What would you say is the most difficult part of implementing an equitable work culture?
One challenge is ensuring that our culture is becoming more inclusive while simultaneously recruiting a more diverse workforce. Oftentimes, companies start by focusing on diversity recruiting, hoping that an equitable and inclusive culture will follow as a result of a more diverse team. However, culture initiatives need to be implemented in tandem with recruiting initiatives to avoid retention issues and ensure all employees have a long-term path to success.
What value do equity and diversity bring to an organization?
Apart from being driven by a sense of parity and responsibility towards the subject, we realize and acknowledge that there is a strong business case for diversity in leadership. More diverse teams lead to higher productivity and better problem-solving.
There is proven research to substantiate the importance of women in leadership, particularly in the dynamic business environment we operate in. There is an increased emphasis on ‘female’ values such as empathy, collaboration, and risk-mitigation as we navigate unprecedented change. In a study conducted by Source Global Research, which provides data on the consulting industry, nine out of ten clients say they would like to see more women on consulting teams.
They say the quality of solutions is better with balanced teams as they consider a wider range of perspectives, and that projects run by women are more likely to run on time and on budget and take a more collaborative approach with client teams. And, diverse teams bring diverse perspectives, improve problem-solving and make organizations more innovative and agile. Above all else, having a diverse and equitable workplace is the right thing to do. The business case is also undisputable – diverse teams are more innovative and collaborative, have higher retention and engagement rates, and provide better solutions to clients.
What measures and policies do you practice to build an equitable workplace?
The firm recently embraced inclusive diversity as one of its core values and is now taking impactful steps to ensure it lives by this value as well.
A&M is focused on building a culture of Inclusive Diversity through increased communication, education, recruiting and hiring, mentorship and development programs, Employee Resource Groups, inclusive benefits and community involvement. As part of our program, we have:
- Mandated global unconscious bias and inclusive communication training for all employees
- Brought in external speakers to address allyship, advocacy and racial justice
- Established partnerships with several external diversity recruiting organizations to continue to help grow a diverse pipeline of candidates
- Increased focus on community building through Employee Resource Groups
- Expanded corporate social responsibility efforts throughout the firm to give back to a myriad of causes