diversity of thought true diversity?" 

We also spoke about how you bring about a diverse organisation without excluding people who’ve previously been the majority groups. So, for example, how can you convert those people into allies rather than making them feel like there are no longer opportunities for them to progress because you're busy with XYZ other groups? So some really interesting debate.

"How can you bring about a diverse organisation without excluding people who’ve previously been the majority groups?" 

Thank you to our speakers and group leaders for facilitating the conversations and to Barclays Rise for providing such a great venue. Join our next session, How to Transform Your Customer Experience in September to learn how to create a frictionless customer experience across digital touch points 

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