By the editorial staff
Every company is now confronted more than ever with diversity and inclusion issues: this creates an opportunity to contribute to the growth, not only economic, of society and to be protagonists in an increasingly sustainable development.
Promoting Diversity & Inclusion policies is, first, the right thing to do, because it means eliminating possible injustices, breaking down prejudices and intervening in the causes that create limits to the entry into and progression of careers, for example. It is not enough to give everyone the same opportunities “on paper”, we need to actively intervene.
We are well aware that ensuring an inclusive environment, in which each individual can be themselves and fully express their potential, generates value, innovation and excellence, thanks to the wealth of ideas and the many points of view that actually represent the many facets of the country, of customers, and not least differences in gender and sexual orientation.
It is therefore crucial to act on bias and culture, creating fertile ground for understanding and embracing the actions that are then gradually taken. Actions that certainly influence the company, but which positively impact the entire network: from employees, suppliers, customers – current and future – to communities and large sections of the population.
Each company has its own D&I journey and therefore its own journey regarding LGBT+ issues. Sky in Italy has undertaken a series of initiatives and, taking our cue from these, we plot a possible path. One of the first steps is to “know”, to understand where you are, to use a compass and map to create a plan based on the evidence and the objectives that you set yourself, and then to measure the results achieved.
Thanks to surveys (online questionnaires with anonymous answers from employees) and the analysis of verbatim comments (comments and statements that are unprompted), some areas of intervention can be identified. Subsequent focus groups make it possible to look into individual issues in even greater depth in qualitative terms.
Whether or not there are resources dedicated to D&I, it is important to collect the energy that comes from the employees themselves and network, which is why the Employee Resource Groups are activated in various organisations. The issues of diversity were addressed in Sky Italia thanks to the “Inclusion Building Site”, a project that stimulated groups of colleagues to work on transversal areas of innovation and collaboration. The support and sponsorship of Senior Leaders and EVPs has fostered engagement at all levels: the involvement of senior levels and different sectors is essential for the success of the initiatives.
For LGBT+ issues, “Just Be” had already been set up, a group that later merged into the Inclusion Building Site, contributing in an integrated way to other projects. Even those who have focused on specific areas (gender balance, parents, ethnicity…) are allies in other areas and ambassadors of D&I.
One of the pillars of the plan is the spread of an inclusive culture. For this reason, the “construction site” has developed a series of interactive workshops on Unconscious Bias, on the prejudices and on the mechanisms that we unconsciously apply towards diversity and which can influence our choices, even in the professional sphere.
To bring about a change in mindset, events open to the entire company play a role in making people reflect and discuss, understand the individual and organisational advantages of inclusion and to spread policies and updates.
Over time, thematic meetings have been organised at Sky with guests who effectively inspire and inform: The value of inclusion in the workplace, Coming out and stereotypes (with Parks), a seminar on the correct representation of LGBT + characters in audio-visual products (with Diversity Lab), the law on civil unions with Monica Cirinnà (with Parks), a project called Family affairs, dedicated to the role of parents in supporting the path they travel with regard to the sexual orientation of their children (with Agedo), and an event on gender identity issues.
The support of associations is essential – starting with Parks’ Global Inclusion through LGBT Inclusion to which many companies involved in adopting inclusion policies adhere – and it is very useful to share practices between organisations and put them together.
Annual events and dates in the LGBT+ calendar can become opportunities for internal communication for companies to raise awareness and as an expression of commitment to the outside world, such as the traditional appointment with Pride. And when it is not possible to physically participate, online events, special programmes, reviews and other events are organised.
To conclude the overview of the tools that are and can be used: a section of the intranet where information on LGBT + and D&I issues can be collected, news and in-depth articles, links to policies; internal social networks, such as Yammer, to create a space for sharing and discussing topics among colleagues but also for disseminating company activities. Among the first initiatives there was also the dissemination of a brochure with basic information, an LGBT “dictionary” – from coming out to outing, identity and sexual orientation – and the advertising of a dedicated email box.
Using your voice against discrimination and for inclusion: for a company that creates and disseminates content, this also translates into the products themselves; for Sky, just think of X Factor, the We Are Who We Are series and other programmes that represent all diversities and stimulate reflection; but the commitment to D&I is for everyone, in daily activities, from offices to technical areas, as an integral part of our corporate DNA and corporate values. And thus being able to contribute, each of us as much as possible, to a better business and a better world.