One of the key themes across the panels of speakers and workshops was the importance of investing time in understanding the positive impact of your diverse teams. Sounds straight forward, but when you have geographically dispersed teams – leveraging tech and having face to face conversations is vital to ensure that your team feel both engaged and valued.
Pamela Hutchinson (Head of D&I EMEA@Bloomberg) opened the conference with her incredible personal story. Her infectious energy and drive won her audience over instantly – her family encouraged her to use her perceived differences to her advantage. She said that when it comes to hiring for Bloomberg, they want the ‘disruptors’ – the people who look at things differently, the ones who see something you had not, the ones who share their learning with others….she challenged the audience to not just recruit people who are different, but to recruit them into a workplace where you allow people to be different.
Fiona Gallagher-Payet (Head of Field IT@Facebook)called this “Conscious Communication”. If you make it your mission to recognise people on a personal level, it is much more likely that they in turn will give more back to both your team and the company long term – because they feel included. Moreover, if you create a working environment whereby everyone in the team feels that they can bring their whole self to work, they will not be holding themselves back. This is an enabler: a platform for innovation, open discussion and above all, a celebration of difference.
Cognitive diversity was highlighted by the hugely enigmatic Brajesh Bajpai (Global Head of Segment Marketing@Vodafone).As he took us through the journey of his international career – he shed light on the importance of valuing ways of thinking outside of an apparent normal, promoting openness and challenging intolerances. Introducing flexible ways of working, especially when a team member needs additional support through difficult times and above all, being respectful of everyone’s choices.
Here at CloudStream Global, we are already operating across 4 different continents, 6 different countries and a team that is growing week on week. We are constantly sharing information, listening, advising, planning and (most importantly) encouraging and celebrating success. Authentic inclusion is at the heart at what we do and how we will continue to build our teams.