Over the past few months, Tessian has been taking steps towards creating a more diverse and more inclusive place to work.
Why? Because We’ve acknowledged that we’re not as diverse as we want to be. But, we’re committed to making a change.
Why is this so important to us?
Of course, there are many reasons (just a few mentioned by our very own Tessians) but the two main drivers are for:
- The individual: it’s the right thing to do. Diversity is infinite and everyone should feel valued for who they are and have the opportunity to bring this to work.
- Our future: With diversity of thought, we can be a better Tessian. This will enable us to not only challenge the status quo and stay ahead of innovations, but also create opportunities for more people to be a part of our journey.
We know this isn’t something we can change overnight, but we’re already making small positive moves in the short-term as we work towards those bigger, long-term changes.
Most importantly, we simply want to make a difference where we can. This is an industry-wide problem. That means it involves every single one of our Tessians.
So, where do we start? We believe the first step is understanding and awareness, combined with action and change.
This is what prompted us to begin our Diversity and Inclusion learning journey.
We partnered with Jeff Turner to build and deliver our D&I learning journey for everyone to experience together – to learn, connect and come together as one company.
Two key aims for the program were:
- Shared understanding: Part of the training was to socialize D&I terms; to not only get everyone ‘speaking the same language’, but also to create a safe environment for people to ask questions and learn about each other’s different perspectives.
- Building connections: We chat to some of our colleagues every day. But, how many times do you get the response ‘Good, thanks’ when you ask someone how they are? I bet almost every time! We wanted to give people the chance to build connections across departments at Tessian and encourage people to share deep experiences that they otherwise might not have.
The program consisted of three sessions (described very high-level below) and each were delivered two weeks apart:
- Diversity: Appreciating our differences and knowing that everyone brings value to the workplace.
- Unconscious Bias: Accepting that everyone naturally has their own biases which have formed over time based on our life experiences, preferences, education – all the things that make us who we are. And importantly, recognizing that we can make the unconscious, conscious by challenging our own biases when making decisions.
- Building Inclusion: Consciously ensuring our behavior is inclusive and learning how to appropriately call out exclusive behavior including microaggressions.
There were 25+ people involved in each session. Importantly, these people dialed in from all around the world. This enabled the sessions to be interactive.
We also learned from feedback that these smaller, diverse groups made people feel safe and encouraged everyone to share their personal experiences. No judgement.
But we didn’t want these sessions to be the only place where people talked about Diversity and Inclusion.
To ensure the conversation continued throughout the business, we sent out pre-reads with three key learning objectives and three things to think about ahead of the session and post-reads with the top three takeaways and suggested follow up actions.