Diversity and Inclusion at imc: How We Are Continuing to Walk the Talk
From cultural diversity roundtable to tandem programme – Our summer highlights of 2022
Diversity and inclusion is now an integral part of our corporate culture here at imc. Our workdays are generally pretty busy, obviously, but we will always find the time to champion this important issue and generate awareness of our initiatives.
We: that’s the imc diversity team. Currently there are 22 of us. To ensure everyone can find what they are looking for, we have structured the diversity programme into three main elements: EmpowHER, a programme to connect and empower women at imc; the Cultural Diversity programme; and our most recent initiative, the Diversity of Interests programme.
To ensure that this diversity programme is genuinely accessible to all employees at all locations, we are planning to run most of the sessions and activities in hybrid or fully online form.
EmpowerHER: Round two of the InspireHER tandem programme
Last year, the EmpowerHER team launched their passion project, the InspireHER tandem programme. It involved 20 imc women meeting in pairs over an eight-week period to share experiences, ideas and tips, and foster personal growth through mutual reflection and feedback.
The launch was a success, and InspireHER was held again this year, with 20 imc women pairing up for regular close dialogue and sharing. The matters discussed are confidential because the aim is to create a safe environment for open and frank exchange, whether on professional or personal topics.
“The closing session this year was a time of emotion for everyone, but also of laughter as many of us had humorous anecdotes to tell,” says imc communications manager Nadine Kreutz. “We all noticed that we had bonded with each other at a personal – as well as professional – level, and that’s what made these intimate and joyous moments possible.” Nadine and her tandem partner met up every Friday afternoon: “It was always such a wonderful way to end the working week, having a good laugh at ourselves and the things we discovered we had in common.”
How can we learn about and understand cultural diversity in our organisation?
This is the question our Cultural Diversity team asked themselves at the start of the year. A key focus of this year’s Cultural Diversity programme is on how we interact with each other in our day-to-day working lives. What keeps us from communicating with our colleagues from different cultural backgrounds in a natural and open-minded way? In the sessions and discussion groups on these topics, there’s one subject that came up again and again: stereotypes.
This prompted the Cultural Diversity team to look at ways of overcoming various stereotypes here at imc. For each of our company’s locations, they planned sessions dedicated specifically to cultural stereotypes. We still have one of these sessions to go before the end of October. It’s themed “Typically German”.
The Cultural Diversity programme kicked off in Australia with a session titled “Get to know more about ... Australia!” Samantha Mathews, business development manager at imc in Melbourne, led this session with warmth and disarming self-irony.
It pretty soon became clear that the Germans among us often find the laid-back Australian way of doing business rather off-putting. The fact that in Australia, meetings often start with informal chit-chat surprised the audience. "We consider it normal and even polite to ask people about weekend plans " Explains Samantha, "It's not uncommon for me to know what my clients do in their spare time, if they are married or if they have children."
This brought an ironic smile to the lips of most of the German colleagues present. After all, here in Germany, we generally start our meetings on time with the agenda and then get straight down to business. Or do we? We’ll have to wait until our session on Germany to see whether there’s any substance to this cultural stereotype.
Operation Christmas Child
This year’s programme featured the launch of our most recent diversity initiative. Called Diversity of Interests, its purpose is to celebrate the diverse qualities, knowledge, interests and talents of our people, focusing on personal interests outside of work, such as volunteer work, social engagement, club memberships and unusual hobbies.
For example, this year Julia Heib, internal Communications- und Event at imc, will be introducing imc to a project that has been dear to her heart for many years. “With ‘Operation Christmas Child’, everyone has the chance to give the gift of Christmas to a child in need,” Julia explains. “This appeal has been a part of my family’s Christmas tradition for years. I get my children involved, and we have a nice time together, packing the gift boxes. I’d like to introduce the appeal to the entire imc organisation and get lots of people involved. And our Diversity of Interests initiative is the perfect vehicle for just that.”
The aim of the initiative over the next few years is to provide a platform where our people can share what’s important to them personally and find collaborators, kindred spirits and supporters for projects that go beyond their day-to-day working life. The idea is that this initiative will give rise to further initiatives or talent pools which then feed into employees’ day-to-day work or specific imc projects. A win-win all round.
Diversity and Inclusion Isn’t Just for Diversity Week and Pride Month
This year, the international "Diversity and Inclusion Day" fell on Saturday, May 21, 2022. Since we knew that it would be difficult to reach our colleagues on Saturdays, we simply placed the entire week until then under the sign of diversity and inclusion at imc.
Diversity in e-learning content
Diversity in e-learning is clearly growing in importance. So, in this article, we have put together a summary of key recommendations for companies seeking to incorporate diversity into their learning experience.
I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.
I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.
Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.
Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations