Diversity and Inclusion Policy
The purpose of this Diversity & Inclusion Policy is to frame Military Children’s Six Foundation's (MC6) commitment to ensure that diversity and equality are effectively incorporated into decision making and considered when recruiting, developing, and leading staff as well as when developing and implementing effective learning though play-based interventions, and advocacy that will lead to systemic change. While this policy celebrates differences, it also frames Military Children’s Six Foundation's commitment to create an inclusive culture, where people can come to work being themselves – and feeling a strong sense of belonging.
At the Military Children’s Six Foundation we believe that when we ensure a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture, we will amplify our effectiveness in forging strong partnerships and delivering child impact.
At the Military Children’s Six Foundation we believe in the power of Learning through Play, and the power of change is through Advocacy, and that all children across the world deserve quality education, nurturing support, and care to help them reach their full developmental potential. We believe that hands-on minds-on Learning Through Engagement, play and advocacy is the best way to equip them with the skills they need to thrive in the future. As such, we have been embarking on a transformation journey over the past year towards our goal to Systemically Reach Children with learning through engagement, play and advocacy while changing the culture through advocacy.
When we mention ‘all children’, we know that we will encounter diversity in all its aspects, covering areas such as gender, dis/ability, nationalities, race/ethnicity, religions, economic status, family structures, social norms, community environment and societal/political context.
With our ambition to reach children with Learning through Play, we are facing a breadth of differences in children’s individual learning preferences and learning abilities as well as access to play materials and adult facilitation of play and learning. But most importantly, we are grounded in one similarity for all children – play is a natural way for them to learn.
To be effective and successful in reaching our shared goal, we must be conscious of the diversity and inclusion we foster in our workplace and in work-related settings outside the workplace (including situations originating from work-related relations), e.g., when representing the Military Children’s Six Foundation on business trips and at work-related social events.
By systemically we mean significant (meaningful change in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors leading to action), lasting (not disrupted by environment changes such as governments or trends) and sustainable (not dependent on on-going support from Military Children’s Six Foundation in the long-term).
The Military Children’s Six Foundation seeks to systemically reach all military children with Learning through play and engagement, and advocacy therefore our ability to understand, embrace and contribute to a diverse world is crucial to the long-term impact of our work.
At the Military Children’s Six Foundation, we strive to create a work culture that actively learns from diversity in order to strengthen the impact we seek to achieve. We recognize that people from different backgrounds and experiences bring valuable insights, diverse thoughts, and a wealth of abilities.
An inclusive workplace culture is where you can come to work being the authentic version of yourself and feeling respected and valued. It is a culture supported by equal access to opportunities: a culture characterized by acceptance and a sense of someone “having your back”, and where the diversity of our team amplifies our ability to drive impact.
We also strive to create a work culture that builds on our similarities - our passion for learning, advocacy, through our values and ways of working.
A work culture that builds on a sense of belonging is where you can come to work feeling you are part of something bigger than yourself, and where the role each of us serve to enable our goal is what connects us. Our passion for Learning through engagement and advocacy is what unites us, and our century-long heritage is what shapes us.
Therefore, at the Military Children’s Six Foundation we celebrate differences and strive to create a strong sense of belonging, while retaining our cultural heritage that is firmly grounded in our values, our founders’ vision and being a USA corporate foundation.
The policy covers diversity & inclusion in the workplace and work-related activities, including those outside the workplace and applies to all employees of the Military Children’s Six Foundation. Each of us has a personal responsibility to strive to achieve the objectives set out in this policy.
This policy does not include diversity & inclusion among third parties to the Military Children’s Six Foundation.
The overall objectives of this policy will be reached by a set of commitments. Diversity and inclusion for us is welcoming differences and continuously developing our abilities to interact with colleagues, engage in dialogue, challenge ourselves to reflect and act on relevant diversity gaps so that diversity is reflected in decisions and ways of working.
Diversity and inclusion for us is 1) how we actively build knowledge and awareness about the differences we have and do not have among our employees; 2) how we respect and leverage the presence of that diversity; and 3) how we factor it into our decision making or ways of working.
We believe that our ability to engage in dialogue and challenge ourselves is highly dependent on our knowledge, awareness, and exposure to differences and how these positively influence the organization and our collective impact. We must be mindful that we are all subject to our own unconscious biases, which are learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained, and able to influence our behavior. As a result, there are times when we unconsciously make decisions that limit us from fully utilizing the benefits of diversity or when such biases are expressed in a manner that may come across as insensitive and inappropriate. So, to work with diversity is also continuously striving to be more aware and conscious of our biases. It is humbling to know that what we think we need, might be different to what we actually need.
Therefore, to achieve our objectives we commit to:
Map diversity factors relevant to how we can understand and improve our work (Data will be treated according to the General Data Protection Regulations).
Ensure awