Inclusive Diversity at Aviva Digital

Working with Aviva Digital to build a series of workshops exploring Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Working

What

Aviva asked us to build a series of workshops for its Digital business exploring the area of Unconscious Bias and how inclusive working could support the Aviva Strategy for growth and innovation.

Each workshop was to focus on a different area including gender, age, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and disability.  It was agreed that the first workshop would discuss and investigate gender balance. Subsequently we developed a workshop focusing on wider issues around Age and Ethnicity.

How

In the Research phase we spoke confidentially to a cross section of Digital staff based across all its locations. The research uncovered some contentious areas that both Steps and Digital tackled head on whilst building the workshop. Prior to attending, each person was asked to undertake the Harvard Unconscious Bias Test just to gain an understanding on where their own beliefs may lie.

A short introductory video was developed highlighting some verbatim comments, and interactive fictional drama accurately reflected some of the current issues within Digital.

Outcomes

Over 300 Digital staff all around the UK accepted their invitation to attend this workshop.

Feedback from the session reflected its success, with over 97% of people rating the workshop as ‘excellent’ or ‘really good’. We created an atmosphere of challenge and respect, where all opinions and views were welcomed.

A key message of the workshop was that we are all responsible for making change happen as well as creating an inclusive culture. Participants gained an increase awareness of Unconscious Bias and its effects, with many promising personal actions to take forward:

I will take a breath before reacting to someone - you don't know what they're going through.”

I fully commit to getting more involved with the women’s network.”

I will stick up for colleagues when I see them being treated unfairly.”

 I’ve been a part of many workshops at Aviva; but this is the one that sparked the imagination, and the passion was off the scale.

Tom O’Reilly
People Business Partner, Aviva