Diversity, Inclusion and Black Lives Matter at Steps
15 March 2022
We’re really proud of Steps. We’re proud of our people, we take pride in what we do, and we aspire to continue our journey of growth and development to be the best we can be. Diversity and Inclusion matters to us – not least because it has formed a significant part of our work – but because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s something that’s important to us all. For a time now, we have been discussing Diversity at Steps, but in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, we knew we needed to take those discussions further and put in place some solid actions to bring about the change we seek. Over the past couple of years, we have been reflecting on what we need to do in order to understand the systemic inequalities that exist within Steps and impact these have on our business and on the people we hope to attract, recruit and retain – now and in the future.
This is not just about ensuring we can adequately reflect organisational reality for the diverse, global clients we serve – it goes far further. It’s about richness of lived experience, hearing all voices at the table, making sure those voices permeate our work, and understanding how difference of all kinds informs thinking, creativity, decision making, ideas, design and much, much more.
Our immediate response was to set up a Black Lives Matter Task Group – with clients, associates, core staff and past colleagues working closely with the Global Board to offer strategic advice and recommendations for positive change.
We have already made headway, engaging an external consultant to garner colleague experiences from across the business, in order to develop a practical Action Plan we can all get behind. We have also engaged another consultant to help us review our recruitment processes and are taking active steps internally to increase representation within the core and associate teams. We are keen to make sure that we widen the inclusion lens and extend our aspiration to be an inclusive employer across all characteristics of difference. We are also gathering and monitoring diversity data more robustly across the organisation, so that we understand the current picture as a place from which to grow.
We are already seeing positive results. Establishing Steps’ Global Board and Regional Senior Leadership Teams has helped improve gender and race representation at senior level, and we are working to further that commitment throughout the core and associate teams. We have made changes to our employment terms for core staff, to ensure greater access and inclusivity for all and have reviewed and updated our recruitment processes in order to make sure we are attracting talented future colleagues from a range of diverse backgrounds. A primary effort in the past year has been to increase representation of women and people of colour in client-facing and programme design roles – something we continue to monitor closely and aspire to further develop. We also plan to update the Steps website to better reflect our diversity. These are all positive steps forward, and we know that there’s still a lot more to be done.
This year Steps turns 30. Another milestone on this journey we’re on together and a chance for us to celebrate the passion we share and the drive to make a difference. We can inspire people to act differently so much more effectively if difference lives and breathes within Steps, and with our associates, clients and partners. To quote our own ‘Steps to Change’ – we have Seen and Owned the need to take action – and we are committed to doing more to make sure we now ‘Change and Live It’.
The Global Management Board, Steps
If you would like to know more about Diversity, Inclusion and Black Lives Matter at Steps, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: +44 (0) 20 7403 9000.