Here, we reflect on the progress we’ve made with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion this year, what we’ve learnt along the way, and most importantly, what’s next. We’re starting with team and culture because at DICE people are our most important asset.
Before jumping into what we’ve been up to, we want to acknowledge the brilliant team that made it all happen – our cross-functional DEI squad (shoutout to Salma, Amanda, Natasha, Will, Desiree, Andrew, Gemma, Giovanna, Sophie and Pat). These folks were trusted to set the goals and KPIs for each initiative and to rally more troops where needed. They also helped to manage our diversity survey (results here), which helped us to measure diversity across a range of characteristics and identify where we need to improve.
Here's a glimpse into some of the team and culture initiatives that we’ve been working on.
To make DICE a truly inclusive place to work, we wanted to give everyone a safe space to raise any issues that were affecting them, and we mean anything. From leadership styles and business objectives to existing processes and internal comms – no topic was off-limits. We hired an independent expert, Ian Hill of CMP Solutions, to provide a neutral space to have candid conversations.
Following these sessions, Ian provided a detailed report to guide us in improving our internal culture and processes. One of the recommendations was to appoint a DEI leader, so our People Partner Salma Repa who has been leading our DEI work was promoted to Global Head of DEI. Salma will be responsible for embedding the global DEI strategy into our culture and ensuring that DICE is a place where every employee can be seen and heard.
Looking ahead, we will continue to set clear targets on DEI initiatives, initiate training for leadership and management and increase support for our BIPOC and women managers. We want DEI to be fully integrated into all of our people and product decisions to give our work lasting impact.
One of our commitments is increasing support for our BIPOC employees and this includes the benefits we offer as a company. While we’ve had an internal coach at DICE since 2018, we needed to increase representation by also providing a BIPOC coach in order for our BIPOC staff to feel comfortable accessing this benefit. As Micha Frazer-Carroll pointed out in The Guardian, “people of colour are more likely to experience mental health problems in the first place, are less likely to access services, and have poorer experiences within them when they do.” Many factors come into play when choosing a coach or therapist and representation is one of them. If we can remove one more barrier from this process, that’s progress.
We hired Holiday Philips, a trained integral coach and mindfulness expert who is passionate about building inclusive cultures and creating spaces that prioritise racial equity. Holiday’s sessions gave our BIPOC staff a space to speak about anything they may be struggling with in a confidential, supportive and non-judgemental space.
Born out of the desire to have more open conversations about what we can be doing to fight all forms of racism, bigotry and injustice, we’ve been hosting group sessions to educate ourselves further. From allyship and unconscious bias to intersectionality and conflict management, the sessions are informative and provide a time to be vulnerable, connect and listen to one another.
Our Senior Brand Partnerships Manager Zarinah recently led a session on Using Your Voice that explored how deeply racism is embedded within government policy and how anti-black political tactics have evolved in modern society. We learned how to unlearn and dismantle the politics of racism and become a voice for change in our communities.
We also invited guest speakers to lead sessions and provide more learning opportunities for all staff. Akin Thomas of AKD Solutions led a powerful discussion on Unspoken Truths where we got comfortable being uncomfortable. Akin helped us to acknowledge the constructs of race within our society and unapologetically speak up about our experiences as BIPOC, as women, as parents. We talked about being intentional and how it’s helpful to walk towards the problem. And that if you feel unnerved, to do it anyway.
One way we celebrate our differences is with regular company socials (even in the middle of a pandemic). With everyone working remotely for the better part of this year, it’s been so important to dedicate time to get-togethers. Having a calendar of events with key religious celebrations and special holidays is an obvious way to foster inclusion, but this year we encouraged the team to co-create the socials. A few recent highlights included: How To Be Singaporean, where we got the low-down on this beautiful multicultural country; Talky Time With Tara, a time to share and discuss what we learnt during Black History Month; and the Bi-Visibility Day Pub Quiz, testing our knowledge of bisexual icons.
Everything we’ve learned up to this point will inform our future work, ensuring it has a lasting impact at DICE. We look forward to sharing more on our long-term DEI strategy in our next post!