As part of our plans to drive forward a more inclusive vision of doing business in London, we’ve launched a series of short interviews to find out what some of our members are doing to improve inclusion and diversity (I&D) within their own organisations.
Today we hear from Sir Ian Powell, Chairman of Capita and former Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC.
Q: Why is having an inclusive and diverse working environment so important?
The only long-term, sustainable competitive advantage that any organisation has is its culture. For any culture to be successful, an inclusive and diverse working environment is fundamental.
Q: What has your career journey highlighted for you in terms of the value of embracing diversity?
Creativity and innovation increase with diversity, and it’s the role of leadership to make sure a great environment exists that allows diversity to flourish.
Q: What was the spur for your business in becoming more proactive on I&D?
It was the need to ensure that all talent has equal opportunity to fulfil its potential both to the benefit of the individual and the organisation.
Q: When it comes to improving diversity at a senior level, what does your company do to support people from under-represented groups in their journey to the top?
It’s important to set strategic goals to promote an inclusive culture, but that’s not enough, and tactical intervention is needed to make sure change happens. A visible commitment and real delivery by leadership are crucial for this to occur.
Q: What are the most innovative steps your company has taken on I&D?
Taking the time to listen, openly engage and understand what’s not working, then co-designing the necessary actions with those most affected.
Q: Are there any other companies that you feel are at the forefront of this journey?
There are many great examples, particularly in professional services, but no one can have all the answers. The real step forward comes when organisations share their experiences and best practices with each other.
Q: What is a key piece of advice for companies just starting their inclusion and diversity journeys?
Be ready to engage with bravery and make sure that the tone from the middle is genuine, not just the tone from the top.
London First is on a mission to keep London at the forefront of global business, working with and for the whole UK. If you’re interested in becoming a member or want to find out more about our sponsorship activities, get in touch with us today.