Natasha Madan Kher, Global QTP Lead, Trust and Safety, Accenture, shares the transformative potential of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in creating fair and thriving workplaces. She highlights the importance of diverse representation at all levels, not just as a symbolic gesture, but as a means to tap into a wider range of perspectives, experiences, and ideas. She also shares simple but impactful initiatives at Accenture which have helped them build a more inclusive culture and higher employee happiness quotient. The article is an easily actionable roadmap for organizations to inculcate DEI practices.
Natasha has more than two decades of work experience across various brands like GE Capital, WNS Global, Barclays Cognizant & Accenture, in the areas of Training, Quality, Leadership and Behavior and Diversity and Inclusion. She has been invited as a speaker on many L&D and DI Forums, primarily on the themes of Leadership and Inclusive Diversity. Her vision is to make all of us work towards the betterment of each of us. She carries a few important skills and certifications under her belt,while currently pursuing a Masters in Psychology, she is among the first 50 individuals to be a ‘Certified Diversity Professionals- CDP’ in India through Diversity Training University, San Francisco, CA, an MBTi certified practitioner, NLP practitioner, Design Thinking Expert, Leadership & Change Management – XLRI, Leading Organizational Change from MIT.

Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences amongst people in an organization. It is an understanding that each individual is unique, and a recognition of our individual differences, so that each and every one feels important, respected, included and engaged as we assimilate people with differences including but not limited to nationality, geography, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, family status, religious beliefs, perspective, experience or other ideologies.

Our workforce should reflect the diverse consumers and communities we serve.

Inclusion & Diversity is a business imperative, as much as it is about fairness and societal equity across diverse groups. It is no hidden gem that companies with a healthy diversity mix are more likely to have financial returns above their industry median. Additionally, research shows that the most engaged employees are those working in an open, fair and diverse environment.

Rapid changes in workforce demographics have compelled organizations to adopt, embrace, and appreciate differences at the workplace in terms of culture, sexual orientation, habits, disability and so on.
Inclusivity and diversity in the workforce are essential to organizations in order to retain their  competitive advantage in today’s world marked by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA)
As a global company, we at Accenture, work in countries with a broad array of laws and regulations. But regardless of where we operate, we take care to respect the diversity, talents and abilities of all. We benefit greatly from the skills, experience and commitment of the diverse range of people who work with us.

For employers, the message is clear: They can’t afford to ease up on recruitment and retention.
But to be successful in this environment, organizations must do more than hire and keep employees. They must create a culture where all employees feel they can thrive and belong. To this end, many companies have increased their focus on DEI initiatives.

Talking the talk is easy enough, but people want to see action and results, a simple list of ‘must-haves’ should be a good segway to move from ‘Why I&D’ to ‘How I&D’ –

  • Create a D&I council to hold the fort to align and create governance on clear, measurable goals.
  • Form initiatives that go beyond legal compliance, build inclusive recruitment practices, and conduct diversity & guidance training.
  • Pay Equity Programme for all

Common yet impactful D&I policies:

  • The bedrock of Inclusive culture is awareness of unconscious bias & its mitigation.
  • Parental leave
  • Work life balance
  • Mental wellness council
  • Belonging

Two key facts shape the current work landscape:

  • A generational shift: baby boomers are leaving the job market, more and more gen Zs are entering, and millennials are becoming the core of the global workforce, representing 75% of the worldwide workforce by 2025.
  • A global pandemic forced everyone to reconsider their life and priorities, especially about modes of work and work culture.

These facts or trends mean that attitudes to work are dramatically changing. An essential part of that is how employees select their employers. For young workers, company values and ethics can make a huge difference when selecting their employers.

Millennials want to work for organizations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills, and make a positive contribution to society,” highlights a Deloitte Millennial Survey Report.

A very simple & really impactful initiative at Accenture that has given us immense insight into what our workforce thinks & has won trust & confidence for us is “Each one pick one” – through this exercise all people leaders have anonymous conversations with the teams & encourage them to talk about how they feel? What is working for them/what isn’t? What will delight them and so on.

This has increased our happiness quotient, given the sense of power back to the workforce and shown us ways to improve and all this without incurring a hefty consultation fee.

We deserve a workplace where everyone belongs, feels engaged and looks forward to. And it’s up to us to create that safe space.

Stay Bold and Stay Inclusive!


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