25 July 2019

Infineum’s focus on inclusiveness has been highlighted in a global report looking at the Chemical industry’s overall approach to diversity and inclusion (D&I).

Over the past year, international executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles spoke extensively with senior executives at 26 leading chemicals companies about diversity and inclusion before publishing their findings.

They reported that in an industry where progress on diversity and inclusion has been fitful and uneven, a handful of companies were leading the way by putting inclusion first and making it a business priority.  Those companies saw inclusion as the key to harnessing the full business value of diversity.

Infineum had been the most explicit about reversing the order of D&I said the report quoting our Inclusiveness & Diversity (I&D) Sponsor Nicola Pickup:

We quite intentionally view it not as D&I but as I&D. You can put up as many D&I targets as you want, but if the environment is not inclusive, then nothing will stick, because people will not ultimately feel welcome. You cannot retain people who do not feel included. We knew we needed to embrace a different way of working and thinking and create a culture in which diversity would thrive.

The report goes on to talk about the series of workshops undertaken by Infineum leaders to gauge the state of diversity within Infineum which concluded that simply increasing the number of diverse employees was not enough.

It details the broad set of initiatives we undertook as a result, from training colleagues on unconscious bias, to the important role of our I&D champions in driving improvements in inclusiveness locally. It talks about the role of our executive sponsors in developing our I&D strategy at a corporate level and making it clear that inclusion is a strategic imperative.

“Drive inclusion, and diversity will take care of itself,” is a quote from our Global HR Director Rebecca Oldfield included in the report.

Heidrick and Struggles conclude that organisations that make inclusion a way of life tap into a deep wellspring of competitive advantage. They drive the business forward and upward. And they become an employer of choice not just among diverse talent but also among everyone who understands the energising effect inclusive cultures can have on their careers.

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