The corporate responsibility network FIBS has published a new Diversity and Inclusion self-assessment tool for companies and other organisations. The tool is free of charge, and it helps you identify areas included in diversity work, assess the current level of your organisation with regard to the different measures and find the areas and development targets essential for your own operations. The tool is suitable for both beginners and developers in diversity work as well as those who have reached an advanced level. It is available in Finnish, Swedish and English at www.monimuotoisuusverkosto.fi
The Finnish working population has always been diverse, and in the future, it will consist increasingly from experts with different kinds of backgrounds. In addition to legislation, diversity and inclusion (D&I) are driven by factors such as the increasing labour shortage, the intensifying competition and the expectations of both the personnel and the customers about equality and better service. Investors are also focusing more and more on companies’ diversity activities.
The field of D&I has developed strongly in recent years. However, in many organisations in Finland, systematic diversity work is only starting, and even many pioneers in the field would like to approach the work more strategically.
A solution to the problem has now been found: FIBS’s new Diversity and inclusion self-assessment tool helps all companies, regardless of their size and sector, get started and make progress in diversity issues.
The tool has been developed by Veera Iija, Corporate Responsibility Specialist, FIBS, and Jonna Louvrier, the CEO of Includia Leadership, as a part of the All in For Equality project coordinated by the Ministry of Justice of Finland.
“Diversity is already a critical competitive factor in many fields, whether in recruitment or expanding your customer base. It’s also a key part of companies’ risk management. However, diversity must be planned and managed strategically if you want to reap all of its benefits. Our self-assessment tool helps organisations to grasp different dimensions of D&I work, assess the current level of work within the organisation, and set goals and targets for the work.,” says Corporate Responsibility Specialist Veera Iija, FIBS.
The self-assessment tool can help companies suffering from a labour shortage, for instance, make their operating culture more inclusive so that they can retain their experts.
“A recently published Finnish survey on the problems experienced by women working in the field of technology shows how an operating culture where stereotypes persist and people experience exclusion can easily make people change jobs. Our tool helps you identify what you should pay attention to when drawing up a job advertisement, for instance, and how to ensure equal pay and career progress; it also maps out different practices that are essential for building an inclusive work culture,” Jonna Louvrier says.
4 themes, 41 measures, 149 practices – How and where to start?
Diversity and inclusion self-assessment tool makes it visible how extensive the activities can be at their best: the tool lists a total of 41 diversity work measures related to four key themes: “Commitment”, “Diversity and inclusion work processes”, “Employees”, as well as “Customers, users and other collaboration partners”.
Each user of the tool can assess if their own organisation is at the beginner, developer or advanced level with regard to the different measures and draw up long-term development targets for their organisation. The measures vary from the composition of the management team to recruitment and language awareness.
In the tool’s user manual, you can find detailed descriptions of the measures and a total of 149 practices you can use to implement the measures in practice.
For small organisations and beginners in diversity work in particular, the scope of the work may seem impossibly extensive. Jonna Louvrier reminds people, however, that every company and organisation can easily adapt the tool to suit their own starting point and resources.
“Diversity and inclusion work is related to both the organisation’s different processes and practices as well as the everyday interactions between people. As a result, those starting diversity and inclusion work may feel that they are faced with a massive task and they might wonder: how and where do I start? There is no single right answer to this question; instead, everyone can progress at their own pace, choose those of the tool’s measures that can be implemented right now and draw up development targets for the measures that are the most important for their own organisation.”
Both the managing director as well as the employees can carry out the diversity self-assessment
Diversity and inclusion self-assessment tool can be used in many roles. People planning and developing organisational practices, such as heads of human resources, heads of corporate responsibility, persons responsible for equality and non-discrimination, and managing directors of small and medium-sized organisations are evident users. However, also line managers, local union representatives and different employee groups can also benefit from using the tool.
Veera Iija encourages people to take advantage of the tool in facilitating internal discussions on diversity, too.
