LYTT may be new on the scene, but we’re already incredibly proud of the geographical diversity of our team – no less than 15 nationalities! But there’s always more we can do to ensure that we truly reflect the world in which we live and work.
Helping us do that is our talent manager Shaun Roberts. And for our second International Women’s Day blog, we thought we’d find out a bit more about some of the work LYTT is doing to address gender balance and support diversity of all kinds. But we couldn’t start the interview without first asking him for role model and a personal view on why this all matters.
First up, can you tell us who your female/* role model is?
Outside of my family and friends, it is Emmeline Pankhurst who was a Mancunian rebel and activist best remembered for organising the movement that helped women win the right to vote in the UK. Her sisterhood pride reminded us that ‘deeds, not words’ are what matter.
Tell us then why gender equality and diversity matter to you?
I think it’s well documented that gender equality is good for companies (higher employee retention and productivity) and countries (higher scores on the happiness scale), but matters to me because I come from a family of very inspiring women and, having recently become a father, I know that gender equality creates families that are happier, with healthier children and stronger more meaningful relationships between couples.
In the workplace, all the research shows that as well as producing more varied perspectives and a holistic analysis of issues that we face as a business, having gender equality also leads to improved decision making and profitability.
Presumably LYTT is trying to tap into that?
Yes, recruiting and retaining a balanced and diverse workforce is a key priority at LYTT. For example, we’re introducing several initiatives that we hope will encourage more women to apply for roles. We’re also trying to make the recruitment process itself more inclusive. That means making sure we have a diverse candidate shortlist as well as broad diversity on our selection panel. We also use recruitment technology to keep the language in our job adverts gender neutral and we’re looking at how we list requirements in adverts, too.
Why is that important?
Interestingly, men tend to apply for jobs even if they only meet 60% of the requirements. Women, on the other hand, tend not to apply unless they meet all of them. We’ve also restructured our referral scheme for employees who successfully refer family, friends or former colleagues for employment opportunities. The reward doubles for successful candidates who are women or from underrepresented backgrounds.
We’re celebrating International Women’s Day of course, but you make an important point that diversity is more than just gender.
Absolutely, gender is just one metric we use for diversity. We’re proud of the fact that we have 15 nationalities within our small but mighty team of 26!
Creating an inclusive environment is important, too. How have you managed to do that during COVID-19?
I think with everyone having to work from home during COVID-19 lockdowns, we’ve been able to normalise the fact that sometimes you have to stop work to meet family obligations. So, we’ve encouraged everyone to openly prioritise their commitment to partners and children and to let colleagues know when they had to log off for family duties. We’ve also found talking about our families and domestic challenges has been a powerful and meaningful way to build relationships, emotional connections and a shared sense of value.
We use the status feature on Slack to let one another know when we’ll be away (without question or judgement) from our desk. And this all starts at the top – we have members of our leadership team who block out time in their diary that are clear when they are assisting with childcare responsibilities at home. We hope this shows we take our commitment to flexibility seriously, creating a more inclusive workplace.
In terms of working environment, we’ve offered everyone a budget to create a safe, pleasant and productive ergonomic home set-up to suit their needs. And, in partnership with bp Launchpad, we offered wellbeing sessions to our team and opportunities to connect, away from work, online.