Embracing and celebrating difference is not only the right thing, it’s the smart thing to do.
Much research has shown that having a group of diverse people with different experiences and background drives innovation, leading to new ways of thinking and doing.
Creating a sense of belonging for those from under-represented backgrounds is a fundamental part of creating the psychological safety needed for this to happen.
Simply put, if you don’t feel safe to say your views, you may not feel able or invited to contribute towards the type of conversation that drives things forward.
For me, working in this field is often about championing under-represented groups, driving initiatives that demonstrate and increase inclusion within Whitbread.
Encouraging Whitbread, the wider hospitality sector, and society as a whole, to be a little more inclusive and appreciate difference drives me personally to do the best job I can. This is something I am personally very passionate about, and I find it incredibly energising to be in a job that I love.
Diversity and Inclusion has grown in momentum over the last few years.
The Black Lives Matter movement has accelerated this growth in the last 12 months in particular, and it’s great to see that it is now a societal topic, discussed in mainstream news. With this acceleration comes a new level of responsibility. It’s no longer good enough for companies to sit back. For our employees, our guests and our investors, we have a responsibility to drive progress.
At Whitbread we take this responsibility seriously. Diversity and Inclusion is embedded in our wider business sustainability strategy Force for Good, sitting within the ‘Opportunity’ pillar.
We’re committed to improving the diversity across our teams and championing inclusivity, creating an environment that demonstrates that we value difference. Our Diversity & Inclusion Commitments that we set out in 2020 give us a tangible set of actions that we are very committed to – positive actions that we know will make a difference to our teams, our guests and what we stand for.
‘We Value Difference’ is a fundamental part of our commitments, particularly our inclusion commitments that support those from under-represented groups feel a greater sense of belonging. My role is to make sure that our culture enables our under-represented groups to have psychological safety, and feel safe to be part of the conversation. Because without them, the conversation is not worth having.
Doing this will create the change we want to see, both within Whitbread and more broadly in society. And doing my bit to make society more inclusive is what I’m incredibly passionate about.