Setting up an internal forum or committee is a great way to focus your organisation’s efforts to improve diversity and inclusion (D&I). Our Charter signatories Kilburn & Strode recently sent us this report from their Human Resources Manager Sundeep Aujla, explaining about the Diversity Forum they’ve recently set up, how it will work and why it’s been so important to them to put diversity at the heart of their business.
What really resonates in Sundeep’s report is the emphasis on monitoring diversity data, in order to benchmark progress and target future work. This is an area that IP Inclusive will also be looking at during 2019, following discussions at our annual meeting in January: look out for news of a training and discussion event and of an IP Inclusive survey…
Our thanks to Kilburn & Strode for sharing their ideas with others in the IP Inclusive community – which of course is one of the commitments made by all of our EDI Charter signatories. Please let us know if your organisation is doing something similar.
Here’s Sundeep’s report:
Kilburn & Strode Diversity Forum – Going Beyond Awareness
Why should organisations focus on diversity and inclusion? Ask five different people and you’ll get five different answers. Beyond being the right thing to do and besides being good for business, we think there’s an often overlooked reason. As an intellectual property firm, we work with inventors, engineers, and scientists who are all bringing the most forward-looking and cutting-edge technologies and products to market. Everyday we see first-hand how diversity creates innovation, in ideas, in creativity, and in our world.
Beyond that, Kilburn & Strode wants to reflect the city where our head office is based. We are committed to recruiting, retaining and developing a workforce that represents the diverse city we work in and the clients that we support.
We want to create value through diversity by encouraging our people to be themselves, as that makes us different, and we want to respect and value those differences by recognising that when people from diverse backgrounds and with different points of view work together, we create the most value. To put things simply, we want the best talent regardless of any characteristics.
A forum for change
We have made much progress in our diversity journey over the last few years, however we appreciate that being inclusive isn’t a one-off event, it needs to be part of our organisational culture. So, to support our aims we have formed a Diversity Forum which launched in January 2019. Its primary purpose is to suggest and develop new initiatives that will improve diversity and inclusion across our firm – we’ve committed to putting this at the centre of everything we do.
Where to start?
It was clear from the offset that our first objective should be to ensure that we have data – data means you can measure progress and we want to do better. We introduced an internal diversity data monitoring initiative and so far, 70% of our people have been happy to submit their data to our HR system. That data includes gender, ethnicity, religion, disability and sexual orientation.
We want a data-driven approach – decisions informed by the facts specific to our firm’s current state. The data will help us prioritise, and that will help our Diversity Forum focus efforts on the right areas (actual rather than assumed challenges). The results will have an impact that creates sustainable progress.
We have much more to come and we’ll keep you updated on our progress; this is a long-term strategic goal for us, and we’re taking some great steps towards real change.
If you would like to ask any questions about our approach, please do get in touch – [email protected].
Thank you for your support IP Inclusive.
Human Resources Manager