Leadership needs real diversity, not tokenism. Sparta Global hosted an ED&I roundtable, on the topic of ‘Beyond Tokenism”. The event brought together powerful narratives and more than 20 influential leaders who are helping their companies move beyond symbolic ED&I efforts. Read below to find out more…
While organisations becoming increasingly aware of the visibility of their equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) efforts is a good thing - it also creates the perfect environment for tokenism to thrive. How can we sure our society is moving towards equity across careers, when some organisations’ actions are not entirely sincere? A robust ED&I policy needs to be effective at influencing and changing the workplace culture, by embedding ED&I into performance assessments in the workplace, creating safe spaces to encourage open dialogue, recognising and rewarding EDI productivity alongside technical productivity, and allocating funding for long-term investment.
What is tokenism?
The Network defines tokenism as, ‘diversity without inclusion’ - a superficial endeavour to appear diverse without creating a genuinely inclusive environment. What are some examples to look out for?
On Wednesday 8th June, Sparta Global hosted a breakfast roundtable with more than 20 ED&I leaders and advocates from some of the UK’s most influential organisations, including Shell, Deutsche Bank, and Deloitte. The roundtable attempted to tackle this issue head on by enabling an exploration of what must be done beyond surface level ED&I practices to enable teams to make diversity part of an organisations’ DNA – and not just a checklist.
ED&I leaders and their view on tokenism
Leadership teams must be invested in genuine, sincere diversity practises to provoke a change in mindset and opinions within their organisations. The Sparta Global roundtable provided a safe and collaborative space to challenge and support our guest leaders’ current ED&I practices, while allowing attendees to share ideas of spotting and removing tokenism at a leadership level.
Some of our favourite points of discussion:
To avoid tokenism, organisations must begin with assessing their recruitment and hiring practices. These processes must be inclusive, through the creation of inclusive job descriptions, a diverse interview panel and transparency on the ED&I practices employed within the organisation.