Diversity, equity and inclusion
The corporate world has intensified its focus on diversity and inclusion throughout the 21st century, but more recent events suggest that there is still a lot of work left to do when it comes to inequities across the globe, beginning in the workplace. A survey carried out by HRD.com found that while half of the companies reported having a DEI mission statement, only 49% have a strategic diversity plan in place (John Corrigan, HRD.com, 2022).
An introduction to the committee
Punch! has recently established our own D,E&I committee made up of 6 passionate members, all having the chance to chair the committee each quarter. In conjunction with the team, we have created a dedicated email address (email@example.com) for any employees that want to spark thoughts and ideas with us or to send questions with regards to D,E&I to allow each and every person a voice on such important issues.
Being the lucky first members of the newly found committee, we have been given the exciting opportunity to not only create a more inclusive workspace alongside like-minded people but to further our own knowledge on the topic of DE&I itself. So, without further ado, here are some of our founding members discussing what the D,E&I committee means to them as well as why they applied to sit on such an important body.
Temi Oguntanse, Sales Development Executive, believes that “being part of the committee embraces spirit, character, and pride and is a vital element of a healthy community” while Becky Davies, Senior Sales Development Manager, says “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are fundamental to my core beliefs as a human being - I believe everyone should be treated equally no matter their background, their ethnicity, their sexuality or their gender. Everyone should be afforded the same opportunities to succeed.”
Each member of the committee has ultimately joined for the same goal of implementing better D,E&I practices across the company to foster an environment that promotes inclusion, but personal passions have played a part too. Az Ahmed, Strategist at Punch!, says he joined the committee because “I wanted to help influence our policies around D,E&I and come up with ideas to help more people that are from a similar background to me find roles in marketing, excel at those roles and see more people that look like them in their workplace”.
What D,E&I means to us
Diversity and inclusion are so much more than policies, programs or headcounts. It is evident that equitable employers outpace their competitors by respecting all unique needs, perspectives and potential of their people. As a result, diverse and inclusive workplaces earn deeper trust and more commitment from their team. It is arguably the most important topic facing the corporate world, but even still, we have a lot to learn about what it truly means to be a company that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive (Addressing Diversity and Inclusion, Oracle, 2021).
There are two types of exclusion when thinking about D,E&I - The main form of exclusion is overt, whether it's “run-of-the mill’ misogyny or outright racism, all forms of prejudice and ignorance should be intolerable. But it is not always so overt and obvious, so equally bad are the insidious forms of exclusion, which are often put down to a simple lack of consideration for others. It is therefore of the utmost importance to us, as the committee, that inclusion is at the forefront of the company’s culture in order to understand each person’s perspectives and needs.
Our first steps
A company can reap so many benefits when a strong D,E&I strategy is put in place and the committee at Punch! believes just that! Some of the first steps we’d like to take in implementing a strong strategy for D,E&I as well as the company’s culture is:
Authoring a survey for internal use in order to understand what we can be doing better as a company in terms of diversity and inclusion. (The best way to do this is to hear from the people it directly impacts!)
Pioneering policies which promote and enable diverse recruitment. (A diverse team allows for diverse ideas and mindsets!)
Recognising that mental health is an important issue when considering inclusion and equity. (All health-related issues should matter in the workplace!)
Educating ourselves, as members, about what diversity, equity and inclusion truly means. (We want to have a better understanding so we can make a difference within the company and for its people!)
Each of our members feels passionate about a different subject matter within the umbrella of diversity and equity, thus we have found the committee to explore those passions further, putting them to good use by assisting in creating a culture that leverages diversity to its fullest potential. We are excited to be involved in such an important part of the company and eager to begin tackling the challenges that come with it!