Building a culture based on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is imperative to the workplace. Here at Index, we understand that there are significant benefits to having a diverse and inclusive workplace: research has shown that it breeds innovation, higher revenue growth, and higher employee retention.
Over my career, I’ve heard my colleagues, an amazingly diverse set of people, talk about feeling uncomfortable at work, like they’ve had to watch what they should or shouldn’t do or say, or feeling unable to truly be themselves. More generally, they didn’t feel supported.
After hearing their experiences, along with my own, I decided that I would choose to only work for a company that embraced DE&I and ensured that all employees had a safe space and felt included.
I found that at Index Exchange.
Building a diverse and inclusive workplace takes more than a checkbox mentality
DE&I is not about having headcount quotas or drafting policies and programs. Creating a safe, supportive culture for employees requires a business to integrate DE&I into its strategic objectives and mindset.
Companies that embrace and embed a strategic DE&I path into their culture and practices become truly equitable by understanding and valuing the distinctive perceptions, viewpoints, and potential of all their employees.
I recognized early on that this was the exact focus at Index.
Importantly, I found that Index’s leaders understood the actual meanings of diversity, equity, and inclusion, while simultaneously recognizing that there was a lot more to learn. This was key to building the foundation for a successful DE&I strategy. These terms aren’t interchangeable, but they are connected concepts:
- Diversity focuses on the representation of a group or entity.
- Equity refers to fairness and justice.
- Inclusion focuses on an environment that embraces and integrates contributions and perspectives into the work environment.
We want Indexers —no matter who they are, what level they work at, or what role they play—to be able to use their creativity, empathy, uniqueness, and individual life stories to continue to amplify their growth and drive transformational innovation.
What a diverse and inclusive workplace looks like at Index
Since I joined Index, we’ve continued to build on our efforts. We established a group of DE&I champions who are passionate about driving change throughout the organization.
Together with leaders from across Index, this group regularly evaluates which business areas need more focus on DE&I and helps to shape our plans.
We’ve also developed support systems for employees such as employee assistance programs (EAPs) and affinity groups. In the past year, we’ve participated in trainings on allyship and inclusive leadership, hosted several guest speakers through our affinity groups and development teams, and launched community-building activities, such as a women’s book club.
By listening to our employees’ ideas and understanding their ongoing contributions to our successes, we’re continually able to develop and empower those who choose to work with us. I’m happy to say we have many people shaping our work in building a diverse and inclusive workplace.
One of our DE&I team members, Iman Hoosenally, shares why this work matters.
Our goal is to build a sense of being in the right place for anyone working at Index, ensuring that everyone feels safe, secure, and protected. It’s important for everyone to be able to contribute to a place where they feel like they fit in, where they can bring their true and exceptional selves to work. DE&I team member Laura Harris echoes this.
We know and understand that our people are our greatest assets, and we also know we still have more work to do. By creating a safe workspace globally, we can continue our upward trajectory, or as we say at Index, “up and to the right!”Back to blog