Employee resource group aimed for Women Leadership & Inclusion development, in Russia
Women Leadership and Inclusion (WLI) is one of several Johnson & Johnson initiatives helping to drive change by developing women leaders. Its purpose is to foster an inclusive organizational culture that champions the advancement of women, at all levels, all around the world. WLI’s vision is to achieve gender equality across our business globally to enhance our competitive advantage and fuel the future of human health. Once the pandemic lockdown has started, WLI Russia core team identified several opportunities and regrouped the resources to support all Russia, Ukraine & CIS employees with relevant activities. The major events were moved to the digital format plus new channels were suggested to strengthen the inclusion agenda.
The main purpose of WLI initiative is to make diversity and inclusion how we work every day. Our mission is to make diversity & inclusion our way of doing business. We advance our culture of belonging where open hearts and minds combine to unleash the potential of the brilliant mix of people, in every corner of Johnson & Johnson. Inclusion at Johnson & Johnson is about creating a deep sense of belonging. It's about a culture where all employees are valued and all ideas are heard, and we advance this culture for everyone.
WLI Russia is focused not on gender agenda only. We are supporting working parents, networking, career development with no reference to gender, age, experience and background. WLI works to reduce inequalities and ensure no one is left behind, fighting underrepresentation, inequality and barriers of any description. That’s how we contribute into creation of necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
We started with analyzing the needs of the team and brainstorming on the ideas. The easiest step was to open JNJ Social Club in Yammer to suggest our employees relevant content, energizing advices on sport activities, distant hobbies, movies, books, shops practices, etc. As a separate stream we have collected and shared dozens of useful links for parents to engage kids of different ages during the lockdown. Virtual Energy Breaks sessions held by our employees (yoga, pilates classes) have become a good supplement to everyday routine. A few new initiatives appeared: – Random Coffee. With understanding that distant communication might be difficult, especially for newcomers, we have offered the team random coffee sessions. Randomly created pairs of employees from different countries, functions, departments could set up 30-minutes coffee break to chat and get to know each other better (we had approximately 60 pairs). -Emotional burnout webinar with qualified physiologist helped to manage energy during distant work. -Lectures on digital etiquette, trend hour and professions of the future lectures – to give people perspective of different aspect of our life and work, to prepare them to live in new reality and be successful. -Mentoring meet up session with regional mentors – seldomly available opportunity during face-to-face times. We have renewed Lunch with leader – this traditional offline activity was easily transformed into Zoom format. Leaders experience similar problems during COVID-19 situation and are ready to share their vision and tips how to manage the situation and energy level. Lectures with professional coach and psychologist on parenting specifically in new reality were offered to all working parents across Johnson & Johnson Russia, Ukraine & CIS.
We received positive feedback from all participants of our activities. Average visiting rate was up to 10% of general employees’ population. In total more than 600 (out of 1,500) employees were involved into different activities – participation rate equals to 40%. Credo survey results in categories around leadership “Respect the dignity and diversity of all employees score in Our Credo survey 2020’, “Supports the health and well-being of employees” and “Is committed to help employees fulfill their family and other responsibilities” improved and achieved up to 80% of favorability. Agility allowed us to regroup our activities and support employees in the most effective way this year. Remote format became a great opportunity to give the equal access to the activities to all employees of our big cluster. This approach contributed a lot to the company’s success in 2020. Team remained highly capable and motivated for adjusting to external circumstances and leading the way to new achievements.
Beginning of the pandemic lockdown in early 2020 turned out to become a great challenge. While some employees were very confident staying at home during the lockdown, others felt very anxious balancing between work and home duties. Being able to understand and cooperate with each other remotely, being able to maintain our energy during the lockdown, being able to stay connected with your teammates during the year became crucial for success in 2020. With more than 1500 employees working in diverse conditions all over Russia, Ukraine & CIS region the local entity needed specific amplifications to keep the spirit high.
Our best practice (i.e. virtual coffee sessions) was picked up by external partners – WLI shared experience with clubs of other organizations in frames of Woman Leadership Forum and received very positive feedback from peers, as well as by other Chapters, like WLI Norway. Our colleagues from Business Quality picked up the format and spread it to their function at EMEA level.
Previously WLI’s activities used to be conducted mostly in face-to-face format, and since COVID-19 digitalized lives of all of us, our initiative was reshaped quickly to the remote format. To support our team energy and stay connected with each other, employees were offered with very diverse and differently targeted activities – from energizing physical activities in online format and lectures to new engaging meet ups with colleagues and leaders in virtual formats. We showed the culture of openness, sense of support and inclusion for every person in the organization. With the absence of face-to-face meetings and communication this approach became vital for this year’s success. Team remained highly capable for beating the unfavorable external circumstances.
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The initiative has been implementing across Russia, Ukraine & CIS region