At Genuit Group, we firmly believe that fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment is not only the right thing to do, but will also help us to achieve our wider strategic goals. As our Diversity and Inclusion Ambition states, we are committed to creating an atmosphere where every employee feels a sense of belonging and can bring their whole self to work.
In this latest blog Group Talent Director Karen Hughes provides an insight on how our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy is being put into practice and discusses the initiatives and events that have shaped our journey so far.
Just as our transition to becoming a fully sustainable manufacturer is a central to Genuit’s core focus of creating a more sustainable built environment, maintaining and improving a welcoming and inclusive work culture is a key foundation for that vision.
The group is into its second phase of the D&I strategy, as we continue to build the environment, put in place the policies and procedures, and to identify the leaders that will champion the cause in their daily work and communication with colleagues.
Our Pride celebrations and group-wide initiatives throughout the month of June was a demonstration of the work that is underway throughout the Group. Throughout the month businesses across the group have been engaging in activity and communication to highlight and promote awareness and acceptance of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The senior management team have participated in new e-learning modules focused on LGBTQ+ inclusion as we look to equip colleagues with the tools to improve our understanding in how we can be champions for a more equitable environment.
This is an issue our CEO Joe Vorih is unequivocal on, as he set out at the start of the month:
“Close friends, work colleagues and family members of mine have not felt like they can be themselves, not felt included, and perhaps not gotten the same opportunities due to perceptions.
“Leading an inclusive company, creating that culture of respect and belonging, and being a visible and accessible ally and mentor matters to me. It’s a privilege and a responsibility I don’t take lightly. Change starts with each of us, and I’ll continue making sure every month is Pride month here at Genuit Group.”
We also celebrated International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on 23rd June. This day serves as a platform to spotlight female engineers, who are still significantly underrepresented in the industry. With women representing only 16.5% of UK engineers, there is a real need to highlight the opportunities and encourage more young women and girls to pursue engineering careers.
For INWED the group organised several activities to celebrate and promote gender diversity in engineering. Spotlight interviews with women from various departments within our organisation, provided a platform to share real life role model experiences and achievements.
As part of our ongoing efforts to inspire and attract diverse talent to our industry, we encouraged our teams to organise STEM learning sessions with local schools or arrange site visits. By engaging with young students, particularly girls, we aim to showcase the opportunities and possibilities that a career in engineering holds
Our Pride and INWED day activity followed quickly on the back of Genuit Group’s response to International Women’s Day in March. I am proud that our IWD23 campaign was the first of its kind for us at the group, and saw us turn Genuit purple with widespread participation, with our CEO embarking on a tour of sites, while many of our leaders’ shared video content reaffirming our commitment to celebrate the contributions of women across the Group.
We hosted inclusive employee sessions, generating productive discussions which received overwhelming engagement. The feedback from this event led to tangible actions that support the delivery of our D&I ambition, such as reviewing our maternity policy, providing access to English lessons, providing policies in other languages, and launching awareness campaigns about different cultures.
The Group leadership team recognises that these activities do need to be supported with policies and procedures in place that can meet the needs of employees in 2023. As we state in our recent annual report, great companies are built by great teams, and investing in those teams remains a top priority.
The Group is now using new HR software that allows us to gather insight on where we need to focus our improvement, forecast where the next areas of need may be and to measure how the new introduced policies and procedures are having an impact.
Measuring levels of inclusion is challenging, but we recognise that there are ways to make meaningful progress. The valuable insights gathered from our awareness and engagement sessions during 2022 supported the development of our D&I ambition and strategy focusing on four pillars: leadership, education, policy and process, and communication.
These findings have been put into practice with, for example, the introduction of a new recruitment process that considers diversity from the moment of application. My role is to ensure that people and the quality of their work life with us is at the centre of our thinking and ‘hard-wired’ into the way Genuit Group operates.
Through these initiatives, we strive to create an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents. Together, we can build a more inclusive future for all our colleagues.”