The importance of diversity and inclusion

Published by Yolanda Erburu
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Global Practice Lead

07 June 2018 . International

At Bupa, we promote a diverse and inclusive culture that celebrates our differences and empowers our people. We know we perform better at work when we can just be ourselves, and we want to empower our people to be their whole self - both inside and outside of work.
Wheelchair basketball

On gender diversity, I’m proud that we have strong female representation at every level of our organisation, right up to our senior executives, including our Group CFO and CEO, while over 50% of our total workforce is female.

In Australia, we’re driving positive, sustainable and scalable change in terms of both gender equality and LGBTI+ inclusion. Our ‘Gender Agenda’ programme supports female employees’ personal development and encourages career opportunities, while we’ve recruited LGBTI+ inclusion champions trained in self-care and improving mental health outcomes for the LGBTI+ community.

Elsewhere around the Bupa World, our associated business Bupa Arabia has a strong focus on recruiting and developing women. To do so, they’ve enhanced maternity leave policy above the statutory requirement, and have an in-house child care facility to help our employees better manage work-life balance. The Saudi Minister of Labour has cited Bupa as an exemplar for recruiting and developing Saudi national women.

And last year Max Bupa, our associate business in India, introduced a new category to its annual employee awards, specifically acknowledging its female employees. Three women were recognised for their significant contributions to business performance and strong leadership in an industry traditionally dominated by males.

Celebrating people’s differences brings huge benefits to Bupa, so we’re delighted that in the UK, we’re joining EMpower and OUTstanding, corporate membership organisations based in the UK which are committed to creating diverse and inclusive businesses.

EMpower and OUTstanding envision a business world which involves 100% of everyone. They focus on improving ethnic minority and LGBT+ inclusion, and offer programmes, events and advisory work that address the unique challenges these communities face in the workplace.

This is just the next step on our journey and there’s a lot happening across Bupa to be proud of when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

The aim is that by being a more diverse and inclusive organisation, we are better suited to understand and serve all our customers, therefore, being more successful as a business.

Cultivating a diverse and inclusive culture is a continuous journey, but I am especially proud of what we’ve achieved so far. A colleague recently reminded me of a quote that reads: ‘Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.’ For Bupa, we are fortunate to be at the party already, and we’ll continue to ask our colleagues to dance.

Yolanda Erburu

Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Global Practice Lead

More about this author