We’ve heard people say that “diversity is a noun, inclusion is a verb”.
Many of us would nod our heads in recognition of how wise this observation truly is. The adage feels particularly true in a global industry characterized by a hyper-diverse talent pool, where there remains the struggle to convey the idea that organizations need to move beyond getting diverse people into workplaces.
Organizations can get so focused on building their diversity portfolio that they sometimes forget to put the same amount of effort on the other side of the equation – inclusion. Many people make the oversight of assuming that inclusion automatically follows when they hire people with different backgrounds.
Beyond hiring, it is important for people to understand that an essential part of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) work is ensuring equal opportunities for participation and growth, as well as creating a work environment that feels safe and welcoming for all to bring their whole self.
It is clear from the news we hear from all over the globe that D&I remains one of the most important parts of our leadership mission. Authentic conversations on gender, generational culture, physical and mental differences, and other such issues and concerns indeed need to happen in all levels of the organization, driven by C-suite leaders who are able to share and articulate their vision for a D&I-powered sustainable corporate culture.
This is one of the reasons that Teleperformance in the Philippines has been earnestly working year after year to maintain its certification as a Great Place to Work® for all. The robust framework of the Trust Index® and Culture Audit® from the Great Place to Work Institute have provided our teams with the data and information that guide us as we work on continuously improving the design and strategies of our people programs.
We need to be moving forward on our D&I journey, and for that to happen, we have to be completing the circle and making inclusion a conscious decision by leadership.
At TP, we first made sure to lay strong policy foundations from where we could build programs that made sense for our people and could really make a long-lasting impact on our culture. From our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, Human Rights Policy, Code of Ethics, and all other important policies needed to create a safe and just environment, we now also have a vigorous Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
We put together a Diversity and Inclusion Committee supported by an expert D&I Manager focused on providing technical and consultancy support for our business sites, as well as initiating organization-wide programs. Working together, the company was able to introduce notable innovations such as Inclusive Restrooms in all our business sites and expanding access to HMO coverage to include domestic partners. These are some of the innovations that we believe help make our workplace more inclusive for all.
Another important step towards inclusion is empowerment. As organizations, we need to strive to offer a level playing field for career growth to our diverse workforce. Towards this aim, Teleperformance Philippines launched the Women Empowerment Workshop (WEW) in 2018. The workshop provides participants with critical soft skills and leadership training that can help them better fulfill their roles and help advance their careers. At the same time, this will help strengthen the retention and advancement of women workers through peer learning networks, as well as improve female talent in leadership pipelines.
The 7-module workshop was designed and delivered by women for women, powered by the In Business program of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Another notable feature of the workshop is its innovative peer-led and peer-facilitated training program design -- working in small groups, participants review business examples, complete activities, and engage in discussions without an external trainer or specialist. This learning process positions participants as both student and teacher and has been specially designed to strengthen networks while providing access to local expertise, insights, and experience in identifying solutions that will work best in the local context.
This is just one of the many learning and development opportunities accessible to our people and it is part of our comprehensive talent development programs and succession planning framework. Indeed, the importance of lifelong learning is an essential tool that enables our D&I campaign.
We have found that continuous education and learning efforts is essential to building and strengthening a D&I culture because people will simply find it challenging to care about issues they do not fully understand. For the conversation to evolve into deeper and more meaningful dialogues that could potentially unearth fresh solutions and ideas, we need to constantly share with our people new data, research, and learnings from credible sources.
The D&I journey is one that we take together as an organization united in our goals and vision. Through conscious and purposeful initiatives, we will enable everyone to take part in the process of building the organization. And this is the D&I culture that we are creating in TP -- where inclusion means we welcome people not only to be present but, more importantly, to fully participate in growing our shared future.