The Inclusion Hub at Serco: How They’ve Taken Action to Make Inclusion an Everyday Reality

Person standing next to a flipchart that says 'Action gets traction'. Quote in the diagram says: "The phenomenal engagement throughout National Inclusion Week was the perfect springboard for longer-term conversations and a programme around inclusivity in the workplace." Group Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Serco.

Inclusion at Serco

Serco have been members of Inclusive Employers since 2016. The organisation’s global reach means the opportunities to make inclusion an everyday reality are diverse and unrivalled: these opportunities that the business thrives on, are delivered by a talented and diverse workforce.

Serco has four established Employee Networks: LGBT+, Gender, Disability and BAME which individually set the pace and direction for its activity in these areas. Ahead of National Inclusion Week 2019, they took the opportunity to launch the Inclusion Hub, an exciting development in their Inclusion and Diversity Agenda.

2 Serco employees accept National Inclusion Standard award at Inclusive Employers' Open Mic event

The Inclusion Hub: How it Delivers the Opportunity To Include

Since the summer of 2019, and in consultation with their Employee Networks, Serco had been exploring how best they could grow their diverse workforce communities, whilst harnessing the power they have collectively. After reviewing several approaches across the Group, they settled on the Inclusion Hub.

The Inclusion Hub supports all four of Serco’s Employee Networks, each of which remain a unique and safe community for their members, by helping to organise engagement activities, support objective-setting, track progress. The Inclusion Hub also provides the business with a much-needed voice to talk confidently with externally. By providing the platform to coordinate, structure and support output they ensure they are working collaboratively, efficiently and with maximum impact.

In line with the theme for National Inclusion Week 2019 of Everyday Inclusion, Serco planned a variety of activities under the Inclusion Hub umbrella which showcased how they are having a real and lasting impact on Everyday Inclusion.

Taking Action and Making Inclusion An Everyday Reality

National Inclusion Week 2019 at Serco saw one of the largest peaks of engagement the organisation has ever witnessed. They have recorded some inspiring results including 12,302 visits to different pages and documents on the Inclusion Hub SharePoint in just one week. One of the most popular downloads was the ‘Local engagement ideas for initiating inclusive conversations and activities’ which was created to help frontline employees get inspired and involved. Engagement also soared with the upload of a video of Kevin Craven, CEO for Serco UK&E, and the Chairs of each Network who spoke candidly about inclusion from their perspective – this video was viewed over 5,000 times during NIW alone.

Action on inclusion at Serco during National Inclusion Week included the launch of intimate podcast style sessions, wonderfully named ‘Fireside Sessions’. They are led by the Inclusion Hub and sponsored by one of the Employee Networks. During NIW, ‘In@serco’ (Serco’s network for LGBT+ colleagues and their allies) hosted the first session with Angus Cockburn, Chief Financial Officer and Penni Gillen, Executive Assistant and mother to a transgender child. The emotional and inspiring conversation flowed between Angus and Penni; one telling her story and one asking questions about a topic he had never broached before. Colleagues were invited to dial-in to listen live and ask questions, the session was also recorded.

Angus Cockburn and Penni Gillen stand together and hold up a poster about the charity Mermaids, that gives family and individual support for gender diverse and transgender children and young people.

Following the popularity of this conversation Serco have held three additional fireside sessions including: Rupert Soames, Serco Group CEO chatted with Kate Nash, CEO of Purple Space, in an intimate discussion about disability in the workplace. Julia Rogers, COO for Serco UK&E led a session in support of World Menopause Day with David Eveleigh, Serco Group General Counsel & Company Secretary. The reach of these sessions has been fantastic: to date, over 650 colleagues have dialled in or downloaded recordings.

Serco created another opportunity to include with their ‘Exec-led Chain Mail’. On the Monday of National Inclusion Week, Executive members sent an email to five colleagues containing three words describing what they think a truly inclusive workforce looks like – these included ‘ethical, sympathetic and open’ – and one practical step everyone could take to foster inclusion in their day-to-day activities. The recipients then added their contributions and sent it on to five different colleagues, and on the chain mail went… It smashed its target of 100 people across the globe, with 729 colleagues responding!

An interactive calendar, like a gym schedule was also created, that highlighted how colleagues could get involved in activities and events throughout National Inclusion Week. Each activity had an easy click-through to dial-in-details, a leaflet or a news story.

Calendar listing details of all the activities Serco did during National inclusion week, including webinars, a Stonewall survey, workshops, etc.

The phenomenal engagement witnessed throughout National Inclusion Week was the perfect springboard for longer-term conversations and a programme around inclusivity in the workplace. The Inclusion Hub has provided Serco with a vehicle to coordinate and track activity and this has demonstrated continued high levels of engagement and support, with everything from locally led events to executive inspired activities.