How fund operators can improve D&I strategies
Sarah Kaiser, Head of Employee Experience, Fidelity International, explores how to use constructive dialogue to improve Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) outcomes in business.
Sara Benwell POSTED ON 11/14/2022 7:20:14 AM
Sara Benwell: What are some of the top strategies for firms to create constructive dialogues around Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)?
Sarah Kaiser: The best starting point to create a constructive dialogue around D&I is to link it to a firm’s business purpose and strategy.
Doing this will help your employees, your clients, and other stakeholders to understand that you’re serious about D&I and inform them about how it will support the firm’s success.
Most leaders and firms will now say that diversity and inclusion are critical to their business success - but the important thing is whether their actions match their words.
"It can be difficult, but I would encourage firms to always be honest about how they view their performance and where they want to do better."
Firms that are serious about making lasting progress on D&I, don’t just say D&I is a business priority - they also treat it like any other business priority, for example, by measuring their progress and giving senior leaders accountability for progress.
It can be difficult, but I would encourage firms to always be honest about how they view their performance and where they want to do better, because that humility demonstrates real commitment and creates a safe space to have conversations about how they will achieve their goals. Turn it into a positive conversation by focusing on what is in your control to change and taking ownership for moving forward.
Sara: Does the fear of using the wrong language get in the way of constructive dialogues?
Sarah: The language we use matters. It has the power to make people feel included or excluded.
But crucially, we shouldn’t let fear of getting it wrong stop us from speaking about diversity and inclusion.
" We have developed a toolkit including a guide to communicating inclusively and workshops on how to talk about race at work."
The most important thing is to approach conversations in a positive way and with a willingness to listen and learn. At our organisation, we believe that empowering colleagues to have meaningful and constructive conversations about diversity and inclusion is a way to build understanding, show empathy, strengthen inclusion, and drive change both in the organisation and wider society.
In order to support colleagues to feel more comfortable to have these conversations, we have developed a toolkit including a guide to communicating inclusively and workshops on how to talk about race at work, which we find has garnered results. It’s a bit like learning a new language - the only way to become fluent is to practice.
Sarah is speaking at the Fund Operator Summit Europe on 17 November, to see the full agenda and register to attend, please click here.
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