Sarah Kaiser, Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, EMEIA, Fujitsu answers our d&i Leaders Fast 5 questions.
What brought you to the d&i role and what do you like most about your job?
When I finished university, I knew I wanted a role where I could make a difference to society but I didn’t know what that looked like. I was fortunate to be asked to lead a small human rights NGO, which was going through professionalization. In that role, I became fascinated in the area of discrimination. This is where I first encountered D&I. It hugely appealed to me as a way to use my campaigning experience to build respectful, inclusive cultures where everyone could fulfil their potential.
I love driving positive change and building a culture where everyone can thrive. I get to work with all parts of the business to embed D&I, which gives a fascinating insight into the whole of an organisation. Every day, you can see the impacts of your work – on individuals and on the company – which is incredibly fulfilling.
For someone thinking of a career in d&i, or looking to get more involved in their organisations d&i activities, what three skills would you say are the most important to succeed and why?
1. Analytical skills so you can make data-driven insights and focus on what matters most
2. Creativity and problem-solving so you can make a difference
3. Influencing skills so you can win people over and build a movement for change
Tell us about a new d&i initiative you are driving at the moment and it’s aims
We launched the Perspectives reverse mentoring program earlier this year. It is designed to help senior leaders build a more inclusive culture, where all of our people can be completely themselves and succeed, by giving them insight into how our workplace feels for different people and the actions they can personally take to create the right conditions for inclusion to be real. So far, it’s been a huge success. All the senior leaders who took part in the first cohort have increased their understanding of D&I, become more inclusive leaders and taken practical steps to build a more inclusive culture as a result of the program. Their mentors have built their confidence and understanding of the business through their relationship with a senior leader.
To date, which d&i related activity you have been involved with has had the biggest positive impact on creating an inclusive culture (can be current or previous company)
It’s impossible to single out one activity – it’s often the combination of actions that leads to real change – but I will say that D&I Networks are always one of the most powerful tools to engage people, build awareness of D&I, amplify the voice of diverse talent and create cultural change.
The future workplace – what do you see having the biggest impact on the d&i role in the next 5 years and what are you doing now to prepare?
Greater transparency around data. I would recommend that all large companies proactively examine the drivers of pay parity in their business related to all aspects of diversity, if they haven’t done so already.