I think it’s all about being authentic: being authentic in ourselves as D&I practioneers, and creating an environment where others can be their authentic selves.
My end-goal is that everyone can share as much, or as little, of their true selves, at work, as they would like to. It’s not about being prescriptive about what that should look like; it’s about being open to the idea that this will mean different things, to different people.
To keep perspective, I think it’s important to remember that no one piece of the puzzle is more important than another – no person is just one thing, we have to stop putting labels on others. Some D&I agenda items have a bigger platform than others, but it’s a moveable space and we must continue to be agile and open to supporting everyone.
For me, it’s about normalising processes. It’s not about making large agenda items, or stringent procedures – it’s about making inclusion an embedded element of everyone’s role. It’s about normalising policies, being consistent and fair.
You also have to embed D&I into your organizations culture; without addressing the culture you will not be able to achieve your goals. Here at EY we’re very fortunate to have D&I at the core of our culture. D&I is championed at every level of our organization and our strategy is embedded throughout the organization’s culture and practices.
When we talk about culture, it’s important to note that we’re not always talking about creating a whole new culture – what’s more impactful is assessing where small changes can be made, changes that allow all cultures to thrive.
It’s about making sure that the environment is agile and doesn’t require its diverse workforce to assimilate into one homogeneous space.