Brewing Soul StormWhy is it that we call ourselves civilised when we have not figured out a way to look at every human being as an equal? As a species, we have tremendous IQ to understand that 'diversity and inclusion' is a must and yet we aren't really getting it done quick enough. It's a Soul Storm - brewing hot! The Soul Storm launches on 11th December, 2020 at 3:00 pm (IST)
So what comes in the way?
While there are tomes of research that recommend organisational interventions that could promote diversity, equity and inclusion, they seem to act more like band-aids rather than deeper cures. For example, a Harvard case study shared a perspective on a premier consulting firm, which was widely believed to be doing really well on including women in the workplace. They were proud of some of the flexible work options put in place to support women. Even women employees themselves seemed to sign up for it in big numbers. However, there was a lack of proportionate number of women in senior leadership positions, and an external analysis showed a deeper rooted cultural issues - a toxic work culture, where extremely long hours, mostly unwarranted, were making women 'opt out' and making men tag along unwillingly. Thus, the flexible work options were really a 'second grade option' for the top grade women employees'.
Need for this Program
At X-Leap, we are taking some modest steps to discover if there is a way to create awareness about the socio-cultural roots of the problem, thus helping organisations recognise the need for deeper, sustainable cures rather than opt for fancy band aids. 1. Persisting problem: ‘Missing women' in leadership is still a global phenomenon, in spite of massive efforts. This has been accentuated during the pandemic. 2. What’s missing: This indicates that there are some underlying root causes which are not being addressed - socio-cultural context and organisation culture. 3. From Behaviour to Belief System: We are building on available expertise (largely focussed on behaviours) and digging to unearth ‘beneath-the-skin’ belief systems.
Thanks to our 20+ partners globally, we now have 250+ responses, across 13 countries. We plan to release the insights of Brewing Soul Storm on December 11, 2020. The initial high-level insights seem to be very interesting, as they have given us clues to the lines for deeper analysis. For example we're noticing that women who had to take a sabbatical end up being less optimistic about their careers than those who manage to avoid a sabbatical. This may help organisations to reflect on what could be done to prevent this - as a sabbatical means a regrettable attrition for the organisation and a hard-to-reverse career degrowth for the employee.
What's in it for organizations?
1. Shows you care: It is a soft signal to your employees that you do really care and are willing to listen to their ‘voice’. It can be completely anonymous. 2. Customised insights (key indicators on what’s working and what’s not for your women employees): - Detailed company report with benchmarks (min. 30 unique responses) - Your company trends (if less than 30 unique responses) (we would design the report in a way such that respondents are non-identifiable) 4. A New Powerful Diagnosis: Conduct an organisation wide diagnostic using a new, comprehensive tool to identify the root causes of your DEI performance - good or bad. 5. Effective and efficient interventions: Rethink your DEI interventions to focus on critical ‘choke points’ - using lesser resources and achieving better outcomes.