As part of their organisational transformation, Companies House recognised diversity and inclusion needed to be embedded in their programme, with a focus on giving every colleague a meaningful voice.
Following workshops with over 600 people across the business Companies House recognised that their work on diversity was individually focussed and relatively low-key, leading to a lack of awareness of the work that was going on.
Companies House therefore created a change movement with over 100 colleagues becoming change agents to drive transformation. Linked to this was a belief that colleagues wanted to have opportunities to engage with diverse groups and see more visible evidence of a genuine commitment to inclusion. Companies House revamped and relaunched their diversity forum, drawing in a mix of colleagues from across the organisation. Companies House then decided to work with Chwarae Teg to begin their Fairplay Employer journey.
All employees were invited to take part in an anonymous survey which was analysed by a FairPlay Employer Partner. The Employer Partner also undertook a review of the current working practices and made a number of recommendations which were summarised within an Equality & Diversity Strategy and Action Plan.
The objectives of the strategy were:
- Continue to develop a culture and processes that will attract the widest talent pool from which to recruit and thereby increase the diversity of the workforce
- Ensure there is an inclusive consistent approach in the application of the Flexible Working Policies
- Ensure a fair and transparent internal and external recruitment & selection process which is inclusive and applied consistently throughout the organisation
Chwarae Teg’s FairPlay Engagement Partner supported Companies House with direct consultancy support to implement the actions below.
Launch the Women’s Network, using FPE survey findings and action plan as a basis to demonstrate next stepsA non-Executive Board member was keynote speaker at the launch; with a fascinating talk on her experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Women from roles across the organisation were incredibly engaged with the event and network. A vision and principles were developed – agreeing the Women’s Network purpose was a key outcome.
Improve promotion of Women in Digital/Women in Tech, with a view to recruiting more women into IT rolesChwarae Teg undertook a gender lensing report of recruitment processes within the Digital Directorate, as although the organisation as a whole experiences adequate gender balance, this particular directorate experiences occupational segregation. Specific recommendations were outlined including creating new talent pipelines, new entry level positions and a fast-track programme, develop external promotion of their Employee Value proposition and reduce use of jargon.
Review what career progression means in reality and review opportunities for opportunities to upskill to support succession planningCompanies House invited Chwarae Teg to deliver 4 workshops aimed at increasing confidence of female employees to progress in the organisations. Each session was followed by a facilitated practical follow up by a member of the Womens Network. These included Own Your Career – Plan for Success; Speak Up Stand Out; Define and Develop Your Personal Brand; Change your Thinking – Get Results.
Conduct further research into why some women feel they are treated unfavourably due to their gender.Companies House are working with Chwarae Teg to run a series of focus groups with men and women, to further understand issues of sexism in the workplace with the aim to follow on with workshops to combat negative gender stereotypes and develop men as allies.