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News: Associations News

What step-change is needed to be up-to-speed with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)?

05 February 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Spackman
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In this article, Roy Gluckman shares the steps that he takes when he is asked to review EDI in an organisation.

The steps below, seek to entrench EDI principles within an organisation. These principles prepare an organisation with a robustness to capitalise on growth opportunities and to create more space for innovation. Outside of the organisation, principles of EDI encourage better humanity. They challenge our inherited biases and ask us to introspect and grow our capacity for empathy and compassion for “the other”.

Step One: Awareness

Step one, Awareness, is the conceptual understanding that there is no such thing as being “up-to-speed” with EDI. As organisations, and as individuals, we need to firmly root in our consciousness, that EDI is a constantly moving target. In a world that is constantly ebbing and flowing, the fixation on an end point for something as fluid as EDI is a fallacy.

Instead, we need to grow the awareness that EDI is a skill set! An attitude and outlook to change, that needs constant practice. When we come to the awareness that EDI is not an end point, and that we will never be “up-to-speed”, we relieve the anxiety, the shame and the fear associated with EDI progress and focus instead, on developing our skill set as leaders for change.

Step Two: Acknowledgment

Just because there is no end point, however, does not mean that we must do nothing. From the conceptual awareness above, we move to step two, Acknowledgment. This step calls for the practical acknowledgment that, within our organisations, we either have EDI issues that have not been dealt with, or that we see EDI as a peripheral goal and not an opportunity for growth. It is a moment for organisations to pause and reflect. It is a critical moment; a moment of non-judgment and bravery.

Step Three: Assessment

Once we have acknowledged the EDI issues that we are not dealing with, or that EDI is not even on our radar, we can move to step three, Assessment. In this stage we embark on a journey of diagnosis: what are the EDI issues, or the barriers to EDI within our organisations. Focus groups, one-on-ones and EDI surveys are the main tools I use to assess the EDI issues and barriers. The insights from these assessments are then analysed and used to build recommendations that support organisational growth, productivity and innovation.

Step Four: Action

With the above assessment, we now move to step four, Action. The EDI methodology I have developed, is the Talking, Doing and Supporting (TDS) model. This model empowers us to treat the personal and systemic barriers to EDI - both vitally important for the creation of an inclusive working environment. Amongst other things, “Talking” encompasses D&I training for members, general staff, leadership and HR, and sees us working on the personal barriers individuals hold toward EDI. “Doing” sees us involved in the reviewing of policies and processes (recruitment, retention, membership structure etc) and conducting further research internally for us to build more tailored interventions. This component treats the systemic barriers to EDI. “Supporting” assists in treating both the personal and systemic barriers and sees us setting up structures that support the EDI objectives. “Supporting” includes selecting and training EDI Champions, developing EDI initiatives, events and programmes and setting up EDI Affinity groups (employee/membership networks).

Step Five: Repeat

EDI is an ever-moving target. As such, we need to remain robust and continuous in our EDI endeavours. Measurement is essential. Feedback is essential. Redesign is essential. Continuity is essential. Progress is guaranteed.

Hear more

You can hear more about EDI at the Associations World Congress at my keynote presentation on Tuesday, 13 March.


Author:  Roy Gluckman, Cohesion Collective

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