Employee networks help strengthen Stagecoach’s DE&I framework
For the Stagecoach transport group, diversity, equity and inclusiveness (DE&I) are paramount to the success of the company. It has many policies in place to support this philosophy, including inclusion and equal opportunity, a code of conduct and anti-bullying, but it also has a comprehensive framework to underpin its approach. One of these goals is a planned program of events throughout the year, combined with a calendar of inclusion and belonging, health and wellness. The organization celebrates major events such as International Women’s Day, Pride, Black History Month, National Inclusion Week, and a variety of religious events.
The DE&I framework includes business goals and targets, and leaders receive training so they can support the organization’s approach. Tracey Smyth, Head of Talent Development, says: “As part of the framework, we have support from all levels of leadership for inclusion and we think that’s pretty critical. This year we have launched employee networks and we are focusing much more on both [DE&I] and health and well-being. Our senior leaders really played an important role in the success of this project. “
Each employee network is chaired by a senior executive and was launched on the relevant days of the year; for example, the network of former armed forces employees was launched on Armed Forces Day. “We tried to think of the events to make them more special,” says Smyth. “We are really impressed with the growth of the networks and the number of people who are putting themselves forward [to participate]. They have their own communication channels through our employee app, Blink. It’s great to see the leadership commitment too.
To further support this goal, Stagecoach has identified two new roles within the company: diversity and inclusion assistant and health and well-being assistant. Key to these roles is communicating initiatives to the organization’s 24,000 employees to increase the focus on diversity and engagement.
In 2019, the organization signed a Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to affirm its commitment to celebrate and encourage diversity in all of its operations. Stagecoach uses its calendar of events to communicate its DE&I strategy, for example, by organizing open forums to share and discuss ideas and bring the strategy to life. It covers topics such as how to make people aware of unconscious bias in the workplace and how to be fair and transparent. The organization also produces a number of staff newsletters and magazines, one of UK Managing Director Carla Stockton-Jones, which promotes the various activities and events of DE&I and employee networks. .