Although we’re proud to say ten of our most recent twenty hires have been female, it’s a small start to improving our 27% female gender imbalance.

So, on International Women’s Day Lexis from across the globe came together to reflect on practical ways to promote and better represent diversity and inclusion in our workplace– in keeping with this year’s global campaign theme, #PressforProgress.

We kicked off the day with Leadership Development Expert, Emma Hodgson speaking on building the skill of how to include, and how she’s seeing companies move diversity to the top of their agenda.

Building the skill of inclusion

Despite the surge of interest in unconscious bias at work, Emma says it’s still difficult to overcome due to its negative connotations.

“Companies are being asked to ‘manage’ or ‘minimise’ something they now realize they have (individual or institutional bias) but don’t particularly like,” she said.

“Important as it is, there’s nothing particularly motivating or appealing about that.”

For Emma, a better approach lies in focusing people and organizations on ‘positive outcomes’ rather than accusing them of misbehavior.  

“The positive outcome I think we need to focus on is building the skill of how to include.”

“This involves building the desire and the insight and the capacity of employees, managers and leaders to make decisions, do business, to think and act with the conscious intent of including rather than the unconscious effect of excluding,” she said.

A checklist for inclusion

Using her experiences with organizations like SEEK, KPMG and DP World in the Middle East, Emma defines successful interventions using the checklist below:

  • Influential sponsorship – people at the top who show actively that they are committed to Diversity and Inclusion and its benefits
  • There is an appetite for the intervention (there’s a business case or some other motivation/ diagnostic/ insight which provides evidence of the need for change)
  • The intervention is resourced for success and sustainability (time, budget, people)
  • Target populations are involved in designing the intervention (the ‘nothing about me without me’ principle)
  • Managers are engaged in solving the problem (in designing the interventions and in its implementation)
  • The interventions create alliances between different groups (reducing the power of siloed networks, encouraging contact between different groups)
  • The interventions are sector and organization-specific, inspired by but not copied from good practice in other organizations
  • There is accountability and responsibility (both for taking action and for impact)
  • There is transparency about success and failure, and learning from it

Diversity at Lexer

“We believe that diversity is an important ingredient of a high performing team,” said Lexer CEO Dave Whittle.

“Our commitment to the truly diverse and inclusive workforce that Emma spoke about is wholly aligned with our values.”

Contributors

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Simplicity is often much harder than complexity, so for the last 5 years Holly has made it her mission to translate tricky concepts into engaging content for the NFP, Research and Data sectors.

Holly is passionate about diversity and inclusion in tech, crime podcasts and knows everything there is to know about TV’s Terrace House.