Building a workforce that reflects society - Formative’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion

Building a workforce that reflects society – Formative’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion

It is very easy to have good intentions on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Delivering on them is far harder.

We are acutely aware the unique skills, experiences and knowledge of our team members are integral to the strength and success of our business. We want people to feel they belong and are able to be their whole selves at work. 

That is why we have been very mindful in our approach, making DEI part of the fabric of our business, our values and the way we work – not just a policy, a group that occasionally meets or an offshoot of an HR function.

It’s beneficial for our clients too – when we more closely reflect the world around us, we are better at understanding and meeting their needs. And creating content which connects with their audiences.

It takes effort to get it right – and we are still working at it – but here are some of the ways we have already fostered DEI at Formative.

1. Making it formal – our DEI policy

This is where we set out everyone’s roles and responsibilities in ensuring that our workplace continues to be one that values people’s differences and is free from discrimination, harassment or bullying of any sort. 

But beyond any legal requirement, it is an important statement of intent about how we operate as a business and a commitment to everyone who works with us and for us.

2. Making it intentional – our DEI strategy

This is where we set down our aspirations and recognise where we still have work to do. It is how we convert our intent into a plan that will get us to where we want to be. As a result, we have created new policies and practices in some areas, and formalised or updated others, such as our equal pay and whistleblowing policies.

We’ve made some immediate changes to the way we work – for example, we now anonymise all CVs as a matter of course – and are preparing the way for longer-term changes.

Our strategy also outlines what we are going to monitor and measure – such as our pay gap data – to ensure we are achieving our DEI goals.

3. Making it everyday – reviewing our policies and the way we work

Moving DEI beyond policies and aspirations into the everyday language of business and ways of working can be hard. A vital part of the process is to recognise that it touches every part of your business. 

With this in mind, we took a look at all our policies with a DEI lens, making tweaks where necessary to ensure they were equitable and inclusive. Take our absence policy, it isn’t just about sickness but recognises that people have different pressures and commitments outside of work, such as caring responsibilities. And we make it clear our flexible working policy is open to everybody, not just parents – it could form the basis of a flexible or phased retirement, for example. 

4. Making it visible – communicating, educating and connecting

We have had an active DEI group for some years, but we want the whole company to be thinking about these issues. Through sharing our cultures and experiences we can help educate each other; build connections and communities. It also helps break down taboos by throwing light on less talked about topics. On World Menopause Day, we held presentations highlighting how the change can impact women – to raise awareness of what team members may be facing.

DEI is an attitude and a way of working. We’re not perfect, but we do hold ourselves to high standards. We strongly believe Formative will only be the best place to work if we accept and celebrate people for who they are. The best content and the best clients will surely flow from that.



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About the author: Charlotte Edmond is the Editorial Team Manager at Formative Content. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Charlotte Edmond - Editorial Team Manager
Author:Charlotte Edmond - Editorial Team Manager