Diversity and inclusion in all forms is central to the success of our work and our ability to fulfil our purpose to improve lives through sustainable policy change.
Making the international development sector inclusive is inherently challenging, with governments, communities, and funders interacting in exclusionary and inclusionary ways as a result of structures and funding models that reinforce an imbalance of power.
As a development consultancy working to achieve change, we have a role in working to improve the inclusivity of the process of development. We firmly believe that our work delivers the best outcomes when we actively include a diversity of perspectives and experiences, and when we prioritise inclusive behaviours and culture to ensure that our work has positive impact.
We strive to be a diverse and inclusive workplace for all our employees across the globe, ensuring a culture and environment exists which is free of discrimination and bias. We aspire to reflect and embody this through our behaviours, practices, and language.
We strongly believe in a fairer distribution of power between all stakeholders, and we commit to reflecting this in our organisational structures and in the design and delivery of our projects. We proactively work to evolve ourselves and our stakeholders to shape inclusive and fair programming, implementation, and policies.
We have made progress…
Over recent years we have worked on several areas to strengthen the diversity and inclusivity of our organisation:
- We audited and improved our recruitment and remuneration processes to consciously avoid bias.
- We decentralised our staffing model with most of our staff now outside of the UK, located across Africa and Asia.
- We integrated diversity and inclusion indicators in our organisational reporting, to ensure that we are tracking our progress over time, to help quickly identify areas for improvement and progress.
- We invested in inclusive leadership training for all people managers, focusing on key themes such as recruitment, communication, and global inclusion. We are a member of the Inclusive Employers network which provides all our employees and leaders with access to a range of resources focused on creating inclusive workplaces.
- Our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy sets out company, staff, and supplier expectations, behaviours, and processes in relation to diversity and inclusion, helping to better ensure transparency and accountability in these areas.
- We have an internal Diversity & Inclusion Committee that supports with these activities throughout our organisation, including spotlighting key topics through both externally and internally led webinars and regular employee engagement.
We have work to do…
We understand that we need to focus on the journey and not purely the outcome when looking to eliminate any form of discrimination, hurtful behaviour, and structural inequalities. While we have made positive strides forward, we recognise there is still a long road ahead of us.
We welcome input by colleagues and externals alike as we need to challenge our own thinking and engage in a constant learning process. OPM commits to continuously aligning strategy, policies, and processes to best practice in our sector. Areas we are focusing on:
- Internally: Further enhancing skills and awareness through on-going diversity and inclusion training; continuing to shift our organisational structures to enhance decision-making powers across our offices supporting locally led development; improving our gender pay gap; updating procurement policy, practices, and engagement processes with suppliers to be more sustainable and inclusive.
- Externally: Systematically bringing this learning to our projects and our supply base, including supporting their own learning; explicitly acknowledging power imbalances in international development and actively challenging them within our programming.