Tali Shlomo looks at the value of inclusiveness and diversity in the workplace
How many times have we heard the phrase 'bring your whole self to work' and not really given it much thought? Imagine for a moment when you walk through the front doors to start your working day you put on the 'mask' and 'work suit' and become someone slightly different from your personal life.
Your sexual orientation could be one example of this. While we see around us 'gay Britannia' on TV, Pride 2017 taking place in the streets of UK and Link, our insurance network, working to raise the profile of the lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender (LBGT) community in our profession, what does the reality look like?
Sexual orientation is defined as an often-enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions of men to women or women to men (heterosexual), of women to women
or men to men (homosexual), or by men or women to both sexes (bisexual). It also refers to an individual's sense of personal and social identity based on those attractions, related behaviours and membership in a community of others who share those attractions and behaviours. The recent insurance census suggests only 8% of respondents are from the LBGT community -- does this really reflect our profession? If not, why are we not able to collate accurate data? Th e answer could be that there seems to be a reluctance to disclose sexual orientation. At the CII, we have partnered with Stonewall and will be participating in its workplace equality index.
We also undertake equality impact assessments on our policies to ensure these are inclusive and mitigate any biases. Th e need to share personal stories is critical to having an open dialogue and starting to recognise that when you bring your whole self to work the business benefits are greater as motivation, morale, engagement and productivity increases. Supporting talented people from our diverse communities to reach the echelons of senior roles is valuable to our profession. The data speaks for itself. According to Deloitte research, workplaces that are supportive of diversity and where employees feel included report better business performance in terms of ability to innovate (83% uplift), responsiveness to changing customer needs (31% uplift) and team collaboration 42% uplift).