Marta Zaremba-Marsden and Lara Warburton presented to the Midlands branch on 6 September in Birmingham Repertory Theatre.The evening talk on diversity and inclusion was an engaging piece and started the audience thinking about what is diversity, is it just what we can see? race, gender. No it isn’t, the analogy used was, it is like an ice-berg, and that’s what makes us diverse, unique and what is below the waterline, whether that be sexual orientation, mental ability, thinking style, heath, hobbies etc. The benefit of finding out what we as individuals have below the ‘waterline’ is where we can ensure our team members start to feel included, and taking the time to get to know people and their values is key to ensure our teams are effective.
Marta and Lara took us through some of the initiatives that Rolls-Royce have put in place to help with inclusion, many of which can be found in the presentation, and these included Language Café, Tandem Partners, LBGT group, Yammer, to name a few.
One of the highlights for me was the exercise we undertook on work association, by choosing a simple word, in this case LIFE, write down all the words that you associate with this one word. We then compared our lists in teams of three to see how much duplication or uniqueness we had. The sum of our individual lists of unique words far outweighed the list of identical words which re-emphasised a key message that the power of the individual when brought into a team means greater innovation and problem solving.
A copy of the presentation can also be viewed on the APM slideshare page.