We act for an inclusive and diverse workplace

Engaging coworkers to develop a more sustainable workplace
Behind the scenes
6 April 2020

Karmen Tucker & Paul Marshall of Air Liquide UK are part of the European team who put together an Inclusion & Diversity action plan. They believe in engaging coworkers to develop a more sustainable workplace.

Air Liquide put together a cross functional and cross country Talent team in the United Kingdom, Nordics countries & Benelux area. The team was given a year to put together an Inclusion & Diversity action plan that will compliment and support the on-going work done by the Human Resource teams. Focus has been set on gender and inter-generational issues to transform ideas into actions!

Karmen Tucker, C-IMP manager at Air Liquide UK & Paul Marshall, project manager, joined the international Inclusion & Diversity team. Karmen explained us what is the difference we need to make between Inclusion & Diversity:

“There is an infinite amount of dimensions that makes a workforce diverse, some are often obvious such as gender, age or ethnicity; while some are less obvious such as experience, socioeconomic status, thinking style or religion.”

Embrace differences, value each other

She continues; “Inclusion means embracing differences and valuing each individual. It is crucial to encourage fairness, respect and open-mindness. This way coworkers feel comfortable, motivated and valued for who they are and what they can bring to the table. This is the essence of effective team work!”

Air Liquide is a large international company meeting the needs of a wide range of customer needs; from carbonating beer to powering space shuttles. With such a diversity in our business, it makes perfect sense to adopt a diverse approach internally, so we can leverage the best from this rich source of knowledge and creativity.

However, diversity cannot stand alone. To truly maximise the potential of diversity, we need to ensure everyone is included. This is why inclusion goes hand in hand with diversity.

“Diversity is how we are. Inclusive is how we need to act. To truly thrive in today’s world we need everyone to feel included, to feel part of what we do, to feel like they have a voice and contribute their ideas. When we are all engaged in this way, anything is possible!”

Inclusive actions in our entities

Following this initiative, the team organized several actions in their countries. For instance “In the Benelux countries we have piloted job shadowing where junior and senior employees get an opportunity to transfer knowledge and strengthen their collaboration.” Says Paul and adds that;
“We also made it easier to buy protective clothing designed for women, to make women feel more safe and included in industrial settings.”

Karmen continues; “In the Nordics we initiated a collaboration between the HR department and female Engineers. Female engineers now Co-write job advertisements for technical roles and we can already see a tendency for increased amounts of applications from female candidates.”
Karmen adds that;
“At all levels we have organised many interactive workshops about unconscious bias and promoted an e-learning on diversity and performance.”

During a year the Talent team has put in place a wide range of initiatives and the plan for the future is to ensure that inclusion and diversity stays on the agenda.

Inclusion and diversity is a mindset and Air Liquide coworkers are setting the example!