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Diversity, equity and inclusion at Nest

testimonial "Hi, I'm Martell, I'm responsible for delivering and shaping our diversity, equity and inclusion work. To provide the best service and outcomes for our members it's important that we have a workforce that represents our diverse membership."

Martell McBean, Diversity and Inclusion Business Partner at Nest

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is an important part of Nest and we are committed to creating a great place to work and culture where everyone can be themselves and thrive in their role no matter their background.

In 2019, we launched our first 2019–2022 DE&I strategy which had a focus on tackling under-representation in three specific areas: disability, ethnicity, and gender. Over the three years we saw good results, specifically in improving the gender balance of our senior leadership teams. However, we know we still have work to do to improve the gender balance of our executive committee and the ethnic and disability diversity of our senior leadership team more broadly.

Since then, we have published our DE&I strategy for 2022-2025 which takes a targeted approach and outlines a roadmap of what we want to achieve, how we are going to achieve it and by when. Our first DE&I strategy helped us at the start of our journey, our new strategy is fit for where we are now as an organisation and will ensure that we increase our efforts and are held to account for delivery.

An ongoing challenge for us will be to increase our diversity data declaration rates so we can understand the make-up of our own workforce and applicants. This will help us to ensure our roadmap, targets and actions are not just fit for now, but will still be fit for purpose in the second and third years of the strategy. This is important for what we are trying to achieve, in both setting our targets and measuring our progress against them.

We have set specific targets in relation to improving disability, ethnicity and gender representation in our senior leadership team and our DE&I strategy sets out some ways in which we hope to achieve this.

Although we are focused on three specific areas, our aim is to create an inclusive environment across all areas of our organisation.

We have six working groups which are championed by our senior leaders, and they all play a critical role in helping us to achieve our ambitious targets. Our six working groups are:

  1. Disability and Neurodiversity working group
  2. Gender working group
  3. Interfaith working group
  4. LGBTQ+ working group
  5. Mental health working group
  6. Race and social diversity working group

We also have two subgroups of our interfaith working groups which are our Christian and Muslim networks.

Our working groups influence processes like recruitment, career development and policy development. For example, our gender working group were instrumental in the publishing of our menopause and menstruation policy and worked hard to ensure that we were able to make free menstrual products available in our office.

Our working groups also look at how we can support our local community. For example, our race and social diversity working group not only developed and worked together to deliver on our race action plan, but the members of the working group also volunteer and support young people and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds in local schools.

Our working groups provide a space for our employees, as well as opportunities for allies to get involved and learn how to be active allies. The working groups are open to all colleagues, regardless of who they are. We encourage allyship and want to give colleagues an opportunity to build their cultural intelligence.

We empower colleagues to share their faiths and beliefs, we encourage colleagues to share their experiences of mental health and deliver sessions such as ‘let’s talk about race’ and ‘let’s talk about disabilities’ to improve the understanding of these topics.

We recognise, celebrate and embrace differences within our workforce, different cultures and achievements of various cultural identities, through our blogs, workshops and webinars. For example, international women’s day, mental health awareness week, Ramadan, Pride, South Asian Heritage month, Black History Month, Diwali, International Day of People with Disability.

Over the next 2-3 years we will continue to focus on our values which consist of transparency, respect, empowerment, and ease across all of our six working groups. We will continue to be driven by our data, monitoring, measuring, and reporting our journey and by delivering on our strategy, this will help to ensure that we are better placed to deliver the best outcomes for our members.

Published 19 May 2023

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