At the most fundamental level, Diversity and Inclusion is about treating everyone with respect. It matters to all organisations because it is morally right, it is a legal duty and it makes good business sense. But at Guinness we know it’s about more than that. We recognise that your individuality brings us different skills and ways of thinking. It inspires and generates great ideas and helps us find the right solutions. We know that by bringing together a wide range of perspectives, and harnessing diverse insights and talents, we will do more for our customers and the communities in which we work.
Our D&I commitment is embedded in every aspect of our business and the way we do business. Recently we launched “everyone”, our Diversity and Inclusion strategy. This sets out a series of objectives and a five-year plan for achieving them. There are 5 core elements to our D&I Strategy:
Championing diversity throughout the organisation
Every single one of us at Guinness has a responsibility to champion diversity and ensure that we are an inclusive organisation. Our commitment is led by the Board and by our senior leaders, and it is reflected in the Guinness Behaviours, which describe the way we do things at Guinness.
- Update our mandatory D&I training to make it more accessible and more relevant.
- Adapt our Leadership & Management training so that it has a specific focus on inclusive leadership.
- Promote diversity across our Staff Forums, and ensure that members are informed and trained.
- Review our corporate publications, and our websites and social media presence, to ensure our language and imagery is inclusive.
- Create an annual calendar highlighting events and dates which recognise and promote understanding and inclusivity.
- Ensure D&I messages are factored into employee communications.
A culture where everyone feels they belong
In order to ensure we harness the different viewpoints of our diverse people, everyone must feel part of the organisation, able to be themselves, and respected and valued. This means that our workplaces and ways of working must make everyone feel included and welcome. And the more we use technology and work from different locations and in different ways, the more we need to ensure that everyone still feels included. Our commitment to being an open and inclusive organisation is at the heart of our People Strategy.
- Conduct regular Employee Surveys, performing detailed demographic analysis of the results so we know how all our people feel.
- Ensure our teams comprise not just the right skills and professional experience, but also a breadth of viewpoints.
- Ensure our communication channels enable us to stay in touch with all our people.
- Make sure we provide the technology to support different ways of working and collaboration. Provide training on managing remotely.
- Enable flexible working where possible, including flexible hours, working part time, and job-sharing so our people can balance personal responsibilities and interests with the needs of our customers and our business.
- Ensure our workspaces and facilities meet the needs of all our people, whether these relate to accessibility, prayer facilities, wellbeing facilities, or simply connectivity.
- Support physical and mental wellness through our Health & Wellbeing Strategy.
- Review and impact-assess our people policies to ensure our ways of working work for our people.
An organisation where everyone can succeed
We want everyone to have the same opportunities to succeed at Guinness. We will make sure that everyone’s performance is fairly assessed, and everyone is given access to the right opportunities to learn, develop and progress their career at Guinness.
- Ensure that everyone has robust, clear and transparent objectives they can be measured against objectively.
- Make sure all our managers undertake unconscious bias training every year in advance of the year-end performance review process.
- Review performance scores by employee demographics to ensure that they are free from bias.
- Review the selection criteria for our training courses, programmes and events to ensure they are fair.
- Review the logistics and locations of our training courses, programmes and events to make sure that they don’t exclude people.
- Review the content of our training courses, programmes and events to ensure they accommodate different learning styles.
- Create an Aspiring Leaders Programme to provide a structured pathway for talented people that do not have experience as managers.
- Review our promotions process to ensure it is free from barriers or bias. Ensure that all internal candidates for roles are given the same depth of feedback.
Attracting Diverse Talent
We want to be attractive to a diverse range of talented people. We will ensure that the way we advertise career opportunities promotes Guinness to the widest possible range of people, and the way we select people enables them to show themselves at their very best.
- Ensure that the language and imagery on our careers website reflects our commitment to diversity, and profiles a diverse range of existing employees to show that everyone can be a success at Guinness.
- Deliver mandatory training for all recruiting managers to ensure selection processes are free from unconscious or conscious bias as far as possible.
- Require our recruitment partners to offer us a diverse pool of candidates at short-listing stage.
- Consider using a specialist recruitment consultancy to target populations that are underrepresented in certain roles.
- Make sure that recruitment panels are as diverse as possible, and our selection techniques, including assessment centres, allow candidates to demonstrate their strengths.
- Continue to take targeted action to address occupational gender bias through our Women into Maintenance and Men into Care programmes.
- Collect and analyse applicant data at each stage of the recruitment process to ensure we are fair and opportunities are available to all.
Promoting change in the businesses we work with
We spend over £200m a year building and maintaining homes and delivering services across the country, and we have relationships across the banking sector. This means we have the opportunity to promote the D&I agenda in two ways: Firstly, by requiring our suppliers to subscribe to D&I standards in the same way we do; and secondly, by working with our supply chain to develop opportunities for SMEs and promote supplier diversity.
- Pre-qualify suppliers to ensure that only those with a commitment to D&I are invited to bid for our contracts.
- Work with SMEs where this aligns effectively with our operations.
- Start conversations with our supply chain to understand how we can work effectively together to promote diversity.
- Create opportunities for supplier networking to support SMEs doing business with larger supply chain partners.
- Measure the extent to which diverse-owned business are represented in our supply chain.
We’re proud to have won the Investors in People Diversity & Inclusion Award in 2021. We were also honoured to win the Leadership and Management Award.
We won the Diversity and Inclusion Award for the work delivering our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, as well as for the significant work we’ve undertaken to contribute to tackling racism in society. And we won the Leadership and Management Award for our commitment to developing our managers and leaders at Guinness.
We were proud to win the Investors in People Diversity & Inclusion Award in 2020.
We also won the Health & Wellbeing award for organisations with 500 or more and received a Special Recognition Award from Investors in People for our work and response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
We won the Diversity & Inclusion award for our work on ‘Everyone’, our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. It’s our people who deliver our vision and ambitions for our organisation, so being an inclusive employer and creating a culture where our staff feel they belong, can be themselves, and can share their views and ideas, is fundamental to Guinness.
We won the Health & Wellbeing award thanks to our work embedding health and wellbeing into everyday life for our staff and organisation, and for reacting quickly and well to the challenges of Covid-19.
We were also the proud winner of a Special Recognition award for our work in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The judges said it was a tough call, because employers across all sectors had responded brilliantly to the pandemic, but Guinness stood out amongst the other finalists with our response.
We are a Disability Confident Leader and have held this status since 2017 – the first housing association to be recognised with this status.
Ultimately , everyone at Guinness has a role to play in our success and is valued and has a voice. We believe that all our people are talented and make a vital contribution. We want everyone to work together and feel part of Guinness – and to feel valued, empowered and enabled.
Above all, we want Guinness to be a place where everyone feels they can be themselves.