12 June

Power of Inclusion launches new video for Social Mobility Day

To celebrate Social Mobility Day and the launch of our brand-new ‘Change Starts Together’ video, Power of Inclusion Programme Manager Imogen Chaillet writes about the power of storytelling to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the workspace.

Research by Paul Zach concluded that “emotionally engaging narratives inspire post-narrative actions”. Applied to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, this underscores the meaningful role of storytelling to encourage buy-in for actions that require organisation-wide support.

Personal stories create connections and foster understanding in ways that facts and figures cannot achieve alone. Storytelling is a key addition to corporate strategy to progress towards greater socioeconomic diversity and foster inclusion in the workspace.

Storytelling plays two crucial roles in progressing social mobility strategies. It offers individuals the chance to identify with and find shared experiences with their peers, which is invaluable for those who may not yet feel a sense of belonging in their work lives. It can also highlight the diverse backgrounds and perspectives that strengthen workplaces, promoting a culture of inclusion and opening the conversation about the varied journeys taken in entering the City and the hidden barriers some face.

To those without personal experience of challenges such as accent bias, financial barriers to early career opportunities or lack of social capital, hearing personal stories can build empathy by highlighting to them the role that socioeconomic background plays for others.

Celebrating Socioeconomic Diversity Through Stories

Speaking about his career journey leading to his current role as CEO of Barrington-Hibbert Associates, Michael Barrington-Hibbert said, “When I first moved into the City it felt like an orchestra and I hadn't played the music before.”

This Social Mobility Day, a new video will reflect on the power of storytelling to celebrate diversity and enhance inclusion initiatives across The City. Launched today, it shares Michael’s experience, as well interviews with Saadia Sajid at Ashurst and Gavin Holland at Anthemis.

Part of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Power of Inclusion initiative, the ‘Change Starts Together’ storytelling campaign aims to shine a light on storytelling within DEI work and businesses that are already making exciting strides in leveraging this tool. Socioeconomic diversity can remain hidden unless individuals feel able to bring their full selves to work and we strive for a City where everyone feels able to do this.

Organising a Storytelling Campaign

You can support your social mobility strategy through storytelling in a number of ways, from creating a storytelling video to hosting an event or webinar to creating internal newsletters and intranet posts. Here’s some ideas:

  • Host an internal event where a senior leader shares the impact of their socioeconomic background on their journey to leadership. This may increase buy-in on the importance of addressing social mobility
  • Launch a Social Mobility Network – encouraging those that join to share their stories within the network and encourage others within the workplace to contribute
  • Include questions around socioeconomic background in your employee surveys. Ensuring that participants are aware of the vital need for data on the demographics of the workforce to progress in the social mobility space

Watch the Power of Inclusion Change Starts Together Storytelling video below

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