Diversity and inclusion: A conversation with Mike O’Connell  

Diversity and inclusion: A conversation with Mike O’Connell  

We recently caught up with Isosceles CEO Mike O’Connell to discuss the company’s recent WeThrive engagement survey.   This week, Mike discusses the importance of diversity and inclusion at Isosceles.

Related | Employee engagement and Isosceles life

On diversity and inclusion…

“I think every company needs to examine what it’s doing,” Mike reflects, “and we can do a lot more”. 

“Why would any business person deny themselves the opportunity to work with the best people?” Mike asks. “Why would you deny your clients and staff the opportunities to work with the best people?” 

“Studies show again and again that the greater the diversity in the team, the greater the problem-solving ability, creativityproductivity and profitability”. 

“At Isosceles, we strive to improve and be highly diversified across our teams”, Mike candidly shares.  

 “We have a diverse team, and each member of our workforce makes a fantastic contribution to the richness of life at Isosceles.” 

“We are an equal opportunities employer,” Mike states, “and we must be sensitive to how we present ourselves, so people from different backgrounds feel there is a place for them at Isosceles”. 

We must make sure that we represent the true diversity that exists inside the company

As Mike explains, it is crucial to ensure that Isosceles gives everyone platforms to express their ideas and take on more roles.  

“We are very mindful that as we go through our graduate recruitment process, we actively encourage people from all backgrounds to apply”, Mike outlines.  

“We ensure our assessment days are inclusive and run in a very fair and balanced way and people are selected based on merit, aptitude and skill”. 

“We reach out to all corners of the UK to ensure talented individuals have the opportunity to join Isosceles.”

Mike goes further: “I believe we can do more to improve our workplace as a team to make it even more inclusive and diverse.”  

We insist all employees complete inclusion and diversity training as it is an essential component of Isosceles’ values

  •  “Firstly, people need to see people like themselves and that there is a home for people like themselves within the organisation.” 
  •  “Secondly, employees inside and applicants who may apply need to see people like themselves are successful and have the opportunity to reach the very top of the organisation.” 

“To achieve this, we insist all employees complete inclusion and diversity training as the very first course because it is an essential component of the essence of Isosceles and our values”.  

“We could do more work in attracting groups of applicants who may not have thought a career in accounting, finance or HR was necessarily open to them”, Mike admits. “This may include being more creative about where we recruit from and the opportunities we give.” 

Throughout the recruitment cycle, we try to be flexible and ensure we are recruiting from diverse backgrounds

“Whilst we understand and actively demonstrate these values, accounting exams are tough,” Mike admits, “so we do try to make sure people who join Isosceles have a fair chance of passing as we do not want them to fail or invest their time unnecessarily.”  

“We are increasingly learning some of our best HR, accounting and finance professionals have come from a non-conventional background,” Mike interestingly points out.  

“Resilience and commitment to continued professional development are more important to us than three ‘A’ grades at A-Level, but we must still be confident that the individual will get through the rigorous exam process.” 

Life at Isosceles post-Budget…

Last time, Mike outlined his thoughts on the chancellor’s second annual budget. Since then, more people in the Isosceles team have been invited for vaccinations. 

“This is great news,” Mike explains. “When you know people in the team are getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is a great relief and only adds to the recent flurry of positive company news.” 

On the WeThrive front …

Mike explains how Isosceles is going to run another survey after the recent time-focused Pathway session: “We are going to continue to work through WeThrive and gain a greater understanding of its helpfulness.” 

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