So here we are slowly easing into a ‘new normal’. But can you keep diversity and inclusion relevant now? For some if you it may still feel like you are right in the middle of a crisis. For others it might feel like we are taking our first careful steps out of the crisis. How does it feel for you? Are you still running like mad or reeling from the shock and just about coping?
I have noticed I have started to shift my gaze from inward to outward, from frantically keeping things in the air to re-adjusting. Is this where you are too?
How I am adjusting my business
Probably like all of you in the past weeks, I have made adjustments to what I am doing. With The Big Fish Academy we have now decided to take all 2020 programmes online. We learned that there are ways we can keep the virtual sessions interactive and fun!
To my initial surprise our virtual training has received very positive feed back and really didn’t feel so different from a face to face one. It turns out it’s all about having the right tools in place and preparing well. A nice bonus was that we had people join who wouldn’t normally have been able to travel to London, such as someone from Milan and a heavily pregnant lady.
Thinking of ways to help you keep Diversity and Inclusion relevant
I have also found myself reflecting on what I want to do for you; thinking of ways to help you. I have been in touch with a number of you and learned that for everyone gender diversity is still on the agenda but for some budgets are tight. Depending on how the business has been impacted there seem to be roughly three responses:
1. focus on survival;
2. focus on creating stability; returning to a new normal but certainly not starting anything new;
3. move forward to gain a competitive advantage and use this break as an opportunity.
None of these are right or wrong, as it really just depends on where you were with D&I before and of course how your organisation has been impacted. I appreciate it can be hard to know though what to do in your situation, and how to shape (gender) diversity so it fits where your organisation is.
So that is where I am keen to help. I would like to offer the opportunity for a pro bono sparring session. If you have a question about your (gender) diversity programme, or you just need someone to talk things through, someone who knows how to make (gender) inclusion happen, then I am more than happy to help.
I am offering 1 pro bono sparring session every Friday 2-3 pm GMT, from now till the end of July. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how big or small your issue is. I can be there for you. Just book your place here.
What others are doing to keep Diversity and Inclusion relevant
So what can you do to keep D&I relevant in times of crisis? To help you I have gathered some ideas of what others are doing to keep gender diversity relevant:
- Support remote working, eg by offering webinars and training on ‘How to manage remote employees’ ‘Being effective when working from home’ and ‘Resilience’
- Take forward remote working to the new normal, eg by gathering lessons learned, running a survey on where people want to work in future, or encouraging managers to have a conversation about flexibility and place of work in future.
- Check in with Employee Resource Groups to look at specific impacts of the new measures and ways of working on particular groups, then look for ways to mitigate those. Eg impacts on women and parents. I gathered a few articles for you on the topic:
- Continue Employee Resource Groups by setting up virtual sessions, and organising virtual lunch time talks
- Advocate for women, eg like this: Are female leaders more successful at managing the coronavirus crisis
- Encourage diverse teams to look for opportunities to support clients with new products or services, using their knowledge and networks of the market and all it’s diverse groups
- After suspension of UK Gender Pay Gap reporting decide on publishing it after all for transparency and signalling the importance of the issue, or postpone and showcase real results next year
- Offer virtual training programmes, eg on Inclusive Behaviours, Recruiting for Gender Diversity or De-bias the Advancement Process
- Use the opportunity to recruit diverse staff from industries that have been hit hardest eg tourism, hospitality and retail.
- Use the opportunity of more time to review strategy, work on personal development or implement a new project
Are you still reading? Are you working hard to keep diversity and inclusion relevant, or are you looking for ways to turn this ‘new normal’ into a D&I opportunity? Then why not book that pro bono sparring session? Just book your place here.