“Employees, supervisors and the management may have different opinions on which level the organisation has reached with regard to different kinds of diversity measures. If the tool is used by several people, it may lead to good internal discussions on what are the biggest issues that should be addressed immediately and what would be the best way to proceed in the development work.”
Diversity and inclusion self-assessment tool complements the systematic work for promoting the diversity work of companies and organisations that FIBS has been doing for more than a decade. FIBS organises several events on the topic annually, and the Diversity Charter Finland developed by FIBS has already been signed by nearly 100 companies and organisations. FIBS also carries out international cooperation in connection with diversity topics, and it represents the Europe-wide network EU Platform of Diversity Charters in Finland.
Learn tips for using the self-assessment tool in a webinar on 13 October 2021 from 10 to 11 a.m. (in Finnish)
The developers of the Diversity and inclusion self-assessment tool, Veera Iija and Jonna Louvrier, offer tips for using the tool at a webinar held on 13 October 2021 from 10 to 11 a.m. Henna Ylitalo, EVP, People & Culture, at Enfo tells about user experiences of the tool at the event. The webinar is open for everyone and free of charge. Further information and registration. By registering to the webinar you will also receive a link to a recording of the webinar.
The Self-assessment of Diversity Management tool and its user manual are available in Finnish, Swedish and English at www.monimuotoisuusarviointi.fi.
Veera Iija, Corporate Responsibility Specialist, FIBS, tel. +358 40 674 0190, firstname.lastname@example.org
At FIBS; Veera Iija is responsible for designing services and content related to diversity management and human rights as well as different projects related to social responsibility issues in particular. Veera has years of experience in promoting sustainable business and developing assessment methods for effectiveness and company management. FIBS is the largest corporate responsibility network in the Nordic countries, a leading promoter of sustainable business and developer of responsibility expertise. Our mission is to get more and more Finnish companies to innovate productive solutions to local and global problems in partnership with other companies and organizations, and to rise to the top of sustainable business globally. FIBS already has close to 400 members. fibsry.fi
Jonna Louvrier, CEO, Includia Leadership, tel. +358 44 989 8619, email@example.com
Jonna Louvrier is the founder and CEO of Includia Leadership. She has completed her Ph.D. in diversity management at the Hanken School of Economics and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. Includia provides training and consulting services on diversity management and inclusive work culture for work communities of different sizes in Finland and Europe. https://www.includia.fi/
Key definitions and background information on the topic
- Diversity management means creating a fair and productive work and operating culture, in which everyone feels included and valued as an employee, a customer or a member of any other stakeholder group. Equal treatment and the experience of fairness can be seen as a driving force that a company can ensure by offering options for things such as working methods, arrangements, leave, rewards, training and development.
- The diversity of working life refers to the composition of the group: the group members differ from each other due to factors such as their gender, age, state of health, sexual orientation, social class, disability, religion, citizenship and linguistic background. Increasing diversity depends on the context of the organisation: for instance, in a male-dominated field, increasing the number of women strengthens the diversity, and vice versa.
- The experience of inclusion is affected by issues such as the practices of the organisation and physical solutions concerning the premises or communication between individuals, such as everyday microaggressions and intentional or unintentional comments and questions that indicate prejudice. For a diverse group to work well together, every member of the organisation must feel like they are a valued part of the group and that they have opportunities to influence matters regardless of their background.
- From the perspective of companies, the different types of education of the personnel, their experience, abilities, skills, ways of working, consumption habits, values and lifestyle can offer a large variety of expertise, views, new kinds of working models and ideas that the employees as well as providers of goods or services can use in their business.
- From the customer’s perspective, the experience of equality manifests in things such as a product range suitable for the customer, or the availability, usability or accessibility of products and services.
- A comprehensive list of studies and publications on different topics in the field of D&I can be found in the user manual of the Diversity and inclusion self-assessment tool, you can download the tool and the manual at www.monimuotoisuusarviointi.fi/en
The Self-assessment of Diversity Management tool has been developed as a part of the All in For Equality project, which has received funding from the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union (2014–2020). In Finland, the project is coordinated by the Ministry of Justice.