Diversity & Inclusion Moments - Simple techniques to help change stick

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

D & I moments are a simple but effective way of creating a structured space for safe conversations and questions about diversity, inclusion and flexibility.

There’s substantial research showing diversity and inclusion (D & I) progress is best achieved through a strategic, systemic change effort that incorporates a mix of targeted solutions.

More and more we are seeing D & I change efforts follow the path of safety programs that have, for years, used rigorous change methodologies and reporting to increase safety and wellbeing.

Pleasingly, across the private and public sectors in Australia and New Zealand where we work, many leading organisations have detailed strategies, governance mechanisms, targets, diversity dashboards and education programs to create diversity progress.

Key elements of these programs include:

  • Leadership and accountability – typically through a leadership council, leader KPIs, and employee working groups.
  • A strategic roadmap for 3 – 4 years and a clear business case linking the organisation’s performance objectives to diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Agreed metrics, diversity dashboard and regular reporting rhythm to key stakeholders.

When we partner with clients to help build inclusion and diversity strategies and governance frameworks, we enjoy sharing some of the techniques drawn from change management and safety approaches that positively impact workplace cultures.

For example, we’ve seen first hand how a simple technique to create safety awareness works equally well to raise diversity awareness.

You may be familiar with the ‘safety moment’ - a short opportunity for sharing a safety-related topic at the beginning of every meeting or shift. At one global resources client we work with, diversity sub-committee meetings (via teleconference, with people from around the world) always start with a safety moment, then a D & I moment.

The D & I moments often cover personal stories such as stereotypes noticed or challenged, a new, flexible work arrangement, or a reflection on language that inadvertently excluded. Sometimes the safety and diversity stories overlap, adding to the impact and learning.

It’s a simple but effective way of creating a structured space for safe conversations and questions about diversity, inclusion and flexibility.

We'd be interested to hear your experiences - successes or challenges - in setting D & I strategies, and particularly practical tips to sustain implementation momentum, so we can all continue to build inclusive work cultures.