Brunswick’s Deepali Bagati spoke with her about various aspects of the business’ efforts to effectively address issues around diversity, equity and inclusion, including mental health in the workplace, measurement strategies, the impact of the pandemic on women, and what success in this area would look like.
What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean to you? And what is that North Star; what are we looking for?
The goal for any company should be for everybody to be treated at all times with respect, with fairness. I love the evolution of the word “equity” added
in there. To me, that’s about how we do things, our structures.
In the corporate world things have been done in a particular way for years and years. To really create equity means not being afraid to rip up that rule book, to look at your processes—how you do things—in order to make sure the playing field is level. Sadly, most organizations have a long way to go.
Deloitte global DE&I strategy is underpinned by what we call a foundation of a culture that is always respectful and always inclusive—our everyday culture. It’s one thing to say something. It’s another thing to enable everybody to live that on a daily basis.
So for us, that is the North Star. You can have a team that looks truly balanced from a diversity perspective, but where nobody’s allowed to have a voice. Nobody’s listened to. We want to be an organization where we are truly diverse and where everybody is heard and where everyone can thrive.
What advice would you have for other companies about developing a global strategy and then applying it to each region?
We are very, very cognizant of the particular challenges that there are on a country-by-country basis. That local focus is really important. But we have a lot of common issues from a global perspective.
Part of what my team does is design common solutions that we encounter in many of parts of the organization. And then we measure progress. What gets measured gets done. If people do not see any effort or attempt to track progress or to make it count, then I’m not sure that it’s actually going to have the full impact.
With LGBT+, we signed up to the UN standards back in 2018. I really love the ways those five standards are structured. I think they’re very helpful for any organization that wants to push further on LGBT+ inclusion. They give you a really clear framework.
On mental health, we’ve instituted a global baseline, a level that we expect every country where we operate to reach within an 18-month period from when we introduced it. And on gender balance we have clear goals and we measure progress against those.