We want to talk about diversity, equality and inclusion, what it means to us and how we’re always reaching for this in the work we do. In our agency, we work with people all day, every day, we work with our internal team, contractors, teams placed and managed in client organisations, with candidates looking for their next opportunity and of course our clients themselves. Diversity and inclusion is a topic we’ve always held in high regard throughout our whole organisation and something we’re increasingly conscious of supporting and highlighting. One of the ways we do this, with the aim of creating a culture we can continue to be proud of long-term, is through our company values.
Firstly, our values were not, as is often done, set by our management team and filtered down the organisation, but were collectively and collaboratively chosen by our wider team as values they wanted to see shine through their organisation.
Pride month, recently celebrated, is a catalyst for open, honest conversation and communication of points of view around diversity and inclusion. The whole of the month of June is dedicated to Pride, to the celebration, acceptance and equality of all LBGTQ+ people. “LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The + is an inclusive symbol to mean ‘and others’ to include people of all identities.” – BBC During this time, individuals and businesses are reminded of their responsibility to encourage and support equality and diversity, and while unfortunately we still witness some close-minded views & opportunistic marketing, this is a yearly reminder for us all to listen, self-educate and generally just do a little better!
Let’s not all forget about the drive for inclusion and diversity after awareness weeks and days. Are you open to improving your organisation’s approach to Equality & Diversity?
Be respectful and kind to yourself and the people around you. Always assume positive intent, resolve problems with empathy. Celebrate successes and welcome mistakes as learning opportunities.
Be unrivalled and passionate in everything you do. Ambiguity doesn’t stop you or slow you down from creatively solving problems and accomplishing amazing things.
Be brave in everything you do. Make courageous decisions. Search for alternative perspectives and don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. Build your own journey.
Be The Customer
Think like our customers and treat them as we would like to be treated. Always make time for them and put them first. Be highly responsive and exceed their expectations
Step behind the scenes…
As ‘people people’ and experienced recruiters, proud to work with all walks of life, our recruitment process needs to be one that aims to eliminate bias. At Chesamel we follow a structured interview process to ensure each candidate has the same experience and the same opportunity with our organisation and those we collaborate with. We have also ensured, through this process, that the outcome of the interview is always evidence-based, with the same aim – removing any unconscious bias.
A huge part of all of diversity and inclusion for us is that this is a continuous evolution and opportunity for learning. We try to be a fair, honest, inclusive and transparent organisation & to operate with authenticity, however, we are aware, we’re not perfect and we’re here to learn and try harder to find the best approach for all. For us one of the most vital pieces of the puzzle and journey to equal opportunities is to cultivate a culture that is always open to learning and improving, not to reach an ‘equal or diverse’ end destination.
One of our most recent learnings and improvements we’re proud to have introduced is our Neurodiversity Project, which will allow us to make the roles we’re looking to fill comfortably accessible for all forms of cognitive ability and neurodiversity. Neurodiversity refers to learning differences that account for up to 15% of the population; these include ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, and Dyspraxia. This is a long term project and we hope will bring a deeper level of accessibility and inclusion to our roles through improving our support and processes
COVID-19 ushered in plenty of negative consequences for diversity and inclusion overall, with both women and people of colour being among the hardest hit demographics, gender pay gap reporting paused, and a vast number of employees with disabilities being made redundant in comparison to non-disabled. We can, however, we feel, look for and work towards a brighter future off the back of this; the remote and flexible working bars have now been irrevocably moved, as they became an abrupt necessity. The realisation that remote and flexible working options were very much feasible has left few of the previous negative misconceptions attached, meaning that there are fewer restrictions for parents, those suffering with mental health issues, invisible physical disabilities, or even location barriers.
Continuing to work to create opportunities for learning and education and a culture which will have this at its heart, while also taking all of the positives we can away from a pandemic that has changed the working world globally, we know that we can continue to see change and improvement.
Ultimately we want to help organisations to build, strengthen and open up their diversity and inclusion in hiring, to build diverse and inclusive teams for our clients and provide equal opportunities for our candidates and talent pools as we continue to work towards more open and accepting workplaces.