All of last month (and the last few years in fact), we have listened to, spoken about, discussed, debated and ideated on the subject of women leaders and empowerment. As we meet more and more leaders (men and women), we are convinced that there is significant business value in driving diversity and inclusion at all levels in the organization. We are also convinced that an integrated approach to the same has to be adopted which goes beyond events and workshops.

As such, at Catalyst, we adopt an end-to-end approach which aims at creating a diversity vision, changing mindsets and integrating the entire organization to bring about a cultural shift towards embracing diversity.

Step 1: Understanding current state

We start with building a shared understanding of the current state and challenges with respect to Gender Diversity and Inclusivity as a pillar of overall culture. This would involve gathering data around:

  • Facts and Metrics around Gender Diversity
  • Leadership / Employee perceptions of Current enablers and barriers to a gender inclusive environment
  • Top of the mind issues and concerns around Gender Diversity and Inclusive Leadership among leaders, people managers and women

Step 2: Co-creating a Future Shared Vision of Leaders

It would be important to understand the aspired state by capturing the future vision of leaders around Gender Diversity and Inclusivity. We do this through a ‘Conversation with Senior Management’, a discussion forum used as sensitization exercise through dialogue followed by Visionary interviews with key leadership members who would sponsor and drive this change.

Step 3: Creation of a Gender Inclusivity Roadmap and Implementation Workplan

Once we understand the current challenges and future vision of the firm, as well as some of the cultural nuances, we propose a Gender Inclusivity and Diversity Roadmap, with a basket of interventions suited to make an impact within the existing organisational culture. This would include systemic and developmental interventions both at the strategic and tactical level. A sample Roadmap would typically have the following elements.

  • At a strategic level: (1) Business-aligned diversity plans/goals (2) Systematic launch of organization-wide diversity programs/initiatives. (3) Solutions to integrate diversity into core people processes like a performance review.
  • At tactical level: (1) Clear measurement forms to track diversity programs and activities. (2) Provide managers with coaching, education, and tools to help reach the goals.

Once the draft roadmap is ready, we facilitate a session with the Leadership team to agree and generate commitment for implementation. One of the outputs of this session would be co-creating and articulating key common internal and external messages that Leadership team would use to advocate this change.

Step 4: Implementation of Road Map

To focus on implementing the agreed roadmap without losing momentum and focus, it would be important to create an implementation work plan with accountabilities and timelines assigned to relevant stakeholders and leadership team members.

Implementation of the agreed roadmap would involve undertaking the agreed interventions as per the implementation work plan and timelines. At this stage, we may partner with the client on implementation or simply provide road maps, draw out responsibilities and measures and leave it to the client to drive it internally.

Indicative not an exhaustive list of sample interventions where we could support are as follows:

  • Communication plan involving all key stakeholders using multiple channels
  • The launch of new practices and policies
  • Learning interventions like Unconscious Bias, Gender Sensitization, Inclusive Leadership
  • Targeted learning interventions for women managers and leaders
  • Hiring campaign for women freshers and leaders
  • Creating a mentoring programme for women
  • Reviewing the leadership development and talent frameworks for inclusivity
  • Coaching intervention for all people managers to be inclusive leaders
  • Coaching for Leadership intervention for all Hi Potential Women Managers
  • Speaker Events during the annual conference, town halls and off sites

At Catalyst, we embrace and own the diversity and inclusion practice as our own and create meaningful and sustained change.

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