How Impellam inspires inclusion

4 minutes

How Impellam inspires inclusion

Impellam celebrated International Women's Day with two panel discussions with guest speakers, exploring the theme of 'Inspire Inclusion'.

To celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, we held events in the UK and North America, where Impellam colleagues shared their experiences of the barriers women and others can face at work, and how Impellam can help drive more equitable workplaces and opportunities for all.

In our London event organised by Impellam’s IM Womxn Business Resource Group, guest speaker Lauren Neal, best-selling author of ‘Valued at Work’ was joined by Hoa Ngo, Managing Director, Comensura; Hayley Klaff, Director of Projects – STEM, Lorien; and Laura Browne, Client Services Manager, Guidant Global.

They discussed the question, ‘why do we need to inspire inclusion?’

Sharing examples of bias and sexism she’s encountered working on engineering projects, Lauren said inclusion is about making sure that everyone feels valued by being heard and recognised for their input in the workplace: “If we don’t have an ability to have everybody take part and be valued for taking part, we’re going to miss everything.”

For Hoa, inspiring inclusion ‘is an everyday thing’ we can each demonstrate in how we interact with our peers and show respect for others.

This backed up by Hayley Klaff: “Everyone has a part to play in this. It’s important people feel they’ve got an opportunity to contribute and their voices will be heard – this is why we ensure that we’ve got an inclusive environment [at Impellam].”

Hoa said there have been men who have been supportive and encouraging to her in her career, and urged more men to ‘open the door’ and support female colleagues.

The panel went on to discuss issues such as why companies box-tick to meet Equality, Diversity & Inclusion recruitment targets when they should instead focus on why they’re recruiting women and from other under-recognised groups. Hayley said recruiting: “…shouldn’t feel like box-ticking, it should feel authentic and ask, ‘what matters to us and what matters to the people who work for us?’” And then putting time and effort into providing those things.

The panel also discussed how allyship could be increased by walking in others’ shoes and asking, to better understand the challenges they experience; and why mentoring and sponsorship is so important in supporting each other to rise. “We all meet ‘Queen Bees’ in our careers, but we’re lucky at Impellam - we have women in leadership who are really supportive,” said Laura Browne.

In North America, Claire Marsh, CEO North America, hosted a panel event with Jillian Montgomery, HR Business Partner; Danielle Keane, Senior Director - VMS Implementations, Impellam; Lizzie Verbeek, P&D Business Partner, Impellam; Briana Moglia Boyajian, Principle Mobile Recruiter, Lorien; Jillian Montgomery, HR Business Partner, Impellam; and guest Kahlila Alexander, Associate Director and Diversity Advocate - Kimberly Clark.

The panel shared insights on how everyone can work together as coaches, mentors, allies and sponsors to create more equitable workplaces and provide equality in opportunities for all. They also discussed making sure others ‘know what you know’ by sharing your story with others to ‘put yourself out there’.

Once concept that struct a chord was ‘The Platinum Rule’. This is treating others the way they want to be treated, over and above treating others how you’d like to be treated (the ‘Golden Rule’). As Claire said: “[Adopting] this approach allows us to build more effective relationships and recognize the unique strengths that everyone brings to the table.”

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