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Interview: It’s time to forge women’s equality, promote inclusion

This year’s International Women’s Day puts special emphasis on women’s achievements while calling for action for gender equality

This year’s International Women’s Day, which is being commemorated today, Tuesday, March 8, under the theme #BreakTheBias, shines the spotlight on the urgent need to celebrate women’s milestones, create awareness, and most importantly, collectively take action for gender equality.

To mark this special day, MENews247 spoke to Ms. Estelle Jackson, Global Inclusion, Diversity, Education and Awareness Lead People, Culture and Learning, Poly, about the impact of this day, her company’s equality programs, and more.

What is Poly doing to enhance gender equality (does Poly have programs in place to encourage this)? 

At Poly, we have a plan to convert the conversation to action by implementing practical ways to drive inclusion and diversity in our business. We have created an internal bar raiser interview program to certify a diverse group of interviewers around our business to be culture ambassadors throughout our interview process to make sure we are equitable and inclusive. Our interview process has been reworked to include a skills-based interview question framework to fairly assess all candidates against the same criteria, we encourage diverse interview panels and we score interviews using standardized scoring matrix to make sure we hire the most diverse talent into Poly. We have introduced an initiative dubbed  AWE (Accelerating Women Executives), which is an external program that mentors high potential talent in our business globally. AWE focuses on mentoring and coaching our top female talent and we perform regular reviews of gender demographics per function with execs for accountability. 

What steps has Poly put in place to curb bias, stereotypes, and discrimination? 

We are always enhancing our IDEA (Inclusion, Diversion, Education and Awareness) program with quarterly all-employee (several) educational webinars on topics that promote inclusion and understanding of things like unconscious bias, the neuroscience of inclusion, subtle acts of exclusion and more with external speakers. We have introduced a global ethics hotline, which encourages employees to be heard and report anything they feel might need investigating. We have also applied a speak-up culture across the organization.

How does Poly ensure a diverse, equitable & inclusive work environment?

IDEA runs through our business as a big strategic priority. Executives are being held accountable and drive conversation to action through regular review of our progress. Education and awareness are part of our DNA. We also work closely with alliance partners who share our values. We have a zero-tolerance policy for racism, homophobia, or any other discrimination under our equal opportunities statement. Our Poly employee resource groups help create a sense of belonging and community for different groups (for example Underrepresented minorities, parents, PRIDE, accessibility)

Does Poly celebrate their female employee’s achievements?

At Poly we always celebrate everyone’s achievements, regardless of sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristics that make people individuals (skin shade or their role in the company).  We run the AWE program for our female talent to retain and promote them, executive training and coaching. Poly mooted the HERO awards – an employee recognition initiative that’s dedicated to celebrating employees who exemplify our leadership principles. We are committed to everyone receiving the recognition they deserve for their work on creating new products, selling and offering services to our customers and partners, and continuing to collaborate with each other through the Poly Values. Our employee recognition program, which we call WOW, is used to actively encourage our employees to thank and reward colleagues who live and breathe our culture and leadership principles. We also run annual talent reviews to assess our global talent and create opportunities for development both in current roles but also look for development opportunities in other functions.

What actions has Poly taken to build a workplace for women employees to thrive? 

We have several employee resource groups and we run an IDEA (Inclusion, Diversion, Education and Awareness) survey on a yearly basis to make sure all voices are heard. We have reviewed and adjusted our HR policies to make sure things like our bonding and caregiver policy is fair and on par with our competitors.

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