This year we kicked off our first Champions for Change group within Hames Sharley in line with our commitment to further transparency and advocacy in the areas of Inclusion, Diversity and Creative Wellbeing. The group was formed by volunteers following a callout to all staff when we published our Workplace Gender Equality Agency reporting for 2018-19. The mandate of the group is to develop recommendations to leadership for how we can do better across the previously mentioned areas of Inclusion, Diversity and Creative Wellbeing.
Following the formation of the working group, we kicked things off with several sessions to put together a comprehensive survey that went out to all staff in October. The results were recently published to our internal community and in the interests of total transparency (and to hold ourselves accountable) we’ve included the findings below.
From the quantitative data, we found:
- Almost all of us strongly agree or agree that Inclusion (95%) and Diversity (84%) are of high personal importance, but maybe think our colleagues and leaders can be doing more to demonstrate it themselves (dropping to around 70% for our colleagues and 60% for our Leaders). This is an interesting situation to find ourselves in as it begs the question: what are we doing to demonstrate that we value inclusion and/or diversity to our colleagues, given we all value it so highly on a personal level? This question will form the centrepiece of the group’s cultural recommendations.
- About 1 in 3 of us strongly agree that we are comfortable and belong here, growing to 4 in 5 of us when we account for ‘agree’ answers. This is great to hear but still means 1 in 5 don’t agree or are unsure, so we can and will do better on that front.
- Combining ‘Agree’ and ‘Strongly Agree’ answers, about 2 in 3 of us feel like we can be our full, authentic self at Hames Sharley. Likewise, the same amount of us feel like our and our colleagues’ opinions are valued. This is a good start and now we need to consider how we can improve these numbers and get to 100%.
- Just over half of us think there are people like us in key leadership positions within Hames Sharley. This area is addressed further down in the suggestions.
The qualitative data was collated, de-personalised and analysed. There was a lot of consistency in the comments, particularly around suggestions for how we can improve. Many of these fell in to three broad themes that will help guide the group’s recommendations:
- Working toward greater diversity in leadership (approx. 41% of respondents)
- Education on diversity and inclusion (approx. 32% of respondents)
- Increased transparency around flexible work hours (approx. 17% of respondents)
From here, the group is going to meet a few more times in the new year to continue workshopping finalise our recommendations. These recommendations will be prepared for the upcoming Executive Management Group meeting in March. We will then be able to update our internal and external community on our progress and what the next 12 months will look like for the Champions of Change group.
If you have any questions about Champions for Change, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our People and Culture team.