On Thursday, June 29th, Cornwallis Elt hosted an engaging and thought-provoking event titled 'Creating an Inclusive Workplace’ Forum at The Eight Club.
The event brought together a diverse group of professionals from varying industries, including CIOs, CTOs and COOs, who eagerly participated in insightful discussions. Leading the forum as the chairperson was Bilge Mert, Chief Technology Officer at Brit, a renowned figure in the industry whose expertise and experiences added immense value to the event.
One of the key topics explored during the forum was "How to get diverse CVs in the door." The participants shared several strategies to enhance gender diversity in recruitment, emphasising the importance of actively engaging during the hiring process. They discussed the need to broaden recruitment networks beyond the insurance and financial services sectors and recommended using inclusive language in job descriptions including the specific tools you can use for this. They also highlighted the effectiveness of showcasing the benefits and opportunities offered by the organisation through videos/social media and ensuring female representation on interview panels. Additionally, the participants recognised the significance of attracting the younger generation through up-to-date and exciting websites that align with their tech and social media preferences.
Another crucial topic addressed was the flexibility debate in the workplace. The participants agreed that flexibility has become an essential expectation for new hires, providing opportunities to balance career growth with family responsibilities. They acknowledged the benefits of remote work for productivity but also highlighted the value of in-office collaboration and learning from colleagues. The forum noted that flexibility policies should be company-wide, with managers having discretion to accommodate specific needs. Some companies even had multiple policies catering to different areas of their business. Two days per week emerged as the ideal balance for remote work.
The discussions also delved into mentoring, coaching, and imposter syndrome. The participants emphasised the importance of setting clear expectations, promoting allyship, and actively supporting junior staff. They stressed the need for managers to be mindful of their behaviour and to build confidence in their mentees. Addressing unconscious bias and providing 360 feedback were also highlighted as effective measures. Role models/allyship was also seen as crucial at all levels of an organisation, and HR was recognised as a valuable resource for implementing and measuring diversity initiatives. The forum also explored the potential of coaching and mentoring programs for managers and the value of leadership development opportunities.
During the event, an interesting point was raised regarding women over the age of 35 ultimately leaving their profession most commonly to raise a family. The participants acknowledged the need to create sufficient space and opportunities for career advancement at the next level, ensuring that women can continue to thrive in their chosen field whatever their circumstances.
Cornwallis Elt extends its sincere gratitude to all the attendees for their active participation in the 'Creating an Inclusive Workplace’ Forum. The presence of accomplished leaders from diverse backgrounds and industries underscored their commitment to improving the experiences of women in the workplace. Cornwallis Elt encourages all those interested to connect with Hannah Fitzhenry our ED&I Lead, to express their interest in attending future events focused on fostering inclusivity and driving positive change.
The success of the 'Creating an Inclusive Workplace’ Forum was made possible by the contributions and engagement of all the participants. Cornwallis Elt remains dedicated to organising events that facilitate meaningful discussions and promote a truly inclusive work environment. Thank you once again to our attendees for your valuable contributions, and we look forward to your continued involvement in our future endeavours.