Below are responses to a selection of questions that were received during the Diversity and Inclusion in UK Nuclear 2020 Online Conference. The responses have been provided by Adriènne Kelbie, Chief Executive, Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)
Question: Do you have any advice on how we call out behaviours if it's people with power over us (for example line managers/clients)?
Response: I can understand why this may feel daunting. But no-one has power over us unless we give it to them. So, I’d say, be clear that you would welcome a few minutes one-to-one. Start from the premise that the person is unaware, and therefore it may create a defensive response. In that vein, frame the conversation, name the issue, explain the impact and ask to explore it with them by asking questions. By making it clear that you are concerned about the behaviour and want to help them achieve better by working differently, you will have the best chance of success. If this is repeatedly ignored, I would raise the incidences even in wider meetings. If we do not call things out, they will not change. It’s rarely as difficult as we imagine.
Question: What are the important values and behavioural traits for CEOs to promote Inclusion?
Response: CEOs are a diverse bunch themselves! I think one thing that is common is the need to constantly role model and acknowledge good behaviours and attend to that which falls short. We are not perfect, we’re all only human, and so it’s also important to be willing to actively seek and understand different perspectives, and apologise when we fall short. Personally, I think all CEOs are at their best when they work from inclusive, fair and supportive values and hold themselves and others to account.
CEOs have the unique privilege to create a climate for everyone else to grow in – to be the head gardener in a beautiful and unique nursery.
Question: Covid-19 can be a game changer for climate change and D&I. How can businesses use lockdown implications to drive D&I change and what are the top priorities?
Response: COVID-19 has collided with traditional thinking. The sector can and should see through more flexible and remote working, as a major benefit to a more inclusive workforce. It’s long overdue that the whole sector sees inclusion as not being about gender, or Black and Underrepresented Ethnicity groups, or disabilities, but about creating cultures and policies that support everyone to be their best – at work, at home and in their communities.
Meaningful staff engagement to understand perceptions and realities is key – asking now will help set the long term strategy. At a minimum, I’d hope that we wipe out management by presenteeism and move to appropriate remote working for lone tasks, and greater focus on collaboration, creativity and cultivating capability when we come together.
Question: How do we get naysayers and adversarial individuals to D&I to engage, empathise and become proactive advocates?
Response: Some people will always be naysayers – do not confuse their unwillingness to change with your lack of ability. But where we do want to change a sceptical mind, I’d say we need to commit to having better conversations to broaden perceptions and aid better understanding. Seek and give feedback which challenges stereotypes. When we make assumptions, we build barriers that only grow over time – the only way to overcome those is to knock them down. Overall, I think people are far too cautious for fear of offence to have real dialogue. Be braver.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to these questions Adriènne.
Adriènne was one of our interviewees featured at the Diversity and Inclusion in UK Nuclear Conference 2020. You can read more about the conference here. You can view the video featuring Adriènne and other interviewees here.
Responses prepared and published: September 2020
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