Taking a lead on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Specialist Di Keller talks all about her role at Karbon Homes and why she volunteers with the IoD North East (North) branch to spread the equality, diversity and inclusion message.

This article was written for ‘Northern Insight’ magazine and published as part of their May edition.

• Tell us about your role at Karbon Homes

At Karbon Homes we build, manage and look after affordable homes for people across the North. And then we go further, we give them the strong foundations they need to get on with life.  My role as Strategic Equality Diversity and Inclusion Lead is to help Karbon deliver its ambitions to be more inclusive for our people, our communities and our organisation.

• Why is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) so important to organisational success?

For me there are four key areas; Financial, Legal and Regulatory, Market and Reputation and People. There is a lot of high quality research available that will give more in depth context into the importance of each of these areas, but most will circle back to people, whether that is people in your organisation or the people who are your end users, be that your customers, communities you work with or other organisations. As a society we are demanding more and especially post pandemic we’ve seen a seismic shift in what people are looking for from their worklife and employee through to the environment we are living in. ED&I is at the centre of all of these areas and should be a key part of any business strategy, but often we see it as a bolt on.

• How are you bringing your ED&I experience to bear as a branch member for IoD North East (North)

Wherever an organisation is on their journey with ED&I it can sometimes feel overwhelming, uncomfortable and there is often a huge concern for getting it wrong. I have worked with many organisations and across many different sectors. This has given me great insight into what has worked well and what hasn’t in terms of ED&I. It is a continual journey of learning for us all. As all members bring their own expertise and experience to the branch network – my role as a member and an ambassador is to support our current and future members on their journey with ED&I.

• Why us being an IoD member so important to you?

work within a number of networks and have found huge benefit from the diverse aspects they all bring to my personal and professional development. In honesty, the IoD felt as though it was out of my reach, that I wasn’t good enough to be a member. I then realised that I had fallen into ‘Imposter Syndrome’ which is something I talk to other people about quite often. I knew Sarah Waddington, who is now our branch chair, through another of my networks and after chatting with her I realised that the offering of the IoD was very broad and diverse and very much open to everyone. So for me it is about challenging the status quo – both from building our approach to ED&I from within, but making it feel more accessible for others to feel that it’s the network for them.

• If you had to share one IoD membership benefit with others, what would it be and why?

Opportunity! From meeting and working with peers across our region to the discounted courses that are a great framework for all stages of your journey as a director.

For more information, please visit: www.iod.com/locations/yorkshire-north-east.

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