| | DECEMBER 20198By Pooja Malhotra, Head - HR, British CouncilHaving close to two decades of experience in the HR industry, Pooja has been associated with British Council for over nine years now, prior to which she held key responsibilities across companies such as Evalueserve.com, Chitra Consultant Services, and BRS International.'Building an inclusive cul-ture' is easier said than done. My tryst with equal-ity, diversity and inclusion began about a decade ago when I joined the British Council to initiate and eventually managed the Human Resources function for the Shared Services Centre in Noida. I attend-ed an e-learning training as part of my induction programme, and I sat bolt upright (in a manner of speaking). `This is new', I thought to myself. Two years went by in the struggle to setup a new organisa-tion and stabilize.Then in 2012, I was told by the board to now build and setup the Diversity and Inclusion framework for the Shared Services. Again, easier said than done! This jour-ney started on track that I wasn't enough acquainted with, and this made me remember Robert Frost's `The road not taken'. Let me pen down my favourite lines: `Two roads diverged in a wood and I-- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference'.Every action gave me new learnings and opportunity. It start-ed as a mandate, but over the years, it grew on me. In fact, I'd say that I feel it has made me a better HR professional. It has surely made me a better person. Now everything we do, we ensure to be conscious of EDI principles.Several efforts have been in-volved in mainstreaming EDI in the organisation. To create a di-verse workforce, we iinitiated a partnership based approach with organisations working with dis-abled people. We had hired two in-terns from the Noida Deaf Society and I love to boast about the fact that they both made it to become our full-time employees. Another action that helped us with this aim was creating a capa-bility to train, facilitate conversa-tions and provide consultancy on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This helped us immensely improve our employee satisfaction score. Organisations around the world now see diversity and inclusion as a serious subject, and there is a strong emphasis on CEOs to take ownership and drive accountability across senior management to cre-ate fair, equal and inclusive work-places. Workplace inclusion also creates stronger engagement as employees feel more valued.THOUGHT LEADERSHIPHOW TO BUILD A CULTURE OF INCLUSION IN YOUR ORGANISATION?
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