Pulse Checks compile key data and learnings for brands we work with, often contributed by agencies, within our network. This week, we’re sharing findings from Forty 1 (A division of The Creative Engagement Group) around their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report.

 

The Research

Like so many people in the marketing community, Forty1 wanted to know what authentic DEI activity looks like. So, they invited their community of internal communications and marketing professionals to join an online conversation where they could hear a multitude of voices and amplify them for the benefit of all. Seventy participants from around the world, across different sectors and roles, and all at various stages of their DEI journey, engaged in the one-hour ThinkTank. The session allowed these professionals to discuss the impact of DEI on business performance, employee experience, reputation and external relationships.

 

Existing experiences of DEI at work

The majority of participants felt 1 of 3 ways about the way their business is handling DEI initiatives:

  1. Critical – DEI is now perceived as an imperative for good business – and no longer a short-term, box-ticking exercise.
  2. Committed – Businesses are ready to be more active in their application of DEI. Companies and employees know that this will be a marathon, not a sprint.
  3. Confused – There remains confusion and concern on how best to implement DEI and harness the desire for lasting change.

 

4 key themes for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at work

These are the four key themes that businesses can live by to better embed DEI in the workplace, bringing real, lasting change:

  1. Protect the right to belong – An inclusive culture, in which everyone has the right to belong, has become a competitive imperative.
  2. Represent the world as it should be – By weaving DEI practices into corporate culture, business has the opportunity to represent the world as it perhaps should be – its best self, working toward a noble purpose.
  3. Create a culture of openness – Simply seeking diversity without laying the groundwork for a culture of openness can prevent organisations from moving forward.
  4. Make the employee experience DEI conscious end to end – Once viewed as an add-on or a nominal soft skill, DEI is integral to a healthy corporate culture and it is at the core of an excellent employee experience.

 

Personal Accountability and moving forward

“For DEI to be at the heart of any business, they must accept the need for a company-wide learning journey – individually, interpersonally, institutionally.

Changing mindsets and long-embedded behaviours is difficult. It can be challenging to confront ingrained thinking or admit anxiety about change. It’s even harder to express or act in a way that’s at odds with the work culture.
Participants in the session put this forward as the principal barrier in driving authentic change in relation to DEI. When amplified by a lack of diverse thinking and representation in senior leadership, that positive change becomes even more difficult to achieve. Even those keen to change may be confused about how to do it, and are fearful of saying or doing something inadvertently offensive.”

 

 

Find out more!

To read Forty1’s full report around key insights in to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our business community, download here.

 

As GO! Network members, Forty1 blend insight, technology and creativity with the outstanding delivery capabilities of The Creative Engagement Group to deliver unforgettable employee experiences that create moments that inspire lasting change. If you’d like to learn more about our agency network or get advice on specific challenges, get in touch here.