Wider Sense Diversity Roadmap

At Wider Sense, we promote diversity and inclusion as part of a holistic and fair approach to social progress. We want to live in a society where everyone can experience diversity in in a positive manner and where all people are equally represented. To ensure that this does not remain just empty words, we have created a Diversity Roadmap to show us the way.

Why a roadmap rather than a policy? As a constantly evolving organisation, we recognise that every employee at Wider Sense, as well as the organisation as a whole, is on a journey of continuous learning. We regard our efforts towards more diversity and inclusion as an ongoing process. We regularly re-examine and adapt this process through shared exchange with people associated with Wider Sense. This includes critically reflecting on our individual and organisational roles as we keep learning about the systemic inequalities in our society and our own approaches towards minimising them. Consequently, this roadmap was developed within a participatory process together with the entire team and will continue to be edited in accordance.

Our roadmap has three key sections:

  • Our understanding of diversity and inclusion: an intersectional approach
  • Our key values and approach
  • The steps we are gradually taking in our work and with our team to foster diversity and inclusion and track our progress

Our understanding of diversity and inclusion: an intersectional approach

At Wider Sense, we promote diversity and inclusion as part of a holistic approach to social progress. We want to live in a society, where everyone is represented and can participate in shared freedom and prosperity on equal terms. Furthermore, we as an organisation can learn and benefit from diverse perspectives and experiences, spurring the quality and inventiveness of our work with clients.

Wider Sense takes an intersectional approach to diversity and inclusion. Intersectionality for us means that we are aware that everyone’s identity and experience are multi-faceted and thus based on a complex interplay of categories – such as gender, ethnicity, sex, class, sexual orientation, religion, disability and nationality – which form the basis of different experiences of oppression.

We strive to recognise the various identities and experiences – and the subsequent effects of these diversity dimensions – that everyone has. Thus, we aspire to reduce discrimination and exclusion, and to create a welcoming and supporting environment for everyone.

To unlock the potential of diversity, we aim to create an inclusive organisational environment that values and supports everyone regardless of background, identity, beliefs, abilities, needs, experiences, or ideas.

Graphic on inclusion and diversity according to RAA Berlin for the Wider Sense Diversity Roadmap
Based on © Gardenswartz & Rowe

Key values and approach

Wider Sense is committed to creating a work environment where:

  • Everyone (our co-workers, clients, partners, community members and other stakeholders) feels safe and welcome, and is treated equally, with dignity and respect
  • There is no discrimination or harassment
  • Everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions, in a respectful manner, regardless of their position within the organisation
  • All personal needs are respected, and suitable solutions are found for everyone, on the basis of a joint dialogue

We do not tolerate any comments or behaviour that is offensive, demeaning, humiliating or derogatory, or any other behaviour that fails to respect the dignity of an individual.

We know that unconscious biases are a key factor influencing our behaviour and decisions and will thus continuously work on recognising and tackling these biases.

We strive to hold each other as a team accountable to these values. We support and encourage one another in our efforts to do better, being mindful that each one of us is at a different stage in our journey to be more inclusive.

Implementation

The steps we are taking to live the values outlined above include:

  • Bettering our understanding of diversity and inclusion, and learning how we can improve, through diversity trainings and brown bag discussions with experts. Our social day – a day of service that every employee can dedicate to a chosen social cause each month – enables us to immerse ourselves in communities and experience various dimensions of diversity.
  • Using a gender-inclusive language in our communications – internally and externally – based on the use of the gender asterix, indicating our preferred pronouns in our email signatures and by opting for gender neutral phrasing where possible.
  • Continuously reviewing our recruitment processes to ensure they are inclusive, and actively communicating our desire to build a more diverse and inclusive team.
  • Integrating diversity and inclusion in our onboarding process for new colleagues.
  • Offering flexible working arrangements that are equally accessible to all, with the aim of normalising leave for all parents and employees who do care work, as an integral part of our organisational culture.
  • Promoting diversity when contracting service providers, by being inclusive in our sourcing processes and paying special attention not to replicate systemic discriminations.
  • Actively striving to reflect a wide variety of voices and perspectives when organising panels and selecting interview partners.
  • Regular team discussions and reflection about diversity and inclusion at Wider Sense and how we can further improve, led by an internal Diversity Taskforce.
  • We will regularly monitor and evaluate our progress through team reflections led and overseen by the Diversity Taskforce, and in coordination with the upper management. Within this reflection process, we will identify key learnings and areas for improvement, reason why we also welcome any external feedback and critique at any time and are happy to engage in constructive dialogues. We will thereby adjust this roadmap and our implementation measures accordingly and as required.