G – Gender Inclusivity
Diversity and inclusion are hot topics in any workplace, but for many companies it’s all talk and no action. This is staggering, especially given how important an accepting culture is for colleague attraction, retention and productivity.
The challenge, however, is creating a culture that is genuinely inclusive, where everyone feels welcome and truly comfortable in their own skin.
As designers, we can play a key role in this, so it’s important that we design workplaces that go beyond the traditional office, to meet a wider range of employee needs.
For example, we can acknowledge people’s religious beliefs by including prayer and contemplation rooms, or respect gender identity with gender-neutral toilets. Elsewhere, we can look at mothering rooms to support women returning to work, or provide breakout areas and rest spaces to help colleagues manage their mental health. Examples like this act as visual and practical reminders of our commitment to supporting colleagues.
Of course, this works best when designers are working alongside other teams, all focused on promoting diversity and inclusion. Genuine engagement from leaders is essential for success, and this is something we’ve seen first-hand at Bupa.
Leaders who promote strategies that bring out the best in people, or recognise and reward without bias, act as a solid a role model to the organisation. Of course, it’s not just leadership that should be adopting this outlook – it’s something we can all do.
By working together, and supporting our people-focused strategies with sensitive and thoughtful design, we can create a workplace where everyone’s happy and comfortable in being themselves.
Karen Broadbent, Business Change Manager, Bupa