New LSE initiative to improve inclusion in City firms

If we get inclusion right, there are big gains to bottom line outcomes.
- Dr Grace Lordan
Workplace diversity 4x3

A new LSE initiative will use behavioural science insights to recognise and improve inclusion within City of London firms that will also benefit the bottom line. The Inclusion Initiative (TII), co-founded by Grace Lordan, Associate Professor in Behavioural Science, and Karina Robinson, Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, will tackle inclusion from within the firm itself, offering practical interventions based on academic research that aims to understand why people make the choices they do.

TII will work with firms directly, observing people in their daily working lives, to assess how well these interventions work. It aims to do this by outlining a viable proxy for measuring inclusion and quantifying the direct link between inclusion and the core business outcomes it should theoretically improve, such as innovation, creativity and risk assessment both within and across firms. It will then propose to firms a menu of cost-effective interventions that could improve inclusion of all talent from pipeline to boardroom.

Dr Lordan, of LSE’s Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, said: “A lack of inclusivity can be damaging to a firm. Every year firms spend tens of thousands of pounds on services to improve inclusion with no clear link to cost effectiveness. However, better business outcomes are not just a product of simply having more women or individuals of different ethnicities around a table."

Dr Robinson added: "Better business outcomes require inclusivity. If we want to get inclusion right, people with different perspectives and life experiences need their voices heard. Empirical evidence shows that this does not usually happen.”

The initiative is being launched at an LSE Festival event on Thursday March 5 chaired by LSE Director Minouche Shafik, including a round-table discussion with Dr Lordan, Dr Robinson, Brenda Trenowden (PwC UK), Irshaad Ahmad (Head of Institutional Europe and a member of the European Executive Committee of Allianz Global Investors), Richard Nesbitt (CEO of Global Risk Institute in Financial Services) and Teresa Parker (EMEA).

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