Big Inclusion 4 – Kate Matthews

How would you like us to introduce you to our readers?

“Kate Matthews is VP of DE&I at bp, a role she’s held for the past three years. Kate has many years of HR experience and worked in Telecoms and Financial Services before moving to the energy sector in 2020.
Kate has a passion for supporting individuals, teams and organisations reach their full and true potential.
Personally, Kate is married to Paul and they have two older teenage sons and two dogs who all love cuddles (only partially true…). Kate loves to be outdoors and spending time with people she loves and who love her. ”

What do you see as the biggest opportunities that organisations can take right now and how do you suggest they leverage this?

Given the shifting and uncertain nature of social discourse I think organisations have the opportunity to create safe spaces for employees to explore difficult and challenging topics. Building this capability would enable bolder commercial conversations around areas of risk and opportunity, as well as more sensitive areas of social discourse. This would improve business outcomes and employee psychological safety both at work and beyond, having positive knock on impact in society more widely.

What do you love about what you do?

DEI is a very broad and constantly changing topic. I love the ongoing opportunity to learn and to make a difference for individuals and our organisation overall.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become more inclusive either professionally or personally?

Don’t be afraid,; lean into your curiosity without judgement and always be kind. We all have our own stories and way of making sense of the world; by understanding others you broaden your own experience and ability to participate in what life has to offer in the richest way possible. Becoming more inclusive doesn’t mean mean making grand gestures, or changing your fundamental view of the world or values; it means seeing each person you meet as they are, and taking time to do the small things well, like ensuring everyone has a voice in every meeting, including everyone in ad hoc activities, seeking out people from different backgrounds to befriend, mentor or sponsor; and, speaking up when you see something you know is wrong – silence is a choice too and allyship is invaluable.

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