Make 2020 the year of real change.
By Matt Roberts, Korum
In 2020, having diversity in the workplace should be the norm and not something we aspire towards, but if recent events and history show us anything, it is that we have not learnt enough. We should all be continuously learning and educating ourselves about diversity and/or the adverse effects of a lack of diversity. What we do at KorumLegal is apply business solutions through a legal lens – a lens that is created through our experiences i.e qualified lawyers or legal industry professionals. We apply our legal experiences and see solutions through this legal lens. So, let me ask you this – imagine you have a business that consists of people, all from the same gender group, culture, and ethnicity – wouldn’t their ideas (lens) be very limited? It will ultimately produce a unidimensional outcome. The same can be seen globally throughout history and right now. We do, however, appear to be in a moment of purposeful introspection. Having an awareness of the importance surrounding diversity and inclusion means we are better educating ourselves to create cultures of higher diversity, that allow us to learn and see matters from varying perspectives.
Diversity across gender, race, background and age has been proven time and time again to be a characteristic of higher performing teams. Innovation and success are fostered within organizations who create sandbox environments where collective knowledge and differing experiences/backgrounds can unite. Consider the Worlds centers of innovation and creativity – Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Dubai etc – all, distinctive melting pots of diversity and the intersection of ideas, challenges and experiences. Diversity has evolved, it is no longer just about simply creating a heterogeneous team but more so supporting that team to create innovative products, services, and practices that come from a place of empathetic diversity. It would be near impossible to compete in a global market without a global team who are a reflection of the world we live in. A team that feel free to contribute to their fullest, in an environment that creates equal opportunity and embraces inclusion. Whilst contrasting views often lead to conflict, differing views are needed to innovate and to pivot- and when more so than now, during the unprecedented 2020, must we be ready to pivot.
The events of this year have compounded the notion that awareness is the first meaningful step anyone can take to improve diversity and inclusion. Being aware of how your business compares to the benchmark in diversity will help you make improvements. In our modern times, we are constantly encouraged to be data driven. So, I encourage you to look at the numbers. Be aware. What is your departments % headcount by ethnicity? What is your departments % headcount by age? Or gender? What is the % turnover by differing diversity characteristics? Measure ratios: run personality sessions, use metrics, use data – Data informs almost all successful strategies in 2020 so use data for your diversity strategy.
It’s furiously disappointing that in 2020 we still fall short in the face of diversity but it’s important that we not get disheartened. If you hit or miss your benchmarks, be transparent and become a voice for change but above all, educate, be aware and be accountable.