We are seeing the Covid-19 pandemic be a source of discrimination against the Asian community in some countries. We have also seen the pandemic affect certain racial groups more than others, due to systemic issues such as poverty.
As we are observing these situations and facts, we must realise that they are just the tip of the iceberg. The bottom of said iceberg being deeply rooted in inequality in various forms; gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, nationalities and more.
2020: lesson learnt. 2021 and onwards: how do we get better?
How do we change the way we treat everyone fairly and equally?
How do we make sure that everyone, no matter who you are and where you come from, has the same opportunities in life, to make their lives better and worthwhile?
A great place to start is at work - but this is not a one-way street: whilst everyone deserves fair work opportunities, organisations can also benefit from diversity and inclusion.
Why is D&I key for any organisation?
There is an opportunity for more creativity, different (and better!) solutions to challenges, a better understanding of customers (and with that, more opportunity to develop new products and services to customers that organisations didn’t know how to nurture).
With more openness to hiring diverse people, there is more openness to incredible talent that could potentially be missed otherwise. Through inclusion, organisations can ensure they retain the incredible talent available to them.
Additionally, there is a personal growth that we experience, becoming educated on topics that we did not know existed, or knew very little about. We spend most of our time at work or speaking with people from work, so why not make that time and that environment a lot richer?
Diversity & Inclusivity at Navigate Digital
As we navigated through a turbulent year of testing human endurance and the (beginning of) breakdown of cognitive barriers and unconscious bias, we recognised that we weren’t taking the necessary actions to put diversity and inclusion on the pedestal that it deserves. We realised that we needed to make D&I a deep rooted pillar of Navigate’s DNA.
As an organisation that puts kindness, mental health, and wellbeing first, being complacent to this matter does not align with our values, or who our employees are. It “can’t sit with us” (any Mean Girls fans here?!).
To combat this, we have thrown ourselves into founding our D&I Team, where we can finally put a structure and actions in place to take this even further at Navigate.
We recognise that we don’t know everything, but we are committed to learn as we go. With the help of our HR team, we have been able to create and send a Diversity & Inclusion survey to send to all employees to gauge opinions on the state of D&I in the company as it currently stands, and feedback on improvements.
As a start, we have created a monthly newsletter with a specific D&I topic for each month, where employees are encouraged to learn and are able to access a breath of resources (reading lists, articles, webinars, talks, exhibits, supporting areas such as shops to buy from or donation pages, etc). During the month of January 2021, we have had consent from employees to ask about their religions and faiths, and their cultural/ religious observances, so we can properly celebrate them all together, as we have always done for Christmas.
Our efforts are just beginning - we are working towards offering employees training on D&I, writing up a manifesto that will be visible on all our platforms, creating a company culture handbook, taking notes on HR-related subjects to be D&I compliant, and more. Watch this space!
At Navigate, we:
- Commit to learn continuously
- Commit to learn about ourselves, including bias and privilege
- Commit to learn about the inequitably of systems
- Commit to shift behaviours
We want to leave you with a fantastic response from actress Ellen Pompeo in an interview back in 2018, on the subject of racial diversity in filming sets: “When I show up on set, I would like to see the crew look like the world I walk around in every day. I think it’s up to all productions to make sure that your crew looks like the world we see. As Caucasian people, it’s our job, our task, our responsibility to make sure that we speak up in every single room we walk into that this is not okay and we need to do better. It’s our job because we created the problem.”
Filipa Portela, Affiliate Account Manager and D&I Team Lead