In April of this year, we announced the formation of the EDI Board at STR, our mission to affect truly positive change within our Group and beyond. So how did we get on?
From good to great
STR’s ethos this last year has been about getting us from ‘good’ to ‘great’. As part of this, our Executive Director and Founder, Clive Hutchings, established the EDI Board to focus on our work around equality, diversity and inclusion.
We have always been an inclusive-thinking company, but we believe that we can do more to broaden our approach and ultimately, our appeal as a company to work with and for, whilst remaining authentic and transparent in our efforts around this topic.
Clive asked for volunteers from across the entire business and was overwhelmed with the response. The Board of Directors whittled down the applicants to six and the EDI Board first met in May of this year. Four meetings in, and the group has now grown to eight, as representatives from Marketing and HR joined the team.
Each member offers a different perspective and range of experience, whether that’s in relation to gender, age, race, religion, mental or physical ability, marital or maternal status, or sexual preference. They put themselves forward to establish a voice for their peers, colleagues and the future of the STR Group.
Having established our name and composition, the next most important thing was to agree on our goals:
- To be a transparent, open and inclusive employer. To celebrate diversity and inclusion and be known as a driving force in this space facilitating an ongoing culture that increases performance.
- To improve on our existing diversity statistics for employment with STR, and to set targets for achievement of a diverse workforce.
- To educate and upskill our staff on EDI approaches through the use of a mix of tools and training.
- Enable brands and brand leaders and staff to share knowledge that creates commercial opportunity and in doing so give rise to staff members who organically become EDI champions that facilitate the known, associated benefits with increased equality, diversity, inclusion and equity.
Achievements to date
With our goals in mind, each member of the EDI Board had numerous ideas that they were keen to put forward. Whilst some take longer in the planning and execution due to their nature, we’re pleased to confirm we’ve already rolled out the achievements below.
- Gender neutral toilets
- Gender neutral toilets installed on the ground floor, including sanitary bins, to accommodate all.
- Disabled parking
- Reorganisation of our car park to include disabled parking provision.
- Online EDI training for all employees
- Our Learning & Development platform, Looop, includes mandatory EDI modules for all employees
- EDI training in job advert writing and other comms
- For all employees, including gender decoder link to ensure neutrality. ‘Traditional’ wording in job adverts has been shown to appeal more to a male audience – we want to ensure this isn’t the case.
- Nursing, prayer and meditation room
- A calming, multi-purpose space available to all employees at any time.
- Supporting awareness days
- Through our blogs and online campaigns, we’ve provided personal and genuine perspectives to help raise awareness for World Mental Health Day, National Adoption Week, ADHD Awareness Month and Black History Month, for example.
As we look to the future, the EDI Board has several more projects in hand, including unconscious bias training for all staff, reaching out further to the local community and an artwork competition with Solent University where students have been invited to create a piece to represent each of the STR Group’s brands and our commitment to EDI. Watch this space for the winner!
“Half of me wants to say that it’s a great start, but the real starting point was back in 2000 when we opened the business, really we’ve built on the foundations set then. I think the point is that the EDI Board cares about what matters both internally and externally and they reflect the makeup of the people we have in the business today. Together we’ll continue to learn, grow and develop ourselves and our business to make it more inclusive and a business reflective of the community we work in.”
Clive Hutchings, Executive Director and Founder of STR Group
Do you want to work for a company that keeps EDI at the core of its activities and truly values you? Everyone is welcome here. Contact our Talent Acquisition team to find out about the opportunities available at the STR Group.