By promoting the importance of inclusion in the workplace and the business benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce, National Inclusion week (25th September – 1st October) sets about bringing the topic of diversity and inclusion to the top of everyone’s minds.
But in an increasingly globalised, hyper-connected and multi-cultural society, organisations should be thinking about how to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion (D&I) all the time.
After all, strengthening D&I will, in turn, support business transformation and make organisations – both large and small – more competitive in a digital and diverse world.
As an international company, we have people from many different walks of life working for us, each bringing their own skills, experiences, knowledge and energy to work.
Because, at the end of the day, we don’t believe you can adequately think about what people worldwide actually need if you don’t have a diverse team providing insight from all perspectives.
That’s why we want to create an environment where diversity and inclusion becomes self-evident in all levels across the organisation, in all business activity, and in the way we collaborate with each other, customers and partners.
But we understand that this does not come without its challenges.
Making the D&I vision a reality
Organisations need to be really clear on why D&I is important for them and what they are trying to achieve.
It’s all about maintaining a careful balance between what you are saying and what you are doing both inside your organisation and externally.
But if you get this wrong, you can risk losing trust and credibility which will set you back.
So how can organisations manage this?
There are a number of steps that businesses can take to get started. One example of how we’ve done this is through our inclusion networks which are designed to enhance the capacity of our employees to achieve their full potential and deliver what matters most to our customers – Shine, LGBT+ employee network, the Cultural Diversity network, the Gender network and SEED (Support and Engage Employees with a Disability).
Another example is our Responsible Business Board, which reviews our progress towards our targets on a quarterly basis and so ensures that our business stays on track for our D&I goals.
Further to this, because we want to create a collaborative environment that is open to different ideas, perspectives and styles of thinking we also recently welcomed our gender pay gap report as a useful tool to progress our diversity ambitions.
A core contributor to Fujitsu’s ongoing success, this is exactly why we are one of the first large organisations to publish our report and action plan.
It’s not too late to get started
Before implementing D&I programmes, organisations should take a step back and look at the evidence to really understand their position and what would make the most difference.
For instance, start off by talking to your employees and looking at any data you have about diversity so you can pinpoint where your priorities lie.
It may take some resources to truly progress, but to become diverse and inclusive organisations will need to bring these considerations into every part of the business.
It is after all a return on investment that will be obvious from the impact it has on the business.
Why a diverse workforce should be a priority
Not only does it improve sales performance by enhancing agility, innovation, productivity, decision-making and customer relationships, diversity and inclusive programmes, it helps businesses to live up to their commitment of fostering a responsible business.
It is only by engaging a diverse array of people in tech that we can hope to protect the future competitiveness of the UK economy.
And when we get D&I right, everyone – from individuals and teams to the broader business – benefits.
In a progressively diverse and digital world, D&I focused programmes are a no longer a nice to have, but a must have.
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