Home » Inclusivity in the Workplace » Why a good DEI strategy benefits the workplace, product development and society

Rachel Duncan

Chief People Officer, UKI, Experian

Effective diversity, equity and inclusion strategies support product development and a closer affinity with customers through a workforce that reflects the wider community. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies embedded within a business organisation can deliver lasting benefits for companies. HR expert Rachel Duncan explains: “Having a workforce that represents the communities we service is critical.” 

Overarching DEI business strategy 

For data and analytics company Experian, DEI is at the core of its activities — internally and externally. “Our differences are what make us stronger, and we need to welcome people from all backgrounds,” says Duncan, the company’s UK and Ireland Chief People Officer. 

The company endeavours to make credit lending simpler, faster and safer for consumers and businesses; empower consumers to improve their financial lives; offer identity and fraud solutions; deliver data and analytics products for organisations to make good decisions; connect businesses to their audiences. “Core to our overarching strategy is being a force for inclusion that drives financial power for all,” she adds. 

Holistic inclusion and workplace wellbeing 

DEI at Experian supports financial inclusion for all; increases diversity through the processes and programmes put in place; and prioritises actions to create a sense of inclusion and belonging. Leadership programmes incorporate DEI content and include working with external parties, while an early careers programme ensures representation with a 50/50 gender intake of graduates.

Wellbeing in the workspace is paramount — covering physical, emotional, mental and financial health. The company has 400 mental health first-aiders to support colleagues. It also harnesses data to better understand its workforce demographic. The ‘Count Me In’ initiative tracks recruitment, retention and performance and sits within its DEI ethos. 

Wellbeing in the workspace is paramount — covering
physical, emotional, mental and financial health.

Benefits of employee resource groups

Employee resource groups (ERGs) have a pivotal role in ensuring representation across the organisation. There is a pride network (LGBTQ+); women in Experian, ethnicity groups; and menopause, disability, mental health, working families, veterans ERG and a Christian group. 

“They are key to how we create and foster a culture of belonging for our people,” says Duncan. 

As well as shaping internal policies, ERGs collaborate with product creation and development to understand how they may be received by segments of society. 

Improving accessibility for society 

In collaboration with Experian’s disability ERG, it’s Support Hub is a consumer-facing solution that improves accessibility to banking and utilities for people with disabilities or additional needs. DEI within Experian is reflective of society. “It is an asset that taps into diversity and a sense of inclusion to shape our policies, decisions and the products we create,” concludes Duncan. “That will continue in the future as the customer, consumer and personnel landscape evolves.” 

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