True Diversity feat. x+why

We caught up with Rupert Dean, CEO at x+why. as part of our “True Diversity” content series.

The purpose of our initiative and series “True Diversity” is to feature, collate and showcase the breadth of brands, companies and initiatives that are all on a mission to work towards True Diversity and Inclusion.

Charlotte @ ADLIB: Let’s start with the need for Diversity and Inclusion, what’s your take – why is it so important?

Rupert: On our own we cannot operate a successful and sustainable business. If we want to scale and innovate we need others. In particular you need to know where your weaknesses are and be regularly challenged.

However, we too often live in echo chambers. We seek those around us for advise and hire often from word of mouth (generated from one or two degrees of separation) or from Linkedin (where they literally refer to it as 1st or 2nd connection).

This echo chamber approach will not challenge you sufficiently. It will not provide a diverse enough opinion base which, in turn, will stifle innovation and growth.

So, be inclusive by considering everybody’s opinion and be diverse to seek as wide a range of opinion as possible.

Charlotte @ ADLIB: Can you share your processes – how do you address team Diversity specifically?

Rupert: We seek multiple voices in our hiring processes. We want more than the management team to identify potential new recruits.

We are also trying more and more to hire without initially seeing the name or CV of the person. This removes the temptation to identify perceived strength of candidacy or have possible unconscious bias inn reviewing only say grades or further education.

Finally – we want to use a system to get away from echo chamber recruiting. We want to welcome a diverse pool of applicants. This requires, where possible, to not use channels which limit this.

I have to say, we are not perfect on this. As a growing and busy business, it is more difficult to put these actions into practice than it is to say you will do them. Often you just need people in and word of mouth is quickest. You are also often scarred by hires that have not worked in the past and which are really time consuming, emotional and stressful to resolve – this can cause you to question process and approach hiring with what you may consider an easier more ‘word of mouth’ way.

Charlotte @ ADLIB: From a business perspective, what do you consider potential consequences of a lack of Diversity and Inclusion?

Rupert: As per the above, I think if you are not careful you can limit yourself to only voices and opinions similar to your own. This has a number of issues related to ‘casual culture’ (I don’t need to try because they are like me) and lack of innovation as you are not tested.

This will impact on business growth, productivity, sustainability and ultimate success.

Charlotte @ ADLIB: What do you see as the main benefits of an inclusive workforce?

Rupert: It goes to the heart of culture. An inclusive workforce feels listened to and engaged. This in turn leads to greater engagement and greater challenge to create the best product and make sure your product continues to lead the way.

Oh, and a good culture makes it all more FUN!! And what’s the point of doing it if its not fun.

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Senior Recruiter

Digital & Marketing Recruitment

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Charlotte Farnworth