Diversity First’s mission is to be a trusted partner to organisations by helping managers and their employees rise above the psychological barriers which inhibit accepting greater diversity in the workplace across the organisation’s structure. Diversity First do this work by partnering with organisations in three specific ways:
Firstly, at the most basic level of analysis, we help organisations quantitatively unpack their current demographic trends. For instance, we help organisations understand their hiring and promotion patterns around gender, racial, sexual orientation, disability, religion and age related diversity amongst others, across the occupational hierarchy and why such patterns may have emerged in the first place. In addition, we help senior leaders and their employees identify areas of resistance to be able to offer thought provoking solutions that we envisage senior leaders and their employees would consider worthwhile. By uncovering areas of cognitive and emotional resistance, we foresee an enriched subjective experience should intrapersonal and interpersonal work be carried out by senior managers and their employees.
Secondly, we increase the sophistication of our service offering by assessing cognitive diversity within the organisation. We do this by observing and analysing who is (and isn't) expressing and exchanging ideas to solve real world organisational problems and by assessing how much professional and personal lodgement employee's offer within the occupational community. We also interpret the meaning behind why this is the case by considering the employee’s finer level cognitive and emotional attachment or non-attachment (or the variation between the two extremes) to the organisation. These insights, we envisage, will highlight to employers why employees should be the ultimate source of authority in controlling the boundaries of their privacy while at work.
Thirdly, we help senior managers and their employees progress the dialogue on worldview diversity. From this perspective, we consider the variation and interpretation that managers and their employees make about ‘self’ concepts. In other words, how each employee conceptualises and interprets the meaning of their ‘real self.’ We do this by catalysing thought provoking debates around topics such as notions of ‘the self,’ underpinned by debates around philosophy, politics, scientific beliefs and other diverse worldviews that shape our attitudes in the workplace and beyond. The point of all this work is to help senior leaders and their team members critically analyse how they have constructed their self definition. Another significant point of this work is to help organisational members discover and delineate the boundaries between their ‘work self’ and their ‘real self’ in order to more easily access their underlying feelings so they can interpret the world around them with less conscious and unconscious bias and, therefore, increasingly connect with the world around them with greater levels of sensibility and sensitivity.
In partnership with our clients across government, Not-for-Profits and private enterprise, collectively, our three diversity centric solutions help progress organisational culture to reflect more nuance, fluidity and multidimensional forms that enrich the employee’s subjective experience, both cognitively and emotionally in relation to 'the self' and with diverse others.
We do our more complex and arguably, more valuable work, notably, progressing cognitive diversity and worldview diversity through fieldwork immersion, that is, inside the organisational setting. In other words, we engage in dialogue and observe senior leaders and their employees, in situ, over a period of time while they are performing their work. We closely analyse the organisational setting to formulate questions in order to challenge social norms as well as question rigid or binary psychology to help progress how employee's think, feel and behave towards themselves and others who are different from themselves.
In summary, by increasing demographic diversity, cognitive diversity and worldview diversity within 21st century organisations, Diversity First aims to enrich the employee’s subjective experience by helping them critically think, reflect, interpret and feel the world around them in ways they may not have considered before. By enriching an employee’s capacity to critically think, reflect, interpret and feel, we create opportunities for deepening the meaning of our lives as we express and exchange our experiences and views through conversation. These benefits, we envisage will be lifelong and will transpire both within the organisational environment and outside of it with customers and even at home with family members. In other words, we help employees connect at a level that moves beyond the superficial dimensions of our humanity by bringing the unconscious to consciousness, evolving the capacity to critically think, reflect, interpret and feel within the occupational community and within other social environments to enrich the lives of those whom we partner with.
We acknowledge that not all senior leaders or their employees see clear benefits or worthwhile value for diversifying their workforce and indeed, some reasons may be experienced as valid. However, we do believe that our mission and all strategic outcomes that are underpinned by our mission are progressive in the sense that they reflect a moral and ethical duty to evolve diversity, in all its forms, in 21st century organisational life.
Our niche areas of work:
Diversity First conduct critical organisational ethnographic research on emerging issues in relation to our key areas of expertise:
Hiring for diversity
The Subjective Employee Experience
Employee health and well being
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