Building inclusive workplaces requires a clear roadmap and strong benchmarks
Written by Tony O’Malley on 20/04/2023
Organisations today face a myriad of different challenges from sustainability, tackling a lack of diversity, and ensuring their reputation is grounded on the right values.
Organizations today face a myriad of different challenges from sustainability, tackling a lack of diversity, and ensuring their reputation is grounded on the right values.
One of the most exciting initiatives Fujitsu Ireland has been involved with in recent years is the Elevate pledge run by Business In The Community. This commitment is the result of leading companies in Ireland coming together to tackle critical challenges, which continue to hold back the full potential of society.
Renewing this pledge is our commitment to continuing to promote inclusivity measures such as providing disability confidence training and developing gender pay gap analyses. Building workplace inclusivity isn’t easy, it requires planning and empathy on top of good intentions. It requires a benchmark to measure progress against companies of a similar size. This is why we’re delighted to be a part of a process that helps us record and track our progress in this area, as well as enables us to collaborate with other key organizations in Irish business to learn and create solutions for social impact.
We increasingly find that the challenges we face are global, and the solutions to these problems can be found through international examples of excellence. People from different backgrounds and experiences are vital if new complex challenges are to be solved. Diversity is a crucial component to a strong team dynamic, and achieving balance is the key to being effective - especially in a global workplace. Making organizations more accessible and inclusive not only fosters trust, but it allows for a truly diverse workforce that can tackle difficult tasks in innovative ways.
At Fujitsu, we put a lot of effort into ensuring inclusivity permeates our culture and how we conduct business every day. Our first action after signing the Elevate pledge in 2021 was to add voluntary Diversity & Inclusion questions to the biannual Employee Engagement survey. The Survey featured voluntary questions on Age, Gender, Disability, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation, and Social Mobility.
The changes to the biannual engagement survey and the addition of three employee surveys on inclusion, have allowed us to ensure better diversity on interview panels, include inclusive language in our job specs, and use Fujitsu Global mobility support to better help employees from abroad find their feet in Ireland. These measures have led to great results over the last 12 months, including almost doubling the number of new hires from ethnic minority backgrounds and seeing women representing over 30% of new hires in the same period. Our commitment to balanced promotions has remained unbroken over the last financial year and we see this trend continuing as well.
There have undoubtedly been historical barriers to ensuring diversity in tech, but by leading by example, Fujitsu hopes to inspire more companies in the sector to take action. The results from the last year alone show the willingness of employees to engage with diversity initiatives with 100% of survey respondents completing the diversity questions on Fujitsu’s employee survey.
Being led by Aspiration, Trust, and Empathy
Aspiration, Trust, and Empathy lie at the heart of what we do at Fujitsu. They act as guiding values in our journey to ensuring greater inclusivity, and I believe they can help other businesses craft roadmaps to inclusivity as well.
Having trust in another person involves a belief that they have good values and that they are aligned with those values. The same can be said for having trust in an organization. It’s important that we as business leaders are walking the walk, as well as talking the talk. This can be done by recognizing the diversity challenges that our people have come across, laying out a clear plan to tackle those issues, and holding ourselves responsible for the targets we have set down in those inclusion plans. Our people will thank us for living this value.
Appreciating and understanding the needs of those in our organizations, and in wider society, is crucial if we are to address the major challenges facing us today. Trying our best to be empathetic to the unique challenges facing individuals will help us to develop workplaces that are inclusive. Realizing that we may not necessarily have carried the same burden as other people is a good place to start.
Overall, renewing the Elevate Pledge helps Fujitsu stay aligned with these values. As signatories of the pledge, business leaders acknowledge and tackle the diversity challenges facing organizations using strong benchmarks. By committing to being peer reviewed each year, they track progress and remain accountable which leads to greater levels of trust.
As the Ancient Roman philosopher Seneca, the Younger said “The greater part of progress is the desire to progress. “It’s a desire that Fujitsu and all Elevate pledge companies are determined to see through.