Following the much-awaited announcement of the Culture Pioneer Award 2022 finalists, we get to take a peak into the world of our Inclusion finalists and see how they bagged themselves the coveted top spots in this year’s awards.
This year’s Inclusion category proved to be more concerned with direct and specific approaches to tackling organisational inclusion, rather than trying to cover all areas at once. They tackled one problem at a time and found sustainable solutions that really cut to the heart of the issue.
The four finalists demonstrated commitment, creativity and compassion in their bid to build top-down inclusion strategies, letting no hurdle stand in their way.
Henkel UK, led by HR Business Partner Kim Dickson, approached diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as vital business requirements holding equal importance.
Its dedication to inclusion can be seen in the company’s plethora of purposeful DEI initiatives that encompass a wide range of areas, from gender and ethnicity to sexual orientation, disability and age issues.
Henkel launched a 2025 gender parity target for all senior positions and ‘Let’s Discuss!’ sessions to allow successful women in STEM roles to share their journey in STEM and how they overcame gender challenges.
A disabilities toolkit enabled employees and leaders to understand how to support people with disabilities, with particular emphasis on neurological disabilities. A toolkit was also launched to support the LGBT+ community, raising awareness of the importance of allyship.
Henkel UK’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee, whose members represent all areas and levels of the business, allows all employees a voice to contribute freely. The DEI survey established a baseline using honest, anonymous feedback, which was then shared company-wide along with the action plan.
The Everywoman platform was delivered to all employees, including men, to push women forward and build male allyship. Under the global DEI network, Henkel UK rolled out webinars, elearning sessions and awareness initiatives on key DEI topics such as microaggression, Black History Month, European Diversity Month, menopause and International Women’s Day.
Through the Steering Committee, employee forums, learning opportunities and the visibility of its DEI programme, Henkel UK enables all employees to respond and contribute to company-wide DEI change. Its Inclusion Upskilling programme provides insights and resources to understand what underpins DEI, identify hidden barriers and become a change agent – and has seen high participation.
Access to Work users have been involved in training for managers, learning skills to adopt the right practices to accommodate all needs. Communications are sent out using colour and visual tailoring, and verbal messages are shared in smaller groups to accommodate all communication levels/abilities with manager training being adapted to meet specific needs.
“I’m impressed with Henkel’s holistic and strategic approach in establishing a baseline through demographic data and actively seeking employee views to derive an action plan with ownership across the organisation.”
Shakil Butt – Culture Pioneers judge, award-winning HR and leadership specialist, D&I consultant.
LoveCrafts weaves inclusivity into the backbone of its organisation by building a family and creating a ‘home’ for all of its employees, who are called ‘makers’.
Department teams are named as a reflection of their family approach to building an organisation, such as the People Team, led by Head of People Operations, Will Spencer, and Smiles, the customer services team.
The crafts company uses a bias decoder on all of its job adverts to reveal and remove any gendered or biased language. No advert is placed with requirements on years of experience to avoid ageism, while inclusive wording and the use of a third-party provider allow the organisation to support fully inclusive global hiring.
Although LoveCrafts did not manage to gain a diversity and inclusion (D&I) budget, its D&I committee has buy-in from the executive and c-suite levels to fully support its inclusivity initiatives. The committee is made up of employees across all teams and levels, to accurately represent the demographic of the organisation.
D&I training was successfully rolled out to all of its employees, not just to line managers and leaders, to build an understanding of what the company stands for and raise awareness of how unconscious bias occurs, how to mitigate it and methods for working towards an inclusive team environment. An elearning module is provided for any new joiners and is part of the onboarding process, as well as refresher training. The training includes filling out a pledge card to hold the company and its members to their words.
LoveCrafts showed commitment to inclusion across the entire organisation, in distinctly varying approaches. All teams have specific OKRs based on objectives and results dedicated to LoveCrafts’ D&I agenda, and it makes sure gender and minority gaps are factored into the annual pay review processes to ensure all ‘Makers’ are rewarded holistically and fairly.
Company social events were based around relevant D&I calendar events and psychological safety became an area of high achievement through staff submitting positive anonymous feedback through weekly WIP meetings.
“LoveCrafts has implemented and introduced a number of commendable DEI initiatives across the organisation. It's clear that creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace for all is at the heart of what LoveCrafts does.”
Mac Alonge – Culture Pioneers Judge and CEO at The Equal Group
UK not-for-profit organisation WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) is an NGO working around the globe to tackle the climate crisis and build a world where we all respect our planet and value our natural resources.
Alongside this mission, the company is also passionate about cultivating a society where people are treated with respect and valued equally, regardless of their race, gender, neurodiversity, ability, beliefs, sexuality or personal preferences.
WRAP set out in 2021 to become attractive to a more diverse range of candidates and change the demographic of the organisation where 3% of employees identified as non-white and more than 80% were over 30 years of age.
After partnering with the National Centre for Diversity and adopting their FREDIE (Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity Inclusion and Engagement) principles, WRAP worked to gain the Investors in Diversity accreditation. An equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) budget and sponsorship was secured from CEO Marcus Gover based on ethics over ROI.
The employee-led Diversity Network was used to deliver awareness-raising sessions and empower employees to be their authentic selves at work. Inclusive leadership development, inclusive recruitment, EDI and employment law training were also rolled out to managers.
In addition to celebrating events like National Inclusion Week and Anti-bullying Week, WRAP made statements on its guidance on dress to make it clear that employees should feel comfortable and be themselves at work.
A Trustee Governance Framework set EDI expectations, provided inclusive leadership training and directly measured team engagement with EDI. The recruitment processes were refreshed in line with EDI best practice, and WRAP FREDIE Awards were introduced to recognise and celebrate individuals and teams who have demonstrated the FREDIE principles, internally and externally.
WRAP has achieved Disability Confident ‘committed’ status and is actively working towards achieving level 2 and becoming a Disability Confident Employer. Its project scope documents include equality impact assessments to ensure that project actions and solutions will not negatively impact on any protected characteristics and consider those who are neurodiverse.
“WRAP has a clear vision of what they want their future to look like for everyone but especially their employees. Their inclusion objectives are solid and the strategy towards how they want to innovate and diversify their company culture is motivating and inspiring.”
Dannique Blake – Culture Pioneer judge and Founder of Cultured Insights
As a cloud payment processing platform, achieving a 50/50 split of female and male employees was a difficult target for Form3 and its People Partner, Clara Diaz.
To boost female representation, the organisation focused on ensuring male leaders and employees became allies in gender equality, led by their CEO Michael Muller, who passionately champions gender diversity.
A focus was placed on increasing gender diversity within the board of directors and at senior leadership level, with women representing 19% of the business and 0% of the board of directors. Despite its gender gap, Form3 committed to transparency, publishing its pay gap data and holding itself accountable for its addressal.
To make work more inclusive to different circumstances, the organisation removed limits on working hours to allow a healthy work-life balance and offered additional primary caregiver leave. Summer and part-time hours are also available in all areas of the business. Employees have access to free fast-delivery office equipment to ensure that everyone has the tools they need to do their work, irrespective of financial, social and disability circumstances.
Form3 volunteered in CV and mock interview workshops with social enterprise Stemettes to help young women interested in STEM to gain one-to-one support in pursuing a tech career. Employees also joined interactive talks, live sessions and discussion panels, all with the aim of assisting women and people from underrepresented groups in tech careers. They also helped deliver coding workshops to primary schools across the UK, teaching a ubiquitous tech skill that underrepresented groups are often excluded from.
Hiring has also been addressed to ensure females are considered without bias for every role and are included in each interview shortlist, even if the hiring process is consequently delayed.
Form3 has now achieved female representation making up a third of its board of directors and a quarter of the business as a whole.
“Form3 represents a strong example of an organisation striving to achieve and promote gender diversity. They set clear objectives and followed them with genuine commitment and decisive actions.”
Julian John – Culture Pioneer judge, CIPD People Management's Diversity & Inclusion Power List and Shaw Trust Power 100 of the most influential disabled people in the UK
Explore the inspirational stories of Culture Pioneer finalists from the Wellbeing, Learning and Brand categories here.