Commercial organizations are used to winning. We’re used to seeing an ROI and an impact for our efforts – because of this, we can find D&I a hard challenge. It’s harder to ‘win’ at D&I because the real benefit will be evidenced in the long run, not by a quick fix.
D&I challenges are societal, systemic, complex and contextual. As I see it, there are two ways to respond:
1 – Jump up and down by inserting challenging targets that will shift the needle this year, but can be temporary fixes.
2 – Make more policies which are fit for purpose, giving a voice to minorities & consistently using the right language. Creating incremental shifts which will be sustainable and reliable.
I’m somewhere in the middle of one and two. I think that to effect real change you need a strong inclusion strategy that’s underpinned by a broad range of diversity initiatives.
At Experian, we are currently D&I initiative heavy – some of which are highly successful and have a big impact, like our US campaign “The Power of You”. But, I’m keen to see initiatives like these as tools to accomplish our wider strategic aims, rather than letting the initiatives drive the strategy. We’re playing the long game, whilst looking for some quick wins, and we are starting to feel the difference in our demographic make-up, employee sentiment and the external perspective on our business.