Carnival UK

Hannah Leach is the VP for Culture and Learning at Carnival UK which is the operating company for Cunard and P&O Cruises, two of the world’s most popular cruise brands. Hannah’s broad role is to oversee the cultural development of the organisation. As well as diversity, equity and inclusion or DEI, she also looks after the learning team, internal communications, the wellbeing service and occupational health.
Photo of Carnival ship

Hannah Leach is the VP for Culture and Learning at Carnival UK which is the operating company for Cunard and P&O Cruises, two of the world’s most popular cruise brands. Hannah’s broad role is to oversee the cultural development of the organisation. As well as diversity, equity and inclusion or DEI, she also looks after the learning team, internal communications, the wellbeing service and occupational health.

Background

Hannah said that before she worked with Toby, there had been some work on the area of gender balance. Whilst it was partly prompted by the government’s requirement to report on the gender pay gaps, the employee-led network ATHENA was already looking at the issue.

With this ambition to be leading a proactive and deliberate agenda in DEI Hannah called on Toby’s expertise. The aim was to build on the gender balance work and expand the agenda to think more holistically about intersectionality.

DEI: an opportunity to harness

Toby came in to speak at a thought leadership event to a group of around 50 of the senior leaders in the organisation who report into the executive board. These are the people with responsibility for all teams, both shipboard and shore side. Hannah said, ‘We just wanted to immerse people in the topic and broaden their understanding of DEI. We used that event to prompt and prod a little and educate. It helped to get people thinking about things in different ways and contexts.’

At the event, Toby went through his Inclusive Growth framework to start Carnival UK on its journey. He also highlighted obstacles that organisations can face in trying to increase their inclusivity and covered the things that senior leaders need to be aware of. His perspective was one of shifting diversity and inclusion from being a problem to solve, to an opportunity to harness.

Hannah said Toby’s approach flipped the thinking. From an intangible topic that might have felt big and scary to people, the event connected the audience with steps that were practical and concrete. After the talk, Toby also facilitated a conversation with the leaders in the room which helped disrupt people’s usual thinking. Off the back of that event, other things were put into play that helped to drive the DEI agenda forward.

Sustainable DEI impact

One of the things that happened following that event was that it provided some influence and impetus for some forums to join up and address the concept of intersectionality. Whilst not everyone finds the concept easy, Hannah said, ‘For us, it helped the gender network and the LGBTQ+ network, Spectrum, network think more broadly about how to connect up and see the overlap in their agendas and work together.’

An internal belonging and inclusion steering group was also set up after this event. This provided a forum for employees to surface some of their inclusion experiences and challenges which drove specific actions. Carnival UK also ran training with their resourcing teams and HR business partners to help them think about what they needed to know to better support their business areas.

Hannah concluded, ‘The work with Toby was really successful. We had set ourselves some targets around gender balance, shortlists and those sorts of things, but giving it a focus made sure that all of that stuff was at the forefront of our minds. It embedded the thinking around how bias can creep in into talent and succession. Now we’re continually talking about addressing that risk by having these conversations.’

So… Are You Ready To Create a Culture of Inclusive Growth, Build a More Diverse Workplace & Boost Business Performance?

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