Weaving D&I into the Fabric of your Company

Tracy Maraj, VP, Global People Operations at Qubit, talks about the exciting new diversity and inclusion program they are implementing in the company.

I’ve recently joined Qubit, the leader in data-driven personalisation, where I am responsible for leading and shaping our people strategy. It is an exciting and unique opportunity to build upon a commitment to diversity and inclusion, to support the full talent lifecycle at a time of accelerating growth for the company.

Introducing an expanded diversity and inclusion program to a company going through such changes can be daunting. I imagine it’s a bit like attempting to weave a cohesive new story through a tapestry begun years ago. For me, the challenge is simplified if we start with a set of guiding principles:

  1. Recognise that what we’re trying to achieve with Diversity & Inclusion is 100% compatible with the long-term objectives of businesses today. Access to diverse ideas and perspectives, deeper recruiting pools, engaged employees who happily give their best, better cross-functional lines of communication… these are the drivers for an engine of innovation that spills over to positively impact brand and image as well as customer and partner relationships.
  2. Every organisation is unique and is constantly shifting. Take time to understand and appreciate the forces that shape the culture; work with those forces instead of against them.
  3. Desired change follows awareness, intention and motivation. This is as true for organisations and teams as it is for individuals.

Rapid growth certainly creates a number of challenges for us. How can we better find and compete for the best candidates to satisfy our hiring needs? How do we develop our leadership pipeline? How do we address communication challenges as we expand across the globe? How can we stay focused on diversity and inclusion efforts as initiatives arising from the growth compete for time and attention?

There are many opportunities as well, though, if we look at this growth through a diversity and inclusion lens. Expanding globally provides opportunities to develop expertise working cross-culturally. Having knowledge and skills around working cross-culturally is an asset to our company and the global economy. We can leverage employee resource groups to help educate, inform, champion, drive awareness, support recruiting efforts and align with our strategic partners.

As a foundation for this initiative we’ll focus on the following:

  • Leadership Awareness & Development – Learning modules such as Unconscious Bias are important. But it’s also important to develop lines of communication to continually engage leadership so they can help drive change.
  • Full talent lifecycle – Ensure the diversity and inclusion initiative becomes woven through efforts to recruit, grow/develop, and retain our talent. 
  • Metrics – We need to know who we are, where we are going and what progress we’ve made.
  • Affinity Groups and ERGs – Leveraging specialised knowledge, networks and promoting cross-functional collaboration.
  • Brand and Social Responsibility – Help support efforts to make Qubit a top destination for future hires, and to build trusted relationships with customers, partners and our communities.

To be sure, there will be pockets of success where the tapestry is vibrant and there will be spaces in between. We will continue to calibrate and refine our efforts, iterating often to ensure the program stays fresh and impactful. Let’s not forget that any D&I initiative is integral to the a company’s people strategy and it’s imperative that leadership at all levels work together to ensure its success.