Getting internal support

Understanding your company’s culture

For larger companies, you will also need to ensure that you obtain internal support from your organization, and that your document reflects the company’s current culture.

Identify a core team (consisting of at least one representative from each department) to discuss the company’s culture. Allow people across the organisation to contribute (either anonymously or not) to the D&I strategy.
The individuals involved should, if possible, represent as wide a group as possible.

In large companies, you could have one departmental representative as a Lead Diversity Representative (LDR) for each team. The LDR should ensure that they inform their team of the discussion and listen to any concerns team members may have. This will ensure a channel of communication between you and relevant departments.

To better understand the organisation’s culture, ask the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to work at your firm? And, in your department?
  2. How would you describe the company’s culture?
  3. What is and isn’t working for you?
  4. Do you feel you can bring your whole self to work? If not, what would make you more comfortable at work?

This is a crucial step. Get a clear understanding of where your company is now and take the time to explore successes and concerns across departments. For example, a possible concern might be that your company is homogeneous: ask yourself how missing perspectives will affect the insight you gather. Discussions will highlight any further areas you will need to address and will be of invaluable use when you plan your strategy.

Additionally discussions will help you to benchmark your strategy. You want to track the progress of your strategy going forward. To do so, evaluate and measure current performance against the objectives of your D&I strategy. This will give you a starting point to ensure that you can track progress each step of the way.