Sally Haran shares her perspective
What inclusion means to me
30 Aug 2021
More often than not we hear the words diversity and inclusion used together... they go hand in hand. For me, diversity is about recognising people are different in both visible and non-visible ways - different genders, ethnicity, beliefs, skill sets. Inclusion on the other hand goes beyond this and is about creating an environment where people genuinely feel part of something, feel that they can be themselves and feel valued and respected for who they are….it helps to bring out the best in us all. We can have the most diverse workforce you could ever imagine but if the environment in which people work is not inclusive, and people do not feel they can be open and be themselves then we risk missing out on the huge benefits to be gained from having a richly diverse firm. This is something we have committed to in our 100th birthday year.
It is important that we recognise differences in each other – we gain so much from it and life would be pretty boring if we were all the same and thought the same!
I think it is also really important that we recognise and acknowledge the challenges and obstacles people face in their lives because of perceived differences. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking we know what someone is experiencing or feeling when they talk about these barriers or challenges… I think I have been guilty of doing that on occasions. It really hit home to me what it is to walk in the shoes of others when sharing an experience with my friends who are a same sex couple. Taking the time to truly listen to the experiences of others, to better understand what is happening in their lives, and to work together to remove any potential barriers feels key to creating and nurturing inclusive environments. In doing so we create a sense of togetherness where everyone can feel involved and valued for who they are.