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Inclusion & Diversity Week

Company name : STATE STREET

Activity sector : Financial and insurance activities

Company category : Large company

 

Raise awareness, train and involve

Description of the action

At State Street, we believe that a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture are essential parts of our corporate identity. These beliefs are brought to life by the numerous networks and committees that are active within our office. In the autumn of 2018, these groups, together with other State Street EMEA locations hosted aninclusion & Diversity Week (“ID Week”). We actioned ID Week by facilitating a variety of events (further explained in the below sections) hosted by key employee networks that contribute to State Street’s OverallinclusionDiversity Ethos.

Context

Inclusion & diversity are embedded in our corporate values and culture. Fostering an environment that encourages the authenticity of employees isn’t just smart, it is essential. By educating, inspiring, and empowering employees at every level, we cultivate a global force of leaders. Employees tend to care aboutinclusion & diversity but sometimes don’t know how to turn their interest into action. The awareness created by ID Week gave employees the information and platform to know more about and get more involved with the following hosting employee networks and organizations:

  • The Employee Engagement Committee (“EEC”)

Employee engagement is a workplace approach yielding an environment for all members of an organization to give their best each day, committed to their organization’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organizational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being. The goal of the EEC is to reach the aforementioned conditions through improving motivation, well-being and commitment from employees to reach the company goals.

  • Inclusion & Diversity Committee (“I&D Committee”)

Encourages Luxembourg employees to participate in variousinclusion programs and affinity groups aligned with State Street Globalinclusion and Diversity (“I&D”). Provides oversight, support and governance to all I&D Networks in Luxembourg.  

  • Families Network

Aims to foster personal and professional development through networking events, sharing best practices and collaborating over common interests as well as improve work life balance and create a more inclusive workplace at State Street in Luxembourg. 

  • Environmental Sustainability Employee Network (“ESEN”) 

Aims to empower staff to help achieve our sustainability commitments and work on tangible actions e.g. reduce printing, highlight the importance of recycling, create environmental awareness campaigns, share good practice recommendations on environmental aspects as well as discuss plastic usage and sustainable practices with State Street vendors.

  • Pride & Allies Network

Aims to help create a more inclusive culture for LGBT employees and help position State Street as a model for other firms by partnering with the national inter-business network.

  • Professional Women's Network (“PWN”)

Aims to empower women to achieve professional and personal success through mentoring sharing of perspectives and experiences via networking and training; create a supportive environment for career and personal development and foster recognition and development of female talent at all levels of the organization.

  • Toastmasters Network

Aims to help both native and non-native English speakers hone their speaking, listening and leadership skills.

Approach

Between October 8 – 12 2018, State Street in Luxembourg in conjunction with several State Street EMEA offices, hosted aninclusion & Diversity Week. Participants were able to get acquainted with the activities of numerous employee committees and networks that further ourinclusiondiversity efforts. Luxembourg hosted five key events: 

  • International Fair: To celebrate the different cultures across our office, the EEC with the support of 100 employee volunteers from 15 different countries set up stands to share their culture with their colleagues. Volunteers brought games, dances, food and drink from their homeland to share with all employees. Similar to other countries in Luxembourg, our biggest strengh is our culturally diverse workforce. We displayed a large world map and asked each employee to place a pin in their home country. The final product was a colorfully diverse map that is being framed and will hang in a central location in our premises.
  • ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Private Film Viewing: The PWN along with the Pride and Ally Networks invited all employees to a private viewing of the movie ‘Battle of the Sexes.’ The central themes in this film are exposed through the narrative of a female tennis player fighting for equal play, while coming to terms with her own sexuality. Viewers learned about the challenges women and LGBT community members have encountered in the past and how their resilience paved a way for a brighter future and inclusive society.
  • Families Network Launch Event: This was an informative session on the new Families Network which  highlighted their mission and upcoming events.  A highlight of this was the videoconference connections with our UK Families Network where staff heard a specialist speak about family work-life balance.
  • Toastmaster’sinclusion and Diversity Lunchtime Meeting: Speakers shared their stories about culture andinclusion and how diversity in thought has made them better public speakers.  
  • ESEN Network’s Green Month Event: Do it yourself (DIY) Activities hosted by employees wishing to share their ‘green’ habits with their colleagues.

As mentioned, ID Week was not exclusive to Luxembourg. Across EMEA, nine countries hosted 72 events, many of which were open to virtual participation. These events covered a variety of topics such as, gender balance, disabilities, mental health, LGBT andrace.

Impact

Through theinclusion & Diversity week, we observed that employees care aboutinclusiondiversity in the workplace (and beyond) but may not know how to get involved or learn more. The communication and awareness platform facilitated by ID Week acquainted employees with the activities of numerous employee committees and networks operating in Luxembourg and the wider EMEA. Participants relayed that they walked away more knowledgeable about theinclusionDiversity efforts at State Street. Overall, the networks that hosted events in Luxembourg, measured an overall increase in employee participation in the months following ID week.     

As this was an EMEA wide event, our colleagues were surprised and impressed with the cultural diversity in our office – the world map (see attached) that was created at the International Fair truly demonstrated one of Luxembourg’s most unique characteristics. 

From a measurable perspective, an EMEA wide survey was circulated and the following results were recorded: 

  • On a scale of 1 (very poor) to 10 (very good), the impact of ID Week was rated 8.5 
  • More than half of the participants surveyed expressed their willingness to join employee networks/committees after taking part in ID Week. 

Apart from the benefits that this initiative brought to employees, the ID Week also had a powerful impact to the company. Here just a few examples that were observed: 

  • Improved relationship between senior leaders and employees involved in the initiative
  • Improved communication between employees from different departments as activities proposed promoted an exchange of experiences and backgrounds
  • Increase of cultural awareness and a better skills and talent management
  • Increased employee engagement based on the high involvement of senior leaders (particularly during the International Fair) – leading by example.

Due to this scenario/outcome and the positive feedback received, we have committed to hosting a similar event in 2019 to continue to remind and educate employees on the importance ofinclusiondiversity and promote the many committees and networks that support these corporate values.

Objectives

The main objectives ofinclusion & Diversity Week were to broaden the knowledge and understanding of all employees oninclusion and diversity at State Street and highlight the importance ofinclusion and diversity across our business and how it is supported by passionate, local, network volunteers. Furthermore, fostering an environment that encourages the authenticity of employees isn’t just smart, it is essential. Ultimately, educating, inspiring, and empowering employees at every level, we cultivate a global force of leaders.

« To do »

Awareness events regardless of budget, size, level of organization are effective and impactful. We do recommend that any organization looking to implement any type of Inclusion & Diversity event considers one of State Street’s core values ‘Stronger Together’. We found that the collaboration between the independent networks was one of the cornerstones of a successful week.

« Not to do »

There is some logistical hurdles and time commitment challenges when hosting a week of events. We would recommend that organizations look to host an Inclusion & Diversity Month, with a couple of events per week in order to maximize overall employee impact and engagement.

Keywords : Welcoming and socialization

Published on 05 July 2019

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