The UN's International Day for Tolerance today is very tightly coupled with the Diversity and Inclusion discourse, which has gained increasing airtime throughout 2020, and which we care deeply about at Impala.
"Keep it human" is one of our Core Values at Impala - meaning inclusion and tolerance are in the fabric of Impala's culture, and we do all we can to support and embed them.
In line with International Day for Tolerance, I wanted to share some things we do at Impala to not only create, but also perpetuate - in a virtuous cycle - an Inclusive and therefore Tolerant work environment.
This is not an exhaustive list of things we do to foster Inclusion (that's here!) - rather, this is an overview of how we ensure we:
More practically, how we:
At Impala we’re constantly looking for ways to improve and innovate, and the way we look at Diversity & Inclusion is no different.
Diversity and Inclusion are both vital in fostering and scaling a Tolerant environment.
It's therefore infinitely important to not just pay lip service to D&I, and also to not just allow “D&I” to become a quick and easy buzzword.
Above all else, failure to uphold values and promises around D&I internally can diminish the very real and important lived experiences of many underrepresented individuals.
At Impala we think it’s important to tease both Diversity + Inclusion apart. They are fundamentally different topics, which deserve their own airtime and narrative.
Without “Inclusion”, Diversity is equivalent to a bunch of puzzle pieces which don’t fit together.
We’re proud to have a diverse range of some of the brightest brains and most adventurous innovators at Impala, but to enable them to thrive we need to ensure that everybody feels included.
Inclusivity in essence is about feeling safe at work; giving individuals the opportunity to bring their whole self to work, without judgement. If people can’t be themselves at work - where they spend the majority of their time - that can hugely impact performance, self-esteem, mental health and overall job satisfaction.
All of this is why we put a lot of thought into these 2 methods of seeking input and feedback into our Inclusion measures.
Basically, we want to make sure our approach to Inclusion is inclusive - meta right?
One segment of our compulsory ‘Quarterly Survey’ involves a deep-dive into lived experience with Inclusion.
We want to hear qualitative written stories and examples from all Impalans about what they like, and how Impala could be doing more to foster a culture of internal and external Inclusion.
Responses are anonymous and we prompt people to really reflect on any blind spots or problem areas, and suggest their own solutions or ideas.
Inclusion is such a complex construct and we think it deserves to live outside of an easy quantitative measure on a survey.
Taking the company pulse qualitatively and consistently also ensures we avoid thinking of something as “done” or “not done” and we’re constantly striving to do more.
We use information from the Inclusion Pulse to plan action points and make necessary meaningful changes throughout the subsequent quarter.
We also wanted to go even further, beyond just receiving written responses on the topic.
We wanted to create a safe space for a real and candid, unfiltered in-person dialogue on the topic too.
'Inclusion 1:1s' involve Tilly, Head of People, (me!) chatting one-on-one with a random selection of employees each quarter, asking questions specifically around Lived Experience with Inclusion.
'Inclusion 1:1s' aim to cover more than a basic question of “do you feel included” and are centred around everything that contributes to that feeling instead. This can be mental health, internal communications, leadership, career paths and so on.
Here’s the Action Points and outcomes from Q3 2020’s Inclusions 1:1s.
We wouldn’t be where we are without our amazing Impalans, and we want everyone to be their full selves at work, and to be empowered to highlight whenever that’s not possible.
Outlined in this post are just a couple of ways that we embed our Value to always "Keep it Human" - and that is a Value that we're always going to nurture and sustain.
There's more that we can do, and there always will be; but we hope that the accountability measures we have in place mean that we can always be improving.