Catherine Garrod: Using engagement technology to promote inclusion

Our vision at Sky UK is to be the industry leader in the UK and Ireland for inclusion, both on-screen and behind the scenes. We want our people to value diversity, be themselves and deliver the best work of their lives.

A couple of years ago, we opened up a conversation with employees about the assumptions made about them, and asked what they think inclusion should look like in the workplace. The response was broad; not just about gender, race or any other personal demographic, it was also about what job they did, how senior they were and where in the country they are based.

Overall, what people wanted was to feel like an equally valued part of Sky. So, we needed to know if our teams were inclusive, and we worked with our HR technology partner Glint, which provides the tools for our people surveys, to help us.

Together, we identified the questions we needed to ask: from authenticity, empowerment and recognition to action, fairness and growth. We survey bi-annually to get those answers, slicing data from responses by men and women, black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) and white, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) and heterosexual, disability and no disability, under and over-44s. We also look at geographical locality and seniority.

If the data shows we need to take action, we support managers with a simple and practical toolkit, containing research on why diversity and inclusion matters, as well as facilitator guides to help them run sessions with their teams using videos, quizzes and examples of exclusion and how we can all speak up for each other.

We also have materials specifically for senior leaders to build confidence around talking authentically about diversity with their teams. As we know, diversity and inclusion is a broad and personal area, and people are often worried about getting it wrong.

Using the data to make it simple, and empowering people to be agents for change, has created a real movement here at Sky.

For example, 9,000 people are now members of one or more of our six self-led employee networks. Their collective voice helps us to keep focused on the things that matter most to our people.

In addition, teams right across Sky are celebrated for their local actions in a fortnightly inclusion newsletter read by over 800 employees.

As we celebrate National Inclusion Week [23 to 29 September] this year, Sky UK hopes to inspire other employers to build more inclusive workplaces too. It is the right thing to do for people, and the more people that feel included, the more likely we are to be creative and innovate for the future.

Catherine Garrod is head of inclusion at Sky UK 

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