Managing, Leading & Personal Effectiveness

Diversity and inclusion training for Atos leadership

QA developed a Diversity and Inclusion programme for senior Atos leaders.




Meet our client: ATOS

Atos are leaders in digital services with pro forma annual revenue of circa €13 billion and circa 100,000 employees in 73 countries, serving a global client base. Atos strives to create the firm of the future. They believe that bringing together people, business and technology is the way forward. They embrace this journey, striving to remain the trusted partner that delivers digital empowerment to their clients.

Atos are the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games. A Societas Europaea (SE), they are listed on the Euronext Paris market. They operate under the main brands Atos, Atos Consulting, Atos Worldgrid, Bull, Canopy, Unify and Worldline.

Why a diversity and inclusion leadership programme?

Markets and customers are becoming increasingly diverse, so too is talent and the ideas they generate. With this in mind, the need has never been greater for businesses to diversify their teams,
and take a more inclusive approach to leadership.

By creating a culture of inclusivity, businesses will benefit from the cultural intelligence of their people and teams. And when leadership development incorporates the traits that make leaders more inclusive, teams stand to benefit from greater creativity problem-solving, idea-sharing and better understanding of and access to diverse markets – with individuals drawing from their own personal experiences and diverse backgrounds.

The challenge:

No-one recognises this shift and the need to change more so than Atos, who asked us to develop and deliver a Diversity and Inclusion programme to senior leaders across the organisation. The objective of the programme was to emphasise Atos’s commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive corporate culture, while educating participants and sparking behavioural change.

The session would need to run for two back-to-back groups, with each session lasting for a maximum of 90 minutes. The Diversity & Inclusion programme formed part of a larger day-long Being Connected conference, focussed on the strategy of the business becoming future fit. The
conference would be repeated three times at different locations across the country – Crewe, Glasgow and Oxford.

The solution:

Using Deloitte’s ‘Six traits of inclusive leadership’ as the foundation, we designed a bespoke inclusive leadership programme that could be delivered and facilitated as a 90-minute session. Our aim was to challenge people’s perceptions of what it means to be a diverse and inclusive leader, using a blend of gamified interactive technology and expert facilitation. It would allow participants to explore what it means to be truly diverse and inclusive in a safe, supportive yet challenging space.

Unconscious bias can have a hugely detrimental impact on the long-term success of diversity programmes, so it was important that the challenge and task content was far enough removed from the context of the day to create intrigue and exploration. Facilitation was used to round off the session and draw out the learning in context.

Challenges designed to draw out behaviours akin to inclusive leadership were divided between six image-recognition hotspots based on the following key themes:

→→ Learn fast
→→ Be brave
→→ Fairness and respect
→→ Commitment
→→ Cultural intelligence
→→ Collaboration.

The ‘fairness and respect’ challenge asked teams to note down their initial judgements of people shown in a series of photos. This demonstrated how prevalent unconscious bias can be, especially in
groups. Another challenge required teams to come up with ideas for promoting collaboration within the business, writing them separately without talking before ranking their importance as a team in
silence. This suppressed collaboration and creativity, simulating business tasks that inhibit diverse thinking.

In each of the 90-minute sessions, teams completed the immersive tablet-based challenges for 45 minutes, before coming back together for the facilitated half of the programme and wrap up. As part of this session, our Wildgoose Learning Facilitator opened up the floor to discussion, reviewing teams submissions while encouraging debate about how the tasks and behaviour hold relevance in the wider business context and in exercising diverse, inclusive behaviour.

The outcome:

Our Diversity and Inclusion programmes were successfully run back-to-back across all three conferences – resulting in our team delivering the programme six times in total.

The response and engagement across the three conferences was truly outstanding. Through facilitated discussion, valuable conversations were had about the collective responsibility to create a more inclusive and diverse culture across all business levels at Atos.

Drawing on the behaviour exhibited through our interactive gameplay, each individual was tasked with filming a ‘commitment to diversity’. These commitment videos will act as a tool to measure and benchmark progress for Atos moving forward.

How can QA help your organisation?

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