Having a diverse team is proven to boost morale, lead to better connection with wider client groups and allow for a more creative output. Here’s what some of the UK’s leading companies had to say about how they promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Andrew Small, Houzz MD:
“Life at Houzz is diverse by design. Our London office is home to our UK, French, Spanish and Nordic teams and is a place where our editorial, community, marketing, buying and sales functions work in close proximity. We’ve created a physical space that encourages collaboration and a family atmosphere, whether it be eating lunch as a team in the open plan ‘Houzz Cafe’ or solving problems in the ‘British Library’, ‘Spanish Bathroom, ‘Parisian Living Room’ or any one of our themed spaces. We believe that nurturing our team begins with hiring great people that we are excited to work with. This means really spending time to understand them as individuals before inviting them to become part of the Houzz family.”
Steve Folwell, LOVESPACE MD:
“The world is a diverse place, and London is as diverse a city as there is. So, as long as you are advertising for roles broadly and you don’t introduce bias into your application process, chances are that you will end up attracting a diverse team. Nurturing diversity is then about respecting everyone as an individual and harnessing the different backgrounds, experiences and outlooks of the characters in your team.”
Ruth Penfold, Shazam’s Director of Talent:
“We do that by attempting to create a space and a dynamic where people feel able to truly be themselves. It’s something that I spend a good deal of time looking at and I’m always on the hunt for ways we can improve. Tech is blessed by a good deal of things like cultural diversity that other sectors aren’t, but we are lacking in other areas like gender diversity, so its something we definitely focus on.”
Julien Deslangles-Blanch, General Assembly’s UK and Germany Regional Director:
At General Assembly, we’re committed to creating and fostering a diverse and inclusive community. We have global employee resource groups, a Diversity and Inclusion Statement recently published on The Index (General Assembly’s blog), our Global Code of Conduct, diversity and inclusion events across our global campuses, and a dedicated team that works exclusively on promoting access to tech careers to underrepresented groups across the globe.
Lu Li, CEO at Blooming Founders:
“An inclusive team starts with inclusive leadership. It is C-level responsibility. So in case your leadership team lacks diversity (which they probably will), they must at least demonstrate inclusive leadership traits – or nothing will change. It is important that they are not just committed to inclusion because ‘that’s what you need to do these days’ or because HR demands it, but because they believe in the business case and (in an ideal scenario) because it aligns with their personal values and ethics system.”