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Getting real with diversity, equity and inclusion with help from Inklusiiv

DEI is at the core of what brings people wellbeing at the workplace and makes teams work. Dynamic teams help employees rise to their full potential and, as a result, help develop better businesses as well.

We are thrilled to get real and start working on our more consistent approach to DEI implementation together with Inklusiiv. In our first workshop last week, we mapped out what we could do and began identifying what we should do next. The topic of our next workshop is “Building a timeline”.

Taking concrete actions for diversity, equity and inclusion is easier said than done. The problems are complex and, as Inklusiiv’s DEI consultant Maija Koponen highlights, achieving real DEI change means that everyone in the company needs to consider how their own behaviour and ways of working could be more inclusive.

If you are unfamiliar with DEI, we encourage you to read our senior product designer Jesse Ukkonen’s blog post How do you belong? Diving deeper into diversity, equity and inclusion. Illustration by Joel Pöllänen.

To make DEI actions visible, we need to change people’s behaviour, and people have a tendency to resist everything new – so it is difficult.

Luckily we have help from Inklusiiv.

A discussion for everyone starts with why

Finland is not yet known for a lively social discussion about DEI matters. This means that people in general, and also people at Qvik, have varied levels of awareness of the topic – some are very familiar with it, while others are hearing about it for the first time.

“It’s common for companies to jump straight into training people on how to change and what to do differently”, Koponen says.

“But to get people truly involved, you have to start with raising awareness about the need for the changes, and answering the question “why?””

In company-wide discussions, it’s important to remember that people have different starting points. 

“For some Qvikies, the importance of DEI topics is self-evident, while others don’t yet understand what the fuss is about. So creating a message for everyone in the company is complicated”, says Qvik’s co-founder and Board member Tuukka Vauramo.

If the conversation is too advanced all the time, some people are left out of the discussion.

“It is very common for us people to pretend that we understand everything, even though we’re no longer following the discussion. When this happens, people usually fall silent and are afraid to ask questions”, Koponen says.

It’s a start for Qvik, but not from scratch

We have been following Inklusiiv’s work for a while, had our fair share of internal keynotes about DEI topics, and even hosted a webinar about inclusive design with Inklusiiv in February this year. We’ve learned that the more you educate yourself about this topic, the more you see there’s work to be done.

“Qvik is actually quite advanced in comparison to many other companies. Qvik is also a very hands-on, committed and agile company, so when there is an ambition to do something, you can move quite fast”, says Inklusiiv’s DEI consultant Yesmith Sánchez.

Introducing DEI to a company is complex and there are a myriad of things you need to take into account. Making progress in one area will probably not do much for DEI as a whole – it’s about having a holistic approach and engaging everyone in the organisation.

“We are really excited to continue this work, and I think this excitement comes from realizing the maturity level of this company. We are happy to see that Qvik can move forward to something more tangible than just awareness”, Sánchez says.

In a few weeks, the topics of our next workshop won’t let us off easy. We’re about to set our DEI roadmap timeline, define goals and accountability, map risks and draft our DEI action plan. After this, we will be more than happy to tell you more about our SWOT analysis and share our concrete next steps!