Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI): A strategy for good

EDI: A Change for Good

At Nine Feet Tall, we recognise that we are on the journey of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), much like other organisations. Nonetheless, it is promising that our senior management have commissioned and committed to the enforcement of our new EDI strategy. Recognising that we are not experts in this area, we leant on the knowledge and experience of external EDI specialist consultants to produce a strategy tailored to Nine Feet Tall.

As part of the plan to execute the strategy we set up an internal working group. It is rewarding and motivating participating within this group, as it reminds me of how passionate my colleagues at Nine Feet Tall are. It is often highlighted that a lack of commitment to EDI today poses a risk to organisations being left behind. McKinsey’s latest report on Inclusion and Diversity shows that a third of the firms they tracked significantly improved gender and ethnic diversity, however most firms stalled or went backwards. The gap is widening between leading I&D practitioners and companies that have yet to embrace diversity.

Companies yet to embrace diversity are 27% more likely to underperform on profitability (McKinsey, 2020).
A strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

As a woman of colour, it can be frustrating and disheartening to see the lack of representation of people that look like me and that come from similar backgrounds in positions of senior leadership in the corporate world. This forms part of my motivation to be part of the change. The argument for representation and diversity has been made to death so I see little value in labouring this point. However, it is clear you cannot solely have diversity. That is, having a diverse range of employees is not enough if the culture of your company is not one of inclusivity. Inclusivity is just as, if not more so, salient. You must have an inclusive environment where everyone has an equal chance to succeed in reaching their goals and opportunities for progression, for example into senior leadership positions. McKinsey also reports that “an emphasis on representation is not enough” but instead employees need to feel equality and fairness of opportunity. Therefore, at Nine Feet Tall we have initially prioritised building an inclusive culture. Education is key on issues such as microaggressions, dismantling dangerous stereotypes and recognising our unconscious bias. The appetite at Nine Feet Tall for EDI is promising, and it is great working in a team that is progressive and willing to learn.

Our recent employee survey showed that 86% of the team felt that workplace diversity is valued at Nine Feet Tall.
Inclusion at work framework

We are looking to explore further opportunities for training and learning on EDI issues and inclusiveness soft skills. Things that we have implemented thus far that I am most proud of are our Cultural Calendar, which we use to celebrate different cultural events in various ways. Additionally, we have a new Communications Policy that provides guidelines around inclusive language and imagery for both external and internal communications. We are also working on a new Recruitment Policy which addresses concerns such as unconscious bias and understanding our current demographics, and we hope this will improve our diversity position. The importance of data cannot be stressed enough, and it is important for firms to understand where they currently are to know where they are going, setting realistic targets.

It is important that Nine Feet Tall are proactively trying to become more diverse and inclusive because it relates to our 2030 Strategy of “Change for Good.” We cannot expect to make a difference in the corporate world if we do not live and breathe issues of social justice. We also do this through other initiatives such as mental health awareness and environmental sustainability causes, reflecting the recent rise in stakeholder capitalism as consumers and society at large are expecting more from business (McKinsey, 2020). At Nine Feet Tall we recognise that embracing these responsibilities can help shareholders too. Specifically on the EDI matter, it is important for society that everyone can access the corporate professional world and that all people can see themselves represented, so they know it is possible for them too. Issues of race and class cannot be avoided, and companies ought to do better at being part of the change, to improve social mobility.

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One of the reasons I joined Nine Feet Tall was the excellent female representation at the top levels, and for me this is a huge reason why it is such a progressive, forward-thinking firm that stands out on the market. I as we reap the benefits of our new strategy and its implementation, with the commitment of our leadership team. To conclude, recognising that we are on the journey of diversity and inclusion is part of the solution to doing better.

If you are interested in working for an organisation that values diversity and inclusion and overall change for good, whilst being transparent about our progress, then Nine Feet Tall could be the place for you. Please look at our Career’s page or get in touch

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