DEI is – and always has been – in the DNA of Gofore. During the last 20 years, we’ve been building a workplace that is the best one for each Goforean. A workplace where one can be their authentic self and feel included. A workplace where one can trust having equal opportunities. Our new DEI goals support our new strategy and make sure our DEI develops as we see important.
Goforean culture cherishes communality and welcomes all to build it. According to our cultural forces, we believe in caring, in membership and in psychological safety. By being a diverse and kind community, we are able to live our values into reality – as ethical digital pioneers creating better (work)life together.
Once we want to promote DEI in an organisation, it’s clear we need to support the development from different levels. From an individual, it certainly needs courage and a growth mindset – and willingness to become better. At the same time organisation needs to make sure it guarantees the trusting environment and the clear reporting channels whilst leading with an example. Continuous, open discussions are in the core.
How’s our DEI doing?
End of last year, we conducted a research amongst Goforeans to understand where we currently stand when it comes to DEI. The research was done with the help of Workday Designers and consisted a survey plus eight thematic interviews.
In total we had 262 Goforeans responding to our survey. Just to give you an example – 221 were employees, 40+ managers, 134 male, 118 female and 8 other. Almost 240 spoke Finnish as their first language.
People are treated fairly and respectfully
Overall the results seemed positive.
Gofore’s leadership was seen quite inclusive and our employees felt they can express their opinions, change things, and tell openly about their backgrounds. Respondents felt that different ways to express oneself and different personalities are generally well accepted at Gofore. People are treated fairly and respectfully and are generally equal.
It was also noted that eg. in formal documents, the words we use are gender neutral and that makes people feel good. Majority of respondents felt that Gofore’s community is open, welcoming and that people are generally nice. Good to note also, that very few people seem to have witnessed discrimination and/or harassment in their work.
We need Diverse Diversity
However, it’s important to understand that so far, based on the research, diversity has mainly seen as a gender or a race issue at Gofore which makes a lot more diversity to go unnoticed. As we are the ones eg. designing and building services with vary diverse end-users, it’s important to become better here and learn to understand how diverse diversity actually is and what kind of perspectives we should be able to take into account.
The main drivers for feelings of inequality internally at Gofore seem to be related to language – in terms of Finnish being a requirement for many projects as well as socializing with co-workers.
Goforeans know that possible DEI violations are being investigated internally and there are channels to intervene but disturbing speech in Slack can sometimes be a problem. We also might see minorities facing uncomfortable situations and therefore experience minority stress.
Actionable DEI goals
We’ve been measuring our DEI for a good number of years – within our Employee Experience survey, salary statistics transparently shared on a half year basis and with equity and inclusion plan for example.
Our new DEI goals are to support our new strategy and making sure our DEI develops as we see important. In the name of transparency, we felt important to share these goals not only internally but also to a wider audience and hopefully inspire others to act around the topic. We’ve also developed our Employee Experience (EX) survey so that we’re able to better measure us moving towards our goals. The development is shared with Goforeans on a half-year basis.
Our goals are divided in three sections – to both support different DEI areas and to raise general awareness:
When it comes to inclusion, we want that
- More than 90% Goforeans feel that they can be themselves at work.
- Over 60% of our people feel that they have found their community to belong, at Gofore or within customer organisation and
- To have zero tolerance for harassment
On the Diversity & Equity side, we’ve built
a recruitment metric supporting both gender and junior hires as such:
- min. 35% of new hires are female
- min. 20% of new hires are in the age group 20-29yrs
We also measure Minorities’ EX in order to understand where that possibly differs from the one of the majority.
We understand our people live in different life phases and therefore value different things. To make sure we support people the way they need, we’ve also created an EX metric to understand whether the support and services we provide, is seen relevant enough by our people.
Raising general awareness around the topic is also something we value. We’ve included DEI as mandatory part of our onboarding and all the material is available also to any Goforean at any time. We constantly plan the way forward and provide learning opportunities to our people where we see a need. One good example of this, is our Neurodiversity learning path.
Neurodiversity as an example action
This year, we decided to take neurodiversity as one our focus areas when it comes to our DEI. The topic had been raised both by Goforeans as well as our People leaders so we figured it’s something we all need to understand better. We’ve taken the work seriously – to name a few tangible actions:
- We’ve scheduled eg. trainings for both all employees and our People leaders around the topic.
- At the same time we prepare closer collaboration with eg. our occupational health care partner in order to support neuroatypical colleagues better.
- Our recruitment team has also done their studies and prepared our recruitment process to be inclusive also from neurodiversity perspective.
The work continues. If you wish to know more on our thoughts, here’s some food for thought:
Blog post: Neurodiversity at the workplace
Blog post: From weird to work-in-progress – My journey with ADHD From weird to work-in-progress – My journey with ADHD
Dare to challenge the status quo
Understanding DEI better is a key to better communities and better workplaces. Understanding and supporting our differencies and taking others into consideration, is something very valuable in today’s world. Like said before, it does require courage and growth mindset from both an individual as well as from an organisation – to see things maybe a bit differently and to question the status quo. Not always an easy task, we know! But luckily leads us to healthier communities and psychologically safe workplaces where people can be who they are and act on their strengths – more engaged and with better results!