Championing Diversity & Inclusion through learning
Celebrating inclusivity and diversity in a workplace community where everyone can thrive
As a Group, URW is committed to creating an inclusive workplace for all employees through raising awareness and positive action. Being proud of who you are so you feel safe to bring your best, most authentic self to work is at the heart of our “Be You at URW” diversity and inclusion promise. To ensure that all employees – from new-starters to top leaders – have the skills to create this inclusive workplace and counteract any unconscious bias or behaviours, we have made diversity and inclusion training a central tenet of our People Development approach.
Awareness and acceptance
To support URW’s inclusive and purpose-driven culture, our learning offer includes multiple initiatives aimed at helping our people understand the value of diversity and fostering an inclusive environment.
Since 2020, 1,155 employees have participated in the “Supporting Inclusion at URW” workshop, which provides an understanding of how unconscious bias can show up and guidance on how to make a positive difference in the workplace. This engaging training scored 8.4 out of 10 in terms of satisfaction in 2022. In addition, hiring managers can learn how to reduce unconscious bias in recruitment with a detailed e-learning module on URW’s learning platform.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives are organised through the year, including International Women’s Day, LGBTQ+ Pride month and year-round local activities hosted by our regional “Be You at URW” networks to help our people learn the soft skills and techniques to build a more inclusive workplace.
An environment of equality and parity
We have set a target for at least 40% of senior management positions to be held by women by 2025. By the end of 2022, we had achieved a figure of 39%, and we continue to strive to smash our target and march towards gender parity at URW. To support this ambition, it’s the role of our “Be You at URW” regional networks to foster women’s empowerment through panel discussions, mentorship and networking events, as well as tailored training programmes. The “Be Seen” programme by URW is a UK-focused initiative aimed at promoting the career advancement and gender balance within the leadership of the company. It provides tools, resources, and opportunities for women to excel, fostering a supportive community that values diversity and gender equality.
All top managers at URW also get access to bespoke learning programmes tailored to enhance their soft skills and focus on what it means to be a transformational leader. Almost 150 managers participated in training on the topic of “Supporting Team Wellbeing” in 2023, and both inclusion and wellbeing have been integrated into the Group’s 2023 Senior Leadership Development Programme, Perspectives. In total, 90+ of our leaders participated in the learning sessions designed to empower them to develop individual, transformational leadership styles and foster a culture of empowerment and change.
Allyship at all levels of the company
One key focus for D&I development has been allyship. Becoming strong allies is essential to the achievement of our sustainable business ambition, so in 2023 we deployed a Global Allyship Programme across all our regions. More than 350 employees attended a Group-wide webinar in September 2023 hosted by URW’s Inclusion Advisor Jess Weiner. Jess shared three key tools to help all employees further build and develop a mindset of allyship, and to cascade this mindset throughout the company. In addition, we have partnered with Fifty, a cutting-edge digital tool focused on “eDoing”, to help our team members integrate 5-minute allyship habits into the everyday work in a simple and easy way.
This was also exemplified by a training session delivered by Joel A. Brown during our Learning Week 2023 entitled “The Business of Belonging”, in which he discussed his lived experiences, his understanding of the cultural imprint of the LGBTQ+ community and the importance of creating a sense of belonging in the workplace. Dr Brown is the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos, a consultancy supporting culture change with a creative and people-centred approach.
From training managers to inclusive leadership to the pride we take in our “Be You at URW” networks, we are committed to empowering all our employees to speak out and celebrating who they are.