Diversity and equal opportunity by Orange: a stakeholder dialogue managed with an original XXL digital format
To address cross-functional and strategic issues, the Orange CSR Division has just carried out its first group-wide stakeholder dialogue using an remarkably innovative method. 1st application: diversity and workplace equality.
4 July 2016: over 150 people at the Group head office and hundreds of connected participants worldwide for a live broadcast, including members of the Executive committee and stakeholder representatives, attended the full report on this new type of dialogue.
"It is the climax of an approach on a unprecedented scale, led by the CSR teams and the Diversity Division," explained Brigitte Dumont, Orange CSR Director. "We interviewed 700 employees - face-to-face, during workshops, in a Facebook group for employees, via Plazza (the internal social network), by video chat -, surveyed dozens of customers at Digital Cafes, carried out face-to-face interviews of 120 external stakeholders from civil society, the business world, experts and representatives of various authorities, and visited no less than 6 countries, which helped us to collect a huge number of ideas and visions, covering every diversity and workplace equality topic. It was a very high-quality and innovative approach as it addressed important and even sensitive issues, such as workplace gender equality, origins, disability and temporary fragilities, age, sexual orientation and opinions. ”
A listening approach on a unprecedented scale
Carried out from November 2015 to June 2016, this campaign combined physical interviews and a new kind of digital initiatives: "the use of internal or Group-related social networks helped us to launch and coordinate countless conversation threads, in which the communities really dialogued," explained Anne MacLaren, Group CSR Stakeholder Dialogue Manager. "We had to learn about and test different approaches: our initiatives in France really took off when we connected with an existing Orange Facebook group (in addition to the internal social network). Communicating like this, through different digital channels, has a real advantage: the quotes we collected are often more meaningful, more insightful. Respondents are in a better position to think, open up and give information to support their answer when they are sitting in front of their screen. For our part, this involved starting conversations, getting people to react, alternating multiple choice questions with more open ones: the interviews and the conversation threads are very similar to community coordination. ”
In the field, it is also the first time that such a big initiative has been launched group-wide: "in Senegal, Jordan, Orange Business Services in Russia and India, Romania and 5 French regions, we met very varied stakeholders, both within and outside the Group, for our entire scope," continued Brigitte Dumont. "That helped us to have really profound dialogues and organise action plans suited to the local business and specific socio-cultural issues. ”
Adapting to specific local issues: listening for weak signals
Conducting interviews in the field required delicate handling of certain diversity issues: "While the framework of dialogue issues and topics was the same for the whole Group, it was important to listen out for weak signals, in the audience or from our contact, to find out to what extent they agreed with a diversity issue," continued Anne MacLaren. "For example, you don't usually talk about sexual orientation in Jordan, Senegal or Russia... but that doesn't mean it should be totally taboo, and you can talk about it if the interviewee wants to! In all of our geographic zones, from France to India, and for all of our stakeholders, Orange is recognised and seen as a benchmark employer, driving change: this involves this global-local articulation, which helps make more concrete progress. ”
At the end of this dialogue, the Orange Diversity Division was able to draw up a list of priority actions that can be implemented at different scales, in all of the Group countries: "We got answers to the question we were asking, of course, but also to all those that we didn't ask!" concluded Brigitte Dumont. This bonus is exactly what we were looking for in this dialogue approach," observed Brigitte Dumont. "I see great potential in this new consultation pilot. We will continue to work with it and extend it with many more new topics."
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