"We need to talk about diversity and inclusion based on the individuality of each person", an interview with Ana Úsar
Ana Úsar is responsible for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the SENER Group. We spoke to her on the occasion of European Diversity Month, which is celebrated in May, and with 20 years of experience in people management, Ana is specialised in people support processes, as well as equal opportunities and diversity.
Ana, what do we understand by diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
In the business field, the concept of diversity allows us to refer to the way in which we manage the recruitment and development of people and multidisciplinary work teams, considering their multiple dimensions; from demographic, social and personal characteristics (gender, age, culture, etc.), to cognitive and experiential ones, related to values, beliefs, experiences or ways of thinking, among others.
On the other hand, to be talk about inclusion is to talk about the practices implemented by organisations to attract and treat each person from a perspective of equal opportunities, creating an environment in which each person can develop their full potential.
That is why, at SENER, we like to talk about diversity and inclusion from the individuality of each person.
In your opinion, why is diversity so important in the business environment?
Because diversity is richness, it is impulse, it is learning. In a business environment, managing diversity means giving opportunities to everyone, managing talent on the basis of individuality. I like the sentence "none of us know more than what we know together", and this includes understanding different points of view and knowledge. In the business world, in addition to demographic diversity, it is essential to integrate cognitive and experiential diversity.
Diversity is richness, it is impulse, it is learning. In a business environment, managing diversity means giving opportunities to everyone, managing talent on the basis of individuality.Ana Úsar
Do you consider diverse and inclusive teams and workspaces to be strategic assets for a company? How can they help us as an organisation?
Absolutely. I believe it is the best way to enable people to develop their talents. It helps us in many ways; from building strong teams, where respect, openness to different perspectives and professional development are real, to driving innovation.
How can we promote diversity so that it becomes a strategic lever for the company?
In my opinion, we have to start by being humble and open to new ways of doing and thinking; breaking down limiting barriers and implementing actions. Continue training, raising awareness and communicating. To become aware of our cognitive biases and limiting beliefs, which prevent us from moving forward. This is an area in which we all need to learn and drive change. It is important to create organisational cultures and learning spaces that allow people to develop professionally and personally based on their individuality. Strengthen leadership, so that our leaders are experts in understanding, integrating and developing teams from that individuality.
In addition, I believe it is very important to continue working on the management of work-life balance, remote work and hybrid work environments. This will allow us to reach a greater number of professionals, while at the same time facilitating the professional development and job placement of people who have more difficulties in accessing the labour market and professional development.
We all need to learn and drive change. It is important to create organisational cultures and learning spaces that allow people to develop professionally and personally based on their individuality. Ana Úsar
What role do you think the combination of diversity and innovation plays in business?
Diversity and innovation go together. Creating teams with diverse profiles increases our ability to see a multitude of perspectives and, consequently, increases our ability to innovate. In my opinion, in addition to continuing with actions on gender, generation, culture, etc., we must focus on cognitive diversity and experience.