We want to thank everyone that joined us at our first ‘Driving Diversity in a Covid-19 World’ event. The theme for the inaugural virtual event was ‘Employee Led Networks’ and we were delighted to have Sandra Wright, HR Business Partner at Ulster Bank authentically share the Bank’s journey with this effective diversity initiative.
Sandra shared that Ulster Bank aligned the goals of their Employee Led Networks with the goals of their company diversity strategy. They continually seek feedback from their networks to help with changing mindsets, behaviours and also to influence policy change.
Some of the key learnings from this session:
- Employee Networks/Resource Groups help to attract and retain talent
- Organisations should initially establish if there is an appetite for a network (Survey Monkey or Focus Groups)
- Founding network members should be enthusiastic and energetic
- Networks can help everyone understand what it is like to be an underrepresented group
- Network events should be open to everyone in the organisation
- They help bring colleagues together as allies and enable networking
- Each network should have an Executive sponsor/champion visibly supporting activities
- Networks should have budget and time allocated for events and activities
- Partnerships with outside agencies and charities can help to provide an outside perspective, such as Women in Business NI, Diversity Mark NI, Stonewall, Parenting NI
- Emerging leaders can often be identified and developed through networks
Employee Led Networks/Resource Groups are a valuable resource for company diversity plans as minority groups can provide valuable insights on company products, missions, policies, and methods. They can be involved in tackling company wide challenges and help to improve working conditions, and the physical environment for everyone in the organisation. Innovation can only flourish if people can bring their best selves to work.
“Many thanks that was really helpful and insightful, some great work being done and we have picked up some points to take forward“