Issue 5 2021

Fostering Diverse Environments Charlotte Sweeney Associates is an award winning, highly competitive and professionally adept inclusion, diversity and equity consultancy, supporting global businesses to improve their internal practices. Working across a variety of scales and industries, it has become an invaluable partner to many over the years, establishing a successful track record of delivering effective and sustainable change. Charlotte Sweeney Associates (CSA) was founded in 2012 by Charlotte Sweeney OBE, a leading expert in her field. She started the company to further her work in diversity, inclusion, leadership, and change management, helping clients to foster healthy and diverse environments within their workplaces across a wide cross section of industries. Now, it is one of the most sought-after I&D consultancy services, with exemplary expertise, thorough and unmatched knowledge amongst its team, and thoughtful plans for the implementation of change. Its methods are practical, and its advice is actionable, helping clients to cultivate a healthier business with every interaction. Furthermore, its track record is one of absolute success. With a growing worldwide client list made up of new clients as well as lifelong corporate connections and partners, Charlotte Sweeney Associates’ results speak for themselves. This is something CSA takes great pride in; although its knowledge base contains the breadth and depth needed to stand head and shoulders above the competition, it focuses more on actions than words. One can know all the best theory for diversity implementation but what matters is putting those into practice. Charlotte Sweeney Associates recognises this, and thus invests in helping its clients reach that goal. The founder herself has won numerous awards for her work and was recognised as a Global Leader of Diversity and Inclusion by Harvard in 2010. She has also been lauded as one of the Most Influential Women in HR in 2019 and named as one of the top 10 Global I&D Consultancies by The Economist and The Daily Telegraph in 2015 and 2016. Her book Inclusive Leadership has also been heavily accredited. The consultancy she runs understands businesses are feeling increasing pressure to scrutinise their inclusivity and diversity policies and practices. This is where Charlotte Sweeney Associates steps in to help them manage this sensitively and effectively. Done right, with the support of CSA, clients see a ‘powerful culture’ introduced into the workplace, one that champions the individuality of the people within it. In doing so, clients retain their best talent by making their working environment healthier, improving the company across the board. Furthermore, CSA has a no nonsense and to the point approach, eliminating jargon to cut to the heart of the matter. Its global clients cover a wide range of scales and sectors, and it delivers highly tailored strategies to suit the client; when it comes to diversity and inclusivity, there is no such thing as one size fits all. CSA acts as a partner for its client, giving them everything from strategic advice to learning tools, and sharing its passion for pragmatic, effective work, an approach championed by each member of its world-class team. No matter where a client is on their journey, Charlotte Sweeney Associates has the consultant and tools to help. The last 5 years have seen this company’s team grow significantly, going from strength to strength as more fresh voices and perspectives join the team, currently standing strong at over 20 high calibre consultants. As well as business partners, Charlotte Sweeney Associates acts as a critical friend to its clients. In this way, it gets to know them on a personal and practical level, seeing how their business works from an inside point of view as well as the initial outside point of view. This attitude ensures that it can immerse itself deeply in the prevailing culture of the firm, pick out what needs adapting or altering, and work with the team in the ways they will be most receptive to. All part of its ‘one size does not fit all’ attitude, it wishes to support them through a process where sensitive and understanding approaches are a must. All these tenants are reflected internally, too; as it puts immense value on people’s skills and experiences, rather than their ‘fit’ for a set job description. This informs its ability to ‘walk the walk’ and lead by example when it comes to diversity and inclusion. It is outcome driven, with a flat structure that allows its employees to feel equally valued across all levels of organisation. In implementing practices, it builds in other organisations, it has been an advocate of remote, flexible, and inclusive work since its inception in 2012. This has of course helped during the onset of the pandemic. This globally impacting challenge reinforced the importance of collaboration and leadership in its organisation, as it has experienced one of the busiest years since its inception. It has also been able to use its existing excellent remote work structure to continue delivering meetings, training programmes, workshops and services which its clients have all gaining significant value from. The connections to clients it had already forged over years of remote work benefitted it massively, too. This company had already become known as one that is highly effective remotely, and so, when the paradigm of remote work came into effect, word began to spread. It therefore was able to help its clients with the pivot to remote working alongside its usual diversity and inclusion services, making itself an invaluable connection during the difficult times many businesses faced. Charlotte Sweeney Associates has thus been busy with everything from one to one and team coaching to proactively developing inclusion strategies. Organisations across the board have maximised the opportunity to change for the better throughout the course of the past year. In this way, one good thing has come out of the pandemic; businesses have been forced to re-examine how they work and adapt accordingly, and this has spurred on progressive change in many more areas than just where their teams can work from. Charlotte Sweeney Associates is proud to say it saw many such positive developments being made with its expertly holding the hands of their clients and acting as a guide. This has enabled them to expand further and reach yet more clients. Recently, it launched an exciting new training programme in partnership with Cambridge Cubed. This project is called the D&I Mar21179 ...clients retain their best talent by making their working environment healthier, improving the company across the board. Furthermore, CSA has a no nonsense and to the point approach, eliminating jargon to cut to the heart of the matter.