Outtakes from talk to action: are D&I policies having any impact?

In this incredibly important topic, we've put together five key outtakes from this particular session

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Joining us for this session was Saatchi & Saatchi's Global President, Magnus Djaba; and Harriet Hounsell, former Head of People for McDonald's, M&S and John Lewis.

In what is an incredibly important topic, we wanted to share with you some of the outtakes from the conversation.

How do you start the conversation? 

“Recognise the conversation needs to be had. I firmly believe it’s the role of the HR function to say that we need to talk about this:  engage the CEO, facilitate conversations, put firm dates in diaries, and set up the environment where leadership can learn” Harriet Hounsell 

“The approach I think about is a bit like Covid-19: assume we have it; listen to the experts; don’t spread it; change something to bring it to an end.” Magnus Djaba 

How can you make change happen? 

“Ask questions, engage people. Set up surveys (to measure progress), two-way dialogue, focus groups to give people a share of voice.” Harriet Hounsell 

“See culture as a verb, rather than a noun. Like parenting – you have to keep doing it. Force continuous change and keep checking yourself. We’ve created a Diversity Council that meets every six months to check our progress. We’ve adopted a three-step apprenticeship-type model: Inspire, Enable, Progress to open up the industry to people with zero visibility of our business. It includes smart-phone based training modules, briefs, mentoring.” Magnus Djaba 

The role of tech 

“Tech can add real value by scanning job descriptions for gender bias, immediate employee feedback and giving employees a powerful voice. There’s a lot of debate around automation and how we guard against tech bias. I see it as a new frontier and helpful – but we need to be conscious of how we use it going forward.” Harriet Hounsell 

Ethnic diversity networks – do they add value? 

“Networks create a place for debate. I’ve observed that as achievements grow so will the time come for network debate move on. Gender networks – we’ve achieved more so do we need to move on and welcome men into the debate? Recognise that networks can morph. No network should stay static.” Harriet Hounsell 

“As an industry we should be looking for a sustainable cause for the whole. Rather than stepping from one cause to another – we’ve done that one, let’s move on to another”. Magnus Djaba 

See the world thorough my eyes 

“Reverse mentoring should be part of the working day, should be structured rather than an add on” Magnus Djaba 

“It needs to be a commitment rather than a choice” Harriet Hounsell 

You can watch the whole session on-demand right here on our platform.


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