What's in this podcast?

In this episode, Jason Foster talks to Sathya Bala, founder of True Change and My Skin My Story, about true diversity and inclusivity in the workforce

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One Big Message

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has become a widely discussed topic in today’s modern media. Integrating DEI into an organisation isn’t just about slapping gender-diverse models on your marketing material. It’s about looking at your organisation’s internal structure and culture, your recruiting process, and listening to stories from those who have experienced issues that are still prevalent today.

[00:22] Sathya’s incredible career journey 

[04:20] What prompted Sathya to start her own business around diversity and inclusion

[11:36] How everyone can get involved no matter their ethnic background

[16:23] Why organisations need to solve diversity problems as if they are business problems

[18:36] Creating awareness and transparency around diversity

[25:40] Why it’s so important for everyone to share their stories and their power to influence decision-making

[29:30] The differences between diversity, equity and inclusion

[32:10] How organisations can start integrating more diversity, equity and inclusion into their culture by design

[36:50] How to get culturally diverse talent to apply to positions at organisations

Go beyond superficial diversity

It’s no secret that true diversity and inclusion in the workforce is still a challenge. Despite numerous studies clearly showing the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive workplace, organisations continue to struggle with how to enact change. While there are many factors at play, one key issue seems to be a lack of understanding on what diversity and inclusion really mean.


Share stories from those most affected

Most organisations talk a good game when it comes to diversity. They wax lyrical about the importance of having a workforce that reflects the makeup of the general population, but when it comes down to it, their definition of diversity is limited to skin colour and gender. Unfortunately, this superficial form of diversity does nothing to challenge the status quo or create an environment where all employees feel comfortable and respected. 

If organisations really want to benefit from a diverse workforce, they need to go beyond skin deep and embrace differences in thought, experience, and perspective by sharing the stories and real experience of those that have been most affected by a lack of diversity. 


Create a more diverse workforce

Creating a more diverse workforce is not only the right thing to do, but it can also be good for business. According to studies, businesses with a more diverse workforce are significantly more likely to achieve financial returns above their national industry medians. This is because a more diverse workforce can lead to new and innovative ideas, increased creativity and better problem solving. 

So how can your company create a more diverse workplace? Here are some tips: 

1) Hire employees from different backgrounds and with different experience levels. 

2) Create an inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. 

3) Encourage employees to participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

4) Promote diversity and inclusion values throughout your organisation. 

5) Make sure your recruitment process is fair and unbiased.


Help qualified people from diverse backgrounds get into their dream jobs

In recent months, there have been numerous reports of technology companies struggling to find workers with the skills they need. At the same time, many qualified people from diverse backgrounds are finding it difficult to break into their dream jobs in these industries. 

The main issue isn’t that there is a lack of qualified people from diverse backgrounds, in fact in the data and tech sector it is quite the opposite. However, there are still some deep-rooted issues present in the recruitment process till today. Though it’s illegal to ask about race during a job interview, studies have shown that recruiters often use clues like name or skin colour to make assumptions about candidates. This can lead to qualified candidates being passed over for jobs based on their background, rather than their qualifications.

An even scarier statistic by the Economic Policy Institute shows that a college-educated person of colour starts out with a pay disadvantage and this pay gap between their caucasian counterparts had actually increased over time despite more people of colour becoming college-educated. 


To summarise

When it comes to the workforce, there are few things as important as inclusion, equity and diversity. By including everyone, we create a space where everyone can feel comfortable and respected. In turn, this provides the opportunity to gain new insights and perspectives from having a diverse workforce. That’s why it’s so important that we break down the barriers to inclusion, starting within our own organisations.


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