Creating Inclusion Together: DEI at NTT DATA | NTT DATA

Mon, 07 August 2023

Creating Inclusion Together: DEI at NTT DATA

Why Inclusion is the Key to Changing Behaviour

At NTT DATA, we’re re-framing our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) narrative – and we’re placing inclusion at its core. Over the last decade and a half, the way that we view and talk about DEI has changed dramatically, centring now around creating a sense of belonging and psychological safety rather than exclusively totalling numbers on a spreadsheet.

By now, we all know the DEI research by heart. Time and time again, studies and evidence have found a correlation between gender diversity on executive teams and profitability. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability, whilst those in the bottom quartile are 29% less likely to achieve above-average profitability [1].

However, the benefits of diversity are contingent on fostering inclusion and building equitable frameworks. As a DEI leader, I focus on how we can make an impact and create lasting change, which means leading with inclusion.

Why Inclusion is Central to Our New Narrative

When I began my career in DEI, businesses gave the specialism a much narrower scope than they do today. On many occasions, a company’s initiatives might begin and end with gender diversity without a wider framework to promote inclusive behaviour and broader diversity.

My professional career began in IT services consulting and Human Resources (HR) for major multinational organisations. I championed gender diversity programmes and initiatives outside of my day job because I wanted to contribute to the progression and development of women – even more woefully underrepresented at that point than they are now.

When it became clear to me that both the need and the appetite for a change in diversity representation existed in the business, I lobbied a European director to create a formal role around DEI. From here, the scope of the role grew to include other minority-represented groups and allyship.

Having worked in this space for some years now, I’ve observed that if you lead with diversity results without focusing on belonging and inclusion, then you create a revolving door of talent - whether your organisation increases its representation or not in the short term. What I’ve seen, and what the research supports, is that when businesses begin with and focus exclusively on diversity, this limits their success. Without also promoting equity and inclusion, they are unable to achieve lasting organisational change.

Organisations across the world have come to understand this evolution – and that’s why my focus at NTT DATA, and our new DEI focus as an organisation, is to put inclusion front and centre in everything we do.

Creating Inclusion Together Campaign - Two men talking with each other 

How NTT DATA approaches DEI differently

On arriving at NTT DATA at the end of 2022, I approached the opportunity as a chance to shape a DEI culture and strategy from the ground up. I was excited to find a hugely enthusiastic, committed group of people, all of whom genuinely believe in the power of DEI to drive innovation and growth and were eager to embrace the organisational framework to deliver it.

I would like to give special mention to the leadership team, all of whom have been forward-thinking and dedicated to making NTT DATA a great place to work. They recognised what could be done for DEI by appointing a dedicated leader to join their team and report directly to the CEO, Fernando Apezteguia.

This demonstrates a sensitivity and commitment to change that made NTT DATA stand out to me. If you’d like to learn why inclusion is central to business success, and its implementation at NTT DATA, watch my discussion with NTT DATA’s Global CEO, Kaz Nishihata, at The 151st Open below.


Creating Inclusion Together at NTT DATA

When it comes to being a great place to work and a leader in the DEI space, we’re not where we want to be yet, but we’re getting there. As we continue our DEI journey, we want to implement a culture of continuous learning and collaboration.

It's important to me and to the whole organisation that we share the commitment and the work needed to drive belonging and psychological safety. We aim to create a workplace where all our people are valued and supported – no matter their role or seniority in the organisation. By examining our own biases and behaviours, holding ourselves accountable, and recognising that we all have a sphere of influence, we can create a culture of mutual respect and inclusion.

If you’d like to know more, take a moment to read about how we’re making NTT DATA a more inclusive place to work and Creating Inclusion Together.



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