25 June

Culture and Belonging: The Power of Storytelling

Our third online seminar in the 2021 Power of inclusion series took place last week and focused on the importance of storytelling. Sponsored by Standard Chartered it was entitled Culture and belonging: The power of storytelling’this event also hosted the debut of our new film ‘Change Starts Together’ which centres around social mobility.

The event began with a welcome from The Lord Mayor who took the time to highlight the power that storytelling can have within business and how it can help to build inclusive cultures, especially within the workplace. He commented that inclusivity gives employees a higher sense of workplace belonging, and overall this means an improved performance for businesses. 

Jatin Patel, Senior D&I Manager from DLA Piper begun his session by introducing himself and his own personal story. He took a moment to explain how he used to hide parts of himself as he grew up, for instance by introducing himself as Jay, as he thought this would help him to be accepted. He then introduced the International storytelling film created by DLA Piper and offered some advice around creating your own film and the need to harness the differences in who we are and how we think for the better.

PwC, who have a well established social mobility strategy, presented across two areas in the seminar, with Social Mobility Lead Hollie Crompton explaining how storytelling is used across much of their work, especially as they aim to lead by example. She commented “our vision is underpinned by three priorities – inclusion, community and advocacy and storytelling underpins all of these.”

Antara Shah Senior Manager, Inclusion and Diversity, Workforce Strategy and Culture, PwC talked attendees through how human centred data can help to build inclusive cultures. She asked attendees to think about the experience of someone who belongs to lower a socio-economic background and put themselves in their shoes, thinking about the questions they might have in their minds as they begin work. Antara emphasised the importance of listening to everyone saying “When working with clients we must listen to the day to day experience of every single individual of that organisation.”

Chair of the Power of Inclusion Dan Robertson then introduced our new film campaign ‘Change Starts Together’ which has been sponsored by Standard Chartered. The film, which combines five unique stories, aims to raise awareness of the importance of social mobility within the City of London and across the UK, as well as inspiring companies to create inclusive cultures by hearing the stories of those from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. 

“Social Mobility is of great personal interest to me” said Dan Robertson “and I am passionate about seeing a City that has opportunities for everyone to progress their careers regardless of backgrounds. There is still much to be done in this area, but it is great to see so many businesses working together to support our campaign to increase social mobility in the City of London and beyond.”

Sonia Rossetti, Managing Director, Regional Head Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Europe and Americas at Standard Chartered joined us after the film was shown to discuss with Dan why they were so keen to get involved and what benefits they hope the storytelling initiative will bring to businesses. 

The seminar was then finished with an insightful Q&A from all our panellists who explored questions around whether we still live in a world where we feel we need to change our names, how success around social mobility can be measured and whether some stories are easier to tell than others. 

To find out more about our Change Starts Together campaign click here

Our next Power of Inclusion seminar is on 20th July and is titled 'Progression: Performance not background'.  You can find out more here.

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