Once a year, Communardo calls all employees together for the so-called “Offsite“. A format in which all colleagues from all locations usually make a pilgrimage to Dresden to discuss strategy, progress and innovation within Communardo, at our customers and in general. It was located at the Groove-Station in Dresden for this time. This year we, from the Diversity Workgroup, participated with a format to give our concern to the topic more awareness within Communardo.
We took about an hour with the help of the fishbowl method to create a lively discussion around some controversial topics that you might not otherwise want to discuss in the workplace – because they seem uncomfortable. We put the following (deliberately provocative) statements up for discussion:
- Women are generally not suited for leadership positions.
- The female cycle is not a topic that has relevance in the workplace.
- Employees have to adapt to the national culture of their employer.
- Young people are not fit for work. They are not resilient.
- It should be in the interest of the company’s profitability to replace older employees with more active younger ones.
These are issues that people tend to avoid when talking to each other in the office. We were therefore very pleased to be able to raise them in this context. It also became clear that different views on the individual topics were formed and the discussion was active but at no time heated and charged. It was beneficial to be able to address the issues in a civilized manner and to let or ask groups to speak, that are usually not involved in the topic.
However, it was never the purpose to find a conclusive answer to the statements, and we didn’t do that. In the end, we are not an ethics board. But many small steps lead to success, and raising awareness and understanding is a good thing. The engaged involvement in the discussion and the encouraging feedback from participants afterwards did show us how important diversity is in the workplace and that we have taken a step in the right direction with this session.
Stay tuned for more events & initiatives.