Creating a culture of inclusion: Five takeaways from the driving pride webinar
On the 30th of June, Keyloop partnered with the Driving Pride Network to host a webinar which investigated the experiences of LGBTQ+ employees across the automotive industry and explored how Employee Support Groups (ESG’s) such as Driving Pride, can play a vital role in creating a safe, welcoming an inclusive space for LGBTQ+ employees within the sector.
Facilitated by Mark Crossfield, Software Developer at AutoTrader and member of the Driving Pride Committee, four experts shared their experience and expertise with us. They included:
- Scott Stockwell, Editor in Chief, EMEA at IBM
- Amy Lynch, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Thoughtworks UK
- Mike Orfield, Head of Press and PR at Volkswagen UK
- Jon Cuthbertson, Digital Employee Experience Project Lead at Arnold Clark
The webinar can be watched on the following link here (once you have filled out registration), but we wanted to share our top five learnings from this inspiring session:
1. Create a sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ individuals across your culture and environment
When workplace discrimination becomes evident, it is crucial to deal with it promptly and effectively. As Scott commented: “It would be terrible to raise an issue and then nothing happens, visibility and quick action are vital.”
The benefits of building an inclusive environment benefit everyone. As Amy points out, the more diverse our organisations are and the more voices we hear from, will ensure we develop a more well-rounded business structure.
2. Listen to the data
Businesses are now equipped with, and deploy, a host of tools and systems that enable them to gain clear insights into how staff are feeling, and how processes can be improved. According to Amy: “Surveys are a really good way to get the pulse on how people’s experiences are within your organisation.”
The data and insights these tools give to organisations are invaluable in deepening understanding of staff experiences and wellbeing, and instrumental in helping implement long and meaningful changes which benefit all communities within a business.
3. Maintaining a strong LGBTQ+ policy (regardless of location)
Not all countries are created equal when it comes to LGBQT+ rights, and for international businesses creating a safe and supported culture across a global footprint can present significant challenges.
Scott highlighted: “Something we try really hard to do is keep the culture the same, even if the legislation is against you… It’s about being a safe harbour for people, regardless of location.”
Therefore, it’s important to have a strong, defined vision that is clear for everyone.
According to Mike: “Companies should have their diversity statement on their website for all to see. But it’s more than just words, you need to show substance and tangible examples of pride in the workplace – authenticity is really important.”
Additionally, utilising networks and speaking to people involved in other organisations is a great starting point for creating beneficial D&I policies for organisations. Jon mentioned that this was one of their first steps, by “getting help from people who had policies in place that were working, and then putting that out to our employees to get their feedback, to see if this would work for them.”
Similarly, Chris Rose at Keyloop, a founding member of Driving Pride volunteered that he has learnt a lot by being involved in creating the group, including being able to pick up ideas from similar organisations in other industries. “Whether they’re UK based or they’re international, they’ve given us inspiration to adapt their policies or suggestions for our industry, whilst at the same time we’ve been focusing on understanding what our automotive colleagues are really looking for – which has been a great opportunity for us to learn, grow and build Driving Pride.”
For those looking for networks to learn from, the panellists advised reaching out to Stonewall and ENEI for researching policies and using these as a basis for creating your own internal policies.
4. Create safe spaces for people and groups to have their say
Organisations must consider the wellbeing of all their employees, and often this will mean creating safe spaces and forums for specific groups, such as LGBTQ+, to share and unload. But how do you best create a safe space for these individuals?
According to Scott, businesses must make their policies, groups and support networks visible. He said: “You have to see other people that are similar to you to give you a sense of belonging. We have to make these processes visible all year round, not just around pride.”
Jon agreed, adding that it’s important to include the community you’re creating these safe spaces for in the review process before any policies are implemented. This ensures they are involved in the process end-to-end and will be able to advise on the impact (good and bad) any decisions will have on them.
5. Educate all employees
All too often individuals think it’s safer to say nothing than to ask the wrong questions. It is important to build an environment where people can ask relevant and important questions.
The webinar touched on the ‘silent detractors’ – those who do not voice their concerns or discomfort at situations and rely on others to have the conversation for them. It is just as important to educate these people as it is to educate those who are more vocal. They need to understand the importance of inclusion and how they can best support their colleagues.
We want to thank everyone who tuned in, along with the panellists and moderators who took part in the conversation and created an engaging and insightful discussion for all to learn from.