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HRD Best of 2019: Diversity and Inclusion

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As 2019 comes to a close, we look back at the top 10 diversity and inclusion articles, podcasts and interviews of the year.

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What a year it’s been for People Leaders across the globe. Businesses have become more aware of HR’s strategic value in business, effective corporate social responsibility and purpose have become key to talent attraction, employee engagement and corporate culture, and inclusion has gone beyond quotas and keynote sessions, to discussions around whether unconscious bias is a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’ and stronger initiatives supporting the business value of a more diverse workforce.

With 2019 winding down to a close, we’ve taken a look back over the months to cherry pick the most inspiring articles, interviews and podcasts, featuring our incredible roster of thought leaders and contributors, about diversity and inclusion. Enjoy!

Tracy Keogh on creating greater diversity and every level of HP

Tracy Keogh is Chief Human Resources Officer of computing giant HP. Since its humble beginnings in the back of a garage in Palo Alto, California, eighty years ago, by Bill Hewlett and David Packard, HP has grown in size and influence to become one of the most influential computer companies in the world. The original Silicon Valley company, HP has hung tough and transformed in an industry of constant flux.

In such a fast-paced existence, how does HP take care of its people? The answer, remarkably, stretches all the way back to their beginnings in 1939, with ‘The HP Way’, and the values that the founders held dear, which continue to resonate within HP’s ranks today.

Tracy Keogh joined Michael Hocking via studio uplink from Palo Alto to discuss meaningful cultural transformationtalent in the tech landscape, changing performance management, the employee experience, and one of Tracy’s dearest passions – creating greater diversity and inclusion at every level of the business.

Listen to the podcast.

Fiona Young on 5 essential tips to transform inclusion at work

“The most successful diversity and inclusion leaders are really focused on tackling inclusion at the group level, at every layer of their organization — rather than building targeted initiatives that focus on a single marginalized group.”

Getting a diversity and inclusion initiative off the ground is one of the biggest challenges People Leaders face today, with diversity fatigue and a lack of tangible results threatening the transformation of workplace culture.

How can People Leaders get diversity and inclusion right? Fiona Young, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Hive Learning, gives her top tips for perfecting your diversity and inclusion initiative.

Read the full article.

Is unconscious bias a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’?

“There is this notion that the unintentional nature of unconscious bias makes it more palatable than more blatant attempts of bias and discrimination. I would argue that blatant attempts of bias are more palatable to a degree because there is no second-guessing the motive or intent.  The inconvenient truth about unconscious bias is that, often-times, unintentional behavior has the look and feel of intentional behavior.”

Since the Harvard University ‘Implicit Association Test’ of 1998, which, its founders claimed, could detect the unconscious roots of privilege, the term ‘unconscious bias’ has grown in popularity to occupy a space in the common lexicon, in addition to becoming the phrase du jour of diversity and inclusion thought leadership over the last few years.

But, by focusing on unconscious bias, are People Leaders doing more harm than good?

Read the full article.

Are we doing enough for trans employees?

“The best way to make the changes that will have the most impact is to ask those directly affected. Listen to the needs of trans employees and address the challenges they raise. This means creating safe spaces for employees to come together, discuss issues and offer potential solutions. Don’t assume that if you don’t know of any trans people within your organisation that they don’t exist.”

With insights from Kate Williams, Head of Private Sector Memberships, Stonewall, HRD Connect delves into the conversation around transgender inclusion in the workplace.

Read the full article.

How the NHS is championing disability inclusion in the workplace

“The workforce disability equality standards were built on the success of its predecessor, the workforce race equality standard. The NHS decided that we needed to have a similar focus on disability. These measure the experiences of those respective groups.” 

The NHS currently employs 1.4 million workers. As one of the UK’s largest employers, the NHS has had to prioritise the working standards of a wide range of employees, including those with disabilities. HRD Connect spoke to Paul Deemer, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, NHS, to understand how employees with disabilities are treated, and common mistakes that organisations often make when addressing disability inclusion.

Read the full article.

Katherine Phillips, Columbia Business School, on why diverse teams are smarter

How can we move diversity and inclusion beyond a conversation? It’s one of the defining questions facing the world of work, and one that it is our responsibility to answer.

Katherine Phillips, Reuben Mark Professor of Organisational Character and Director of The Bernstein Centre for Leadership and Ethics, Columbia Business School, sat down with Michael Hocking to discuss how businesses can create better diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Listen to the podcast.

Janine Truitt on creating real human transformation at work

What does the future hold for the human at work? Flexibility, automation, personalisation, striving for effective inclusion – our environment is changing faster than ever before, and it’s HR’s role to allow this human transformation to reach its full potential. How can HR and people leaders create and facilitate this new human transformation, to maximise the potential of their colleagues and employees, and the prospects of business?

Janine Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer, Talent Think Innovations, joined Michael Hocking, Deputy Editor, HRD Connect, via studio uplink from the USA, for a fascinating conversation that took in topics from across the spectrum of HR, business and human nature. Janine’s insights are unique, powerful, and essential listening for every HR leader today.

Listen to the podcast. 

Stephen Frost on sparking LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace

“There are actually some quick wins and quick things people can do, if you surround yourself with different people then that will be a free resource for you which will help you make better decisions.”

Stephen Frost, a globally recognised diversity, inclusion and leadership expert, gave the HRD Connect community his insights into how to inspire change in their organisations.

Read the full article.

Wendy Dailey on truly understanding diversity and inclusion

“We use diversity to measure the who we are bringing into our organization. We’ve all heard the research – the more diverse your workforce, the more successful you will be. The ROI on diversity is clear. The issue we end up having is keeping the diversity. That’s inclusion. We need to ensure the workforce we bring in feels like a part of the team, like they are important, so they stay. The struggle is how. Most of the time when we talk about diversity and inclusion, we talk about the numbers, the ROI, the why. We don’t spend a lot of time on the how.”

HRD Thought Leaders Wendy Dailey explores the importance of stories and true connections in cultivating truly meaningful diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace.

Read the full article.

Janine Truitt on how to get to the heart of diversity and inclusion initiatives

“Understanding this premise, it calls into question why we have come to a place in business at all where we have effectively ostracized and alienated viable humans from the workforce on the basis of the perceived challenges of having to hire them. Moreover, we’ve concocted this silly notion that we need a “business” reason to hire certain groups of people to justify the additional efforts, intention, and dollars required to seek and retain diverse individuals.”

What really matters to the C-Suite, and how can People Leaders make Diversity and Inclusion a total-organisation priority? Janine Truitt gets to the heart of D&I’s position in business? Janine Truitt, HRD Thought Leader investigates.

Read the full article.


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