Walking the walk with our clients: Selected case studies

By Rina Goldenberg Lynch

Reaching Stage 7 in our EDI Journey Roadmap is the ultimate prize. It’s where an organisation is fully immersed in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and benefitting fully from the increased Diversity of its workforce. Not many organisations are there. Yet. But we support organisations across all phases of the EDI journey, helping those aspiring to get closer to this ideal state.

The main thing our clients have in common is that they want to be more effective at tapping into the diversity of their people and they want to progress along their EDI Journey.  Where we start on the journey with them depends on where the organisation already is. Then we support with strategic and impactful EDI guidance to individual leaders, teams and governing bodies, such as boards and councils. We provide a wide range of original, interesting and highly pragmatic approaches, all matched to or created specifically for the challenges each organisation is facing.

One of the best ways to demonstrate what we do and how we do it is to share some recent projects we’ve been involved in. Today, therefore, we share three case studies of different types of work we have undertaken recently.

1. A global approach to EDI
Working with a global professional membership organisation, we were tasked with the challenge of guiding their members and sector towards greater diversity and inclusion across all their global jurisdictions. Being a small organisation (albeit with an extended reach to a large global sector), this was going to be the first time they looked at EDI, both for their modest number of staff and their large number of volunteers and members across the world.  The remit came from their governing body where, with the help of the CEO, the chairperson put together an EDI statement that reflected their aims as a membership organisation to suitably reflect and serve the members of their global community.

Taking our direction from the EDI statement, we delivered guidelines, training and nudges to four sections of their community: their governing body, staff, volunteers and members.  At each stage, we had to take into account time availability, different levels of exposure to EDI, the volunteer nature of the engagement (where relevant) and the professional tone needed to align with their culture.   Together, we developed and delivered a range of initiatives to help leadership, staff and volunteers to become more aware of Inclusion, to understand the benefits to themselves and the organisation, and to give them ideas and tools to change their behaviour. In addition, we helped the organisation to address potential bias in their approach to recruitment and attraction of volunteers.

This was an intense 18 months of workshops and training, slowly introducing new concepts and behaviours that aligned with the organisations’ values, and consistently and regularly nudging them towards greater commitment to EDI, including in local chapters.

The organisation’s EDI strategy is now fully understood by the governing body and, more generally, people are fully aware of why it is important and what Inclusive Behaviour looks like. Open conversations are taking place on Inclusion, and staff understand how to be more inclusive. The approach to recruitment of staff and attraction of volunteers have been changed significantly and the organisation has recently been recognised for their efforts on EDI with an industry achievement award.

2. Inclusive Recruitment 
Inclusion and Diversity were already high on the agenda of this video games developer, and most were fully engaged with the topic. However, as the studio was growing rapidly, they wanted to ensure that the new talent they hire is genuinely diverse. To answer this call, we delivered sessions on inclusive recruitment for their hiring managers, offering up a range of ideas on what really works to make recruitment more inclusive.   In this way, we helped the managers to review their approach to recruitment as well as look more closely at key processes for talent management.

The studio’s hiring managers are now enthusiastically implementing new ways of working, and we have been asked for (and have already delivered) the session again for a wider group of managers and staff.  As a result, they are in the process of improving the diversity of their workforce and ensuring that the studio benefits from the diverse experiences and thinking this offers.

3. Inclusion Diagnostic and Action Plan
The partners in a growing architecture firm noticed that women were no longer being promoted at the same rate as men, although they had been when the organisation was smaller. They asked us to look at what barriers were obstructing the career advancement of women and underrepresented groups, and asked for recommendations on how to break these barriers.

We undertook an Inclusion Diagnostic and gathered a wealth of qualitative data through exit interviews and a series of focus groups with men and women.  Based on the results, we ran a session with the partners, and came up with a three-part action plan to design more transparency in the progression process, improve mentoring and add an inclusive leadership module in their leadership training programme.

Once we’d helped them understand the challenges being faced by their staff, the practice partners could better understand where they are with gender diversity and, most importantly, the obstacles they face. They are implementing clearer progression processes and are looking at how best to integrate other recommended actions with the leadership training programme.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these three very different projects. There are many more examples of our work on our website so please take a look to find out how else we are able to help.

Suggested Reading

Where are you on the EDI Journey?

Seeing EDI As A Business Opportunity