Capgemini: Realigning D&I through respect and inclusion

Learn how Capgemini has transformed their diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy to focus on respect, as a part of their Active Inclusion campaign.

This case study details how Capgemini has transformed their diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy to focus on respect, asking employees to “be an upstander and not a bystander” as a part of their Active Inclusion campaign.  

Capgemini’s Active Inclusion campaign was established five years ago to create greater respect in the workplace.

“We need to have respect for each other,
Respect is at the heart of this.”

Bal Gill, Head of Inclusion, Capgeini

The aim of the campaign was to stop unwanted and non-inclusive behaviours in the workplace before they had a chance to escalate, with internal feedback showing that the majority of employees didn’t feel the issue was big enough for them to report. Bal said, “We wanted people to break the silence, and realise that they didn’t need to be a victim to speak up.”

Respectfully Us

The solution was to try and create inclusive people, where everybody has the responsibility to create a respectful culture. This was achieved through two distinct programmes: Think, Ask, Act launched in 2018, which has led to Capgemini’s culture change programme Respectfully Us.

Think, Ask, Act was very different to previous D&I initiatives at Capgemini as it made people aware of the impact of their behaviour. It asked employees to pause and think about the experiences of others, ask questions about what they do not know, and to be actively inclusive in the actions that they take. Bal said, “The idea was to make people a little bit uncomfortable, and in doing so, empower them to act in this space.”

The success of this campaign led to a broader programme of cultural transformation Respectfully Us. The team created workshops focused on scenario-based learning and conversations, which was cascaded by leaders throughout the organisation. “We secured support from the top immediately,” said Bal, “So it was really important that the message continued to be cascaded throughout the organisation  in this way, rather than being seen as a product of HR or D&I”. Capgemini also trained 40 Respect & Inclusion Ambassadors and engaged the future leadership of the organisation by making workplace inclusion at Capgemini a project challenge on their leadership programme. 

Employee confidence is boosted

After introducing the Think, Ask, Act and Respectfully Us campaigns more employees are confident that the company would take action against poor behaviour according to monthly pulse survey data. To further measure the impact of their work, the team also introduced two new questions on workplace experiences to the firm’s Active Inclusion Survey, conducted every other year. Many of the participants on the leadership programme later trained at Respect & Inclusion ambassadors, demonstrating to employees that they were both engaged and approachable. Capgemini were also able to engage their largest UK clients on their Active Inclusion journey, running a workshop on workplace inclusion at their offsite. 

“The only thing I would have done differently would have been to have done it sooner,” said Bal. “We were worried about how it was going to land, but we now have a much more open and inclusive culture at Capgemini as a result of it.”

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