Making Strides in D&I: Interview with ICON

Harriet Roberts, Executive Director of Talent Acquisition at ICON shares the ways ICON are making great strides in D&I and how other businesses can do the same.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

At ICON we refer to Diversity, Equality and Inclusion or DEI. To me, DEI is the concept of values around the idea that we should all celebrate each other regardless of race, gender identity, religion, or those living with a disability. Everyone should be treated equally, elevated and encouraged as individuals and, as part of a team just as they are, without bias or prejudice.

How do you ensure that everyone in your company is aware of their unconscious bias?

Unconscious bias awareness is something that we have to introduce and teach. It doesn’t come naturally to us all to be truly aware of our own biases. There are several steps that ICON is taking as an inclusive organization to ensure that we educate and elevate this key topic. One example would be training that we have developed in-house to educate and support both talent acquisition recruiters and hiring managers. In addition to the in-house content, we have invested heavily with providing access for all employees to LinkedIn Learning; which provides an extensive library of training topics and modules for this subject.

How integral do you think a diverse workforce is to a company’s success?

It is a fundamental part of a company’s success! Without a truly diverse employee population, we would miss out on so much creativity, innovation, critical skill sets and of course a culture that welcomes differing viewpoints and experiences.

What steps have you taken to eliminate bias from your hiring process?

As well as the unconscious bias training, ICON has several training modules for hiring managers around conducting fair and equitable interviews. There is always of course, more that can be done and I am proud to be part of ICON’s DEI Committee who meet regularly to target exactly these sorts of topics to ensure that we craft and implement solutions, frameworks and tools to continue the evolution of support needed as our organization grows.

What does it really mean to be an inclusive leader?

Ultimately, I think that everyone in a company, not just leaders, should be leading by example with their own behaviours and core values when it comes to DEI. Education and empathy are key to this and an inclusive leader should be someone that sets out to educate themselves in areas of DEI where perhaps they lack awareness or understanding and to facilitate this education for others.

If you could encourage companies to make one change to move the dial on D&I, what would it be?

Acknowledge the importance and ensure that you have executive sponsors to reinforce DEI throughout the company as a core pillar and focus that is tied to the overall success of the organization; both with employee engagement and happiness, as well as financially.

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