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By Saadiq Samodien, Online Events Specialist, Top Employers Institute
By Saadiq Samodien, Online Events Specialist, Top Employers Institute

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Not Just a Numbers Game

In our For A Better World of Work webinar series: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Not just a numbers game, Sherlonda Martin, Head of Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion for GMSGQ Division, Takeda and Chantal Sanglier, an HR Auditor from Top Employers Institute, discussed several approaches for creating an inclusive work environment, that allows for employees  to have open conversations while give all employees a voice.

Around 94% of Top Employers consider Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) a strategic and key business imperative, but only 74% of them have a DE&I strategy in place. And only 60% hold business leaders accountable for DE&I related goals. The challenge for organizations lies in shifting conversations about DE&I from just a ‘tick box’ exercise, and not just centring it around a moment, but, rather, a movement.

Watch the full webinar by filling the form on the right-hand side of your screen.

Building a comprehensive DE&I strategy

For a DE&I strategies to truly move beyond just a numbers game, a holistic strategy must be in place. As a Japanese based pharmaceutical company, the patients and employees are at the centre of everything that Takeda does. Furthermore, Takeda’s comprehensive DE&I strategy include:

  • Data analytics and metrics as a foundation – this provides perspective of where they are currently, and where they are going to. This includes looking at demographic numbers, but also looking at data around belonging (through employee experience surveys).
  • Patients, health care professional’s, employees, suppliers & community – meaning that DE&I is not only valued in the organization, but also those that they associate with. A major project ‘TakedaCares’ allows employees reach back to organizations and the community.
  • Culture, employee engagement, learning and development and communications as key pillars of the strategy.

Key DE&I initiatives

Takeda has developed several initiatives that underpin its strategic approach to DE&I. Some of the initiatives include:

  • Takeda resources groups – these employee resources groups unite employees with shared backgrounds and life experiences, as well as supporting allies, to advance business goals and foster an inclusive work environment. Some examples of their resource groups include the Black leadership council, gender parity, building Asian leaders, building disability groups etc.
  • Elevating DE&I globally: Takeda hosts annual Global DE&I Week with internal and external speakers to raise awareness and spark pertinent and important conversations.
  • Expanding DE&I leadership: they hired their first ever Global Head of DE&I and added expert roles in Switzerland, GMSGQ and more!
  • Launching a rich Learning & Development curriculum to broaden language knowledge, demonstrate inclusive leadership and better understand what it means to be an ally.

Other initiatives included the introduction of technology to manage purchasing decisions (ensuring equity), continuous focus on succession planning, interview best practices and also the growth of a talent pipeline for future needs.

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Responding in the moment

Moving the conversation about DE&I requires action from creating a moment to implementing a movement. In response to various social injustices that occurred in the United States in 2020, Takeda responded quickly through the establishment of the Black Leadership Council. Under this, a few key workstreams were developed:

  • A Minority Careers Network was launched to introduce professionals from diverse backgrounds to Takeda and highlight the latest vacancies within the organisation
  • A Campaign for Continued Involvement enabled Takeda team members to showcase their support and to encourage solidarity.
  • An Employee Voice Session conducted by the HR team provided a unique platform for team members from all demographics to share personal perspectives and reflections on recent events.
  • Discussion forums, a book club and guest speakers/authors were opportunities for Takeda employees to learn about topics including unconscious bias, courageous conversations, race literacy and wellness
  • Engagement opportunities included connecting Black Leadership Council members with third-party organisations to address the unique experiences and needs of people of colour in corporate America.
  • An Education and Training team drove ongoing communication on collaboration platforms, frequent workshops, a dedicated intranet page, a tool for social feedback, and a newsletter on cultural diversity

The webinar ended with a reflection: We should not rest until we see teams and organizations that mirror the customers we serve. With this in mind, how can you help drive equity within your sphere of influence?

Watch the complete webinar by filling the form on the right-hand side of your screen.