What did you set out to achieve?
The purpose of the Committee is to have employees collaborate and work on how we can embrace cultures, steer the conversation and drive action. Having internal ambassadors allows our employees to be involved in setting the agenda for what is important to them when it comes to Inclusion, Diversity & Equity practices.
Describe how the initiative works
We let employees know that we were launching a Culture Committee and what we wanted this group to accomplish. We then asked anyone that was interested to submit a form outlining why they wanted to be part of the Committee. The Committee has 14 members that meet regularly to set agendas and push initiatives forward. They are also connected on a Slack channel for ease of communication and have an email alias set up so that any employee can submit a suggestion, idea or question to the group. The Committee puts out a monthly newsletter on progress that has been made and occasionally presents updates at Company All Hands Meetings.
Can you tell us about the practical steps you took to set it up?
First, we announced the initiative internally and asked for members to join by demonstrating why they wanted to be part of it. We allocated a generous budget so that the employees/the Committee can choose which organisations they want to support financially each month - but this initiative can be done with a small or large budget available. We keep the initiative going by scheduling regular catch ups to keep the group on track.
What positive impact has this initiative had?
It is early days but so far:
We are integrating pronouns into email signatures. This is in the testing phase now and looking to be launched soon
We have renamed our office meeting rooms after UK authors, musicians and innovators that are more inclusive (previously, meeting room names were mainly white males)
We are scheduling an Active Ally Workshop for our office through Outvertising
Overall, we’ve been able to hear first-hand what is important to our employees and empowered them to drive the change, which has been way more impactful than a top-down approach.
What did you learn that could help others?
ID&E initiatives are so much more impactful and meaningful when employees are driving the change. We only wish that we started this earlier.
How will you make the ID&E benefit of this initiative endure?
We really think that the members of the Committee will make it last. Everyone is passionate about these topics and, so far, the engagement has been fantastic. Putting together goals for the year and adding regular meetings to the diary helps everyone to stay on track as well. Celebrating the little wins and accomplishments along the way also keeps the group engaged.
Have something to share?
We’d love to hear what your company is doing in the ID&E space. If you're a member of IAB UK, find out more about how to submit your case study here.