Karen Birss at Wood Plc on how the reward and benefits community can reduce workplace inequality

Karen Birss, reward director at Wood Plc, speaks to REBA’s Debi O’Donovan in this podcast about how the coronavirus has heightened awareness around equality issues and accelerated the activities the organisation already had planned to tackle this issue.

Birss explains that the pandemic has helped to enhanced its understanding of different people’s needs at a local level, as well as bringing some difficult conversations to the forefront which has got its leadership team thinking in a slightly different way.

She goes on to explain where they have seen the biggest change and how uncomfortable conversations are leading to action, such as checking that their benefit and reward design is free from unintentional bias.

O’Donovan also asked for her advice on how reward and benefits teams can make a difference to workplace inclusion both in the short and long-term. Birss suggested that in the short-term employers should review their policies and processes through a diversity lens, while longer-term she highlighted the importance of connecting reward and talent.

Birss attended REBA’s exclusive Health and Wellbeing as the New Frontier in the Diversity and Inclusion Discourse breakfast in association with Mercer Marsh Benefits. It brought together employers and industry experts to discuss new approaches to employee wellbeing.

Read a full round-up from the breakfast event on health and wellbeing as the new frontier in the diversity and inclusion discourse.

Watch a video interview with Dylan Wickenden HRD at EMCOR UK on the increasing awareness of equality in their reward strategy.

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