When I was interviewed for my assessment centre last year, every single interviewee was a white male and there was a lack of diversity in every panel. I love Nestlé as a company and the culture, and was excited to join, but I did think, will I fit in? I wanted to get involved right away to start to create the change. I got in touch with people as soon as I could and was put in touch with the events team for Eradicating Racism Network where I got involved straight away and haven`t looked back.
As part of the network we created a learning club for people to come together to discuss a subject or topic from a book, documentary, video and that stems into other things, other discussion points.
Kimberlé Crenshaw`s speech on intersectionality in the workplace
We discussed people`s favourite bits, learning points, takeaways and feelings. It`s been so important to connect and hear about people`s personal stories and hear people reflect on their own personal experiences of these topics. Having this learning session to talk about these topics has been great. Listening to these experiences and then discussing helps people understand each other more, which means we can work together better.
In a strictly work setting, it might have been hard to have these open, and sometimes uncomfortable discussions, and I know some people wouldn`t be comfortable with doing that. But in these safe spaces we can talk openly, and it helps the professional networking as well, you can really connect with someone from a different area of the business.
These sessions have been about education, rather than people being corrected and preached to; that doesn`t help, a learning environment has been key.
Understanding each other, helps us better understand our customers, and that for our business, can only be a good thing.