Versett leads the charge for change
Raising awareness for diversity and inclusion in tech
Last year, digital product consultancy Versett took home the first Diversity & Inclusion Leader Award from our Be Local Awards. The award recognized Versett’s work towards a diverse tech industry, and they haven’t stopped there.
“We wanted to become leaders in our industry,” says Vinciane de Pape -- Versett’s Director of People and Culture, who’s leading the charge for inclusion and education within the office and beyond.
“There’s a host of research that supports why it’s beneficial for business reasons, but ultimately we know it’s the right thing to do. We wanted to show that you can be a highly successful, profitable company and still be at the forefront of diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
Versett’s initiatives have included articles and annual reports, and internal education through workshops covering topics such as “ally skills,” which Vinciane says “is a more empowering way to say ‘bystander intervention training.’”
“I really had to dig for examples that could apply for that particular workshop. These situations can be highly nuanced.”
To be a good ally, Vinciane says it starts with knowing you will make mistakes. The terminology that was acceptable even a few years ago may not be okay today, and “having the humility to admit that you were wrong, and the commitment to try hard. We’re constantly trying to learn.”
“We’re really fortunate that everyone at Versett is already so socially-conscious and progressive,” she says, recalling back in June when she and a colleague were getting t-shirts made with the Versett logo in the Pride and Transgender flag colours for Pride Month. She put the call out to the rest of the office, and was delighted to find that every single one wanted in on the shirts.
This staunch effort for diversity and inclusion at Versett has accidentally become a sort of vetting procedure for new hires.
“Being open and receptive is really important to allyship. And believing the experiences of those from marginalized groups, because they probably know best.”