How We’re Building a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace at Index 

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 recognised 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 recognising 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 organisation.  

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.  

“I enjoy contributing to DE&I at Index Exchange because I can help create a culture and environment of trust, understanding, and belonging across all levels. It adds to my experience as an HR business partner and allows me to give back through ensuring processes and interactions are welcoming and representing of everyone’s thoughts, ideas, and perspectives.” 

Iman Hoosenally, HR business partner 
Index Exchange

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.   

“Helping build our efforts around DE&I at Index allows me to use my skill set to further my role as an ally. Everyone has a unique gift that they can offer. I love being able to see all the different ways Indexers come together to show up for each other.” 

Laura Harris, executive assistant 
Index Exchange

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!” 

Simone Payne-Powell

Simone Payne-Powell

Director, people

Simone Payne - Powell is director, people and the diversity lead at Index Exchange. With over 20 years of experience working in various global tech companies, her focus has always been on ensuring that all employees can be their authentic selves and truly feel like they belong at work—her passion for DE&I has empowered companies to be able to do this. When she is not working, Simone loves to paint and has completed several commissions, as well as spending time with her neurodiverse son, Scott.

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