Diversity and inclusion is a vital part of any organisation, but how can you ensure they’re more than just buzzwords?
Diversity is an essential part of all organisations. It brings different ideas, different thoughts and different strategies to the table, be that at the top of the organisation or right down at the junior levels.
While having a diverse workforce is vital, it’s not as important as inclusion, according to Mitchell Cash, director of talent acquisition, development and inclusion at Fidelity Investments Ireland.
Cash said that inclusion allows employees to bring their “full selves” to work. This has become especially important as the line between professional and personal lives becomes more blurred.
“Asking someone to park their persona at the door is effectively leaving some of their skillset at the door,” he said.
Different demographics over the years have faced different challenges, which can make them more resilient to certain things, or help them develop stronger skills in negotiation. These are excellent skills to have for certain roles and they are also very much a part of the person themselves.
Fidelity Investments Ireland works hard to ensure diversity and inclusion is a key focus throughout its recruitment process.
“We invest a lot of effort and time into making sure that anyone in the recruitment process has their unconscious bias training badge,” said Cash. “That makes sure that they understand the reasons for why we put time and effort into it as well as keep themselves honest in the decisions that they’re making.”
Fidelity also runs events to encourage diversity and, importantly, it runs those events for all of its associates, not just for certain members.
“We’ve also engaged with our women’s leadership group to put together a maternity buddy programme, and that’s essentially geared to help Fidelity mothers come back into the workforce after a significant break,” said Cash.
At Fidelity, it’s not just about working internally with its own employees, but about reaching out to the wider community.
Cash said that Fidelity has a number of different projects, from small to large. He added that there’s nothing better than 300 people in Fidelity T-shirts ready to turn a field into a sensory garden or a wheelchair-accessible park.