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Diversity and Inclusion at Q5 – an ongoing journey, not a fixed destination

Building greater diversity and inclusion in our workforce and culture underpins all our values at Q5. To be true to our values we want to create an inclusive environment that attracts new colleagues, increases opportunities for all and celebrates the visible and invisible diversity of our people. Having truly diverse teams that reflect the communities we operate in can help deliver the best outcomes for our clients and bring out the best in each other.

We know that there isn’t a step-by-step guide that an organisation can pick up, implement and then claim they have ‘done’ diversity and inclusion. Both elements must be developed and nurtured by the whole organisation and align with its culture & people. At Q5, developing diversity and inclusion is an ongoing journey, not a fixed destination. We are on a pathway where we continuously challenge, evolve and learn from each other while reflecting on events and changes in society.

To understand our starting point, we created a D&I survey which we run every 6 months. The survey gives everyone an equal voice and opportunity to share their feelings and experiences so that the D&I group can develop actions that directly relate to what our people, or groups of people, are describing.

The survey covers four key areas:

  1. Representation: understanding the different characteristics that make up the Q5 team
  2. Inclusion: understanding the sense of belonging that Q5ers feel
  3. D&I agenda & actions: understanding how effective Q5ers believe we are being in driving positive change
  4. Anti-discrimination: understanding how safe our people feel against forms of discrimination

We can analyse the results through various lenses for example gender, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, neurodiversity, and other characteristics. Members of our D&I group used these results to facilitate a session with our Leadership community to discuss what we think may be causing the differences in scores between groups, where we want to get to and therefore what actions we should take to get there.

Some of the actions we have taken include:

  • Rolling out our reverse mentoring programme between senior leaders and the rest of the organisation
  • Launching a Courageous Conversation series, which has covered LGBTQ+, women at work and neurodiversity at work
  • Forming partnerships with universities that display a commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Inviting speakers and forming relationships with expert organisations for awareness and education
  • Enhancing our interview training to include implicit bias awareness
  • Adding a D&I representative to every assessment centre, role modelling the behaviours we expect from all our interviewers
  • Creating a mechanism to understand the diversity of talent across the recruitment lifecycle
  • Running fundraisers for charities such as The Outside Project: London’s LGBTQ+ community shelter & centre

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As part of our Courageous Conversations series, we had an external speaker from Adjust come in and facilitate a discussion on Neurodiversity in the workplace.

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To celebrate Pride month, we ran a bake sale to raise money for The Outside Project – a LGBTIQ+ community shelter. Also, we asked Q5ers to share why Pride matters to them and we’ll be using the cards to create a Pride flag that will become a permanent feature of our office.

All of these initiatives have intentionally tried to promote discussion & awareness as a way of organically embedding diversity & inclusion into how we think and operate day to day. We have educated each other on the value and existence of different perspectives. We have raised the level of empathy and understood our individual and organisational responsibilities to be allies.

We are not at the end of journey but ready for our next D&I survey where we will gather new insights and learn new lessons. We will continue to challenge ourselves so that all our people can be their best selves and so that as an organisation we can make positive contributions to our clients and the communities we work in.