Kelly Metcalf is passionate about creating an environment where everyone can be completely themselves at work, where inclusion is relevant to everyone and advocates the links between employee wellbeing and inclusion. Here she talks to TJ about her focus for 2022
In the field of diversity and inclusion what are going to be your main aims this year?
Hybrid is a big one. In particular, ensuring equity in experience of hybrid work. As our hybrid working approach further embeds, ensuring this delivers a positive experience for all diverse groups is key. Get it right and hybrid will enable us to attract even more diverse talent. Likewise, a core focus will be learning from employee feedback to safeguard against any difference in experiences, with the aim being that everyone, and especially diverse groups, benefits from [the] reduced barriers to career progression that hybrid working enables.
The second aim is continuing to deliver progress in our Ethnic Diversity Action Plan. Last year at Fujitsu we voluntarily published our ethnicity pay gap for the first time. In 2022 we’re putting a big emphasis on ensuring ethnic diversity in leadership and having focussed action plans to address pay gaps of different ethnic groups. It’s here that diversity data collection is imperative because we use diversity information to inform even more of our action planning. For example, we are currently running a campaign encouraging all UK colleagues to voluntarily share their diversity information so we can build an even better understanding of our workforce, analyse the experiences, progression, retention and attraction of diverse groups.
Finally, training continues to be an important theme for us with updated conscious inclusion training for people managers, and a big emphasis on inclusive hiring and inclusive mindset training for all colleagues. This includes having gender-diverse interview panels, offering mentoring programmes for both junior employees entering management roles and more experienced staff joining senior management, as well as maintaining momentum across our employee networks, such as Fujitsu’s Pride, Ability Matters, Cultural Diversity, Next Generation and Women Business Networks.
You indicate greater support for women – how would you go about making the workplace more female-friendly?
Before the pandemic, a government report found that almost a third of women in the UK with a child aged 14 or under had needed to cut their working hours because of childcare issues. Now, hybrid is an enabler for many women in the workplace. It takes away one of the barriers that may have existed for female career progression. Yet, when embracing hybrid and its benefits, we still need to be intentional about our approach, ensuring we don’t inadvertently create a situation where people who work remotely are more likely to be those with caring responsibilities, and people without caring responsibilities spend more time in office. This ideology risks creating a 2-tier workforce that could undo all the potential positive benefits of hybrid for gender diversity and we need to remember that caring responsibilities affect many employees: a truly flexible employer enables flexibility for all carers, male and female.
Greater support for women also includes focussed attention on key moments in people’s lives. For example, it could be menopause; being open about the topic, providing training for line managers and removing any stigma of talking about menopause or seeking support. Providing this support has and will come from listening. Our Women’s Business Network has been essential at giving voice to the experiences of women. It helps us learn where we need to continually improve. Additionally, we analyse all our bi-annual engagement survey results by gender to understand any differences in experience between men and women – and how to best act upon these.
Making the workplace more female friendly also relies on having visible senior role models. These are people who are open about the challenges they have faced in their career – and people that other women can relate to. This can really make a difference in creating a female-friendly culture. Elsewhere, education has a huge role to play. The use of inclusive language, inclusive behaviours, and how to host inclusive meetings – all of which is good practice generally – can make a real difference in ensuring women apply for job opportunities, are comfortable/ encouraged to speak up.
Talent in any form is in short supply now, what measures would you put in place to nurture, retain and attract a diverse talent pool?
The talent shortage, combined with The Great Resignation is a growing concern, leading to employee resignations – and subsequent staff shortages – in high numbers.
With focused campaigns, employees can appeal to diverse groups of talent and attract people from other demographics. For example, our recruitment team works with recruitment partners to plan deliberately how we will attract talent from diverse groups.
Organisations must also recognise that flexible working (place and time) is an expectation – not a nice to have. This is facilitated by being really focused on measuring people’s impact by outcomes, not their inputs.
Data can be invaluable to HR teams, how are you using it to inform your decisions and practice at Fujitsu?
At Fujitsu, we use data a huge amount. For instance, this includes pay gaps towards gender and ethnicity. Our people data helps us both understand our pay gaps and the areas we need to focus our attention on to address these. Then there is career progression and workforce analysis to understand where we need to improve to be more representative of society – that is ultimately our customers!
We’re also using data to understand the things that make a difference in retaining talent. This includes analysis of our talent pools and their diversity to understand employee experience and any differences in engagement between diverse groups – and in turn where we need to address gaps. Finally, we also use data to understand the wellbeing of our workforce – based on absence rates, EAP usage, engagement rates. I’d advise all organisations to use such data. At Fujitsu, our data teams are a massive crutch when supporting our organisation’s D&I strategies.
Kelly Metcalf is head of diversity, inclusion and wellbeing for Fujitsu Northern & Western Europe. She has held a variety of senior roles during her time at Fujitsu, including head of organisation design and change and European-wide HR generalist roles. Kelly started her career at BAE Systems and has also spent time in global client management and responsible business roles.