Better gender diversity in our team fuels innovation for our customers

“By bringing together diverse people and approaches, we can deliver more successful digital transformation projects for our customers”. Glenn Griggs, CEO & Executive Sponsor for Gender Diversity at Ricoh UK, shares what Ricoh is doing to develop, maintain and cultivate diversity to benefit everyone.

Gender diversity

As a digital services company, our role is to drive transformation and introduce better, faster and more fulfilling ways of working. Not just for the good of our clients, but to benefit people as a whole. 

Our product experts go through multiple processes of discovery with our customers to get to the root of their needs, challenges and ambitions. 

Our approach requires individuals with diverse strengths suited to different organisations and people. The future will impact everyone — not just one kind of person with a specific background. By bringing in diverse voices, we can create blueprints of change that suit every individual — their limitations and privileges alike — and introduce technology that meets the needs of everyone. 

Since the introduction of the gender pay gap report, we have set five-year targets to increase our gender diversity across the business. So far, we have seen a 2% increase in the overall representation of women, but there’s much more to do. Through strengthening our gender diversity programmes and keeping up the momentum, we want to create a better future for our business, the organisations we serve and our industry. 

We wanted to share what we’re doing to close our gender gap and introduce more diversity into our teams, at the start of another transformational year for businesses.

What are we doing to improve gender diversity?

Inclusive recruitment

We adopt inclusive recruitment and selection processes, ensuring we are attracting a diverse talent pool reflective of the communities we operate within. Famously, Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In revealed stats that showed women only applied for jobs where they could meet 100% of the criteria, whereas men looked for 60% and over. 

To avoid this, we make sure we use gender-neutral language decoders and advertise roles as flexible, where possible. We aim to empower women to apply for roles by communicating in a way that allows them to demonstrate their potential. We are also an early signatory of the BITC Open Doors Inclusive Recruitment campaign, reviewing all of our recruitment policies and procedures to ensure they are entirely inclusive. 

Supporting women in the business

A big part of our drive towards gender diversity is ensuring all our employees have an equal opportunity to progress throughout the business. We want to employ the right person for the right job but make sure there are no blockers that could prevent women or any other minority group from applying or succeeding in promotion. 

Designing flexibility into strategic positions is key to enabling women to progress. Our policy goes further than where you can work, we are constantly challenging how we can better support different people with different family setups and needs. As part of this, we can explore the possibility of compressed hours and job sharing to name a few possibilities. 

We also participate in two external mentoring programmes – Mission Gender Equity and Mission Include, run by Moving Ahead that enable women to drive their own development and get inspired by their peers. We currently have seven women on mentoring programmes, each deriving from different areas of the business. Taking part in awards events that celebrate women in our industry and gender diversity is also important to us, having five nominees at the WISA final last year.

Creating an inclusive culture

Fundamentally, our objective is to make sure everyone understands what diversity is, what inclusivity is and what it all means for us at Ricoh. Creating that understanding means promoting fairness, ensuring people know that just because we’re raising awareness for one minority group, it doesn’t mean we’re limiting opportunities for other groups. 

We provide employees with support networks, tools and development programmes to promote fairness and collaboration and build a culture of openness. 

We have identified people to participate in an EMEA wide female talent programme to support gender diversity, creating a space for our senior female leaders to discuss common challenges and encourage personal development. Opening up the discussion to everyone, our allyship lunch and learn session, alongside our gender lunch and learn session, gives men a chance to get involved and advocate for gender issues.

Better outcomes for all women

Our next focus is to improve outcomes for women across all diversity strands, not just gender. Crucially, we want to make sure we’re not overlooking the whole lived experience of our people. We are creating a diversity dashboard, which will break down gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation to understand our gaps and improve representation, allyship and support.  Once complete, we will create action plans following data analysis to help improve our diversity.

Data is an essential tool to measure our progress. We will continue to measure the gender mix throughout the recruitment process to identify any barriers and then put relevant actions in place to address these. Our gender pay gap report isn’t just a legal requirement to us, and we are continually analysing pay to address any disparities.

Helping address the digital skills gaps

Improving gender diversity is a long journey. Our job is to find ways to remove inequality inside our organisation to offer a better experience for our customers and our people. But there’s also a societal challenge to overcome. The digital skills gap in the UK costs the economy around £63 billion per year, and it is estimated the UK will need 1.2 million new digital talents by 2023. At the moment, we simply don’t have enough graduates to fill in this need. 

While the number of women in engineering and science roles is increasing, gender diversity in the UK technology sector has been static for 10 years, compounding the problem. We want to play our part by encouraging women into technology by positioning positive role models and providing an environment where women can thrive. Only by taking action like this can we prepare our industry to face future demands.

Glenn Griggs