Here are 10 actions to follow to launch your programme effectively:
Redefine the positioning of your brand: What are your values? What is your definition of inclusion and diversity? How will your products or services integrate this notion of inclusion? Diversity and inclusion are not a varnish that you apply to improve the image of your brand. They should be consistent with your products or services. This can occur with actions concerning your activity (range extension, communication, image) or internal actions (recruitment, subsidy, sponsorship, etc.).
Select a person, a team that will represent this diversity. Importantly, the team and people in charge of this inclusion should be representative of it. This means having it managed by the people whose visibility is minimized daily, simply because they know the consequences of this lack of consideration and opportunity. They will be able to make meaningful decisions. This means including women, people of different origins, ages and with disabilities.
Define clear and quantified objectives, as well as a deadline for reaching them. Your programme is not just a communication plan. It will have to include goals. Will it be about offering a service that is more accessible to all in the medium to long term? Or to help young people who do not have access to certain training courses before they are integrated into the Company? What is the concrete impact expected with this programme?
Provide a substantial budget to achieve these goals. Too often, Inclusion and Diversity services are considered as the fifth wheel. Halfway between human resources and marketing, communication and general management, the budget does not provide the visibility or the means necessary to achieve one’s goals. This type of programme is expensive and risky, hence the need to allocate the funding required for its implementation.
Give equal power to the Board of Directors and to the other entities in your Company. This type of programme is transversal and to be coherent, must be able to have a comprehensive view of the brand’s overall functioning.
List consultants from diverse backgrounds who know the subject, so you can call on them regularly.
Train the Top Management and Department Heads to this concept of diversity. This involves culture, understanding what others are going through, and on opening up on what we are not aware of.
Get all the members of your Company involved in concrete actions, this will allow them to integrate the programme’s dynamics so that it becomes a real corporate culture.
Communicate on your actions with figures.
Acknowledge your mistakes and detail the corrective actions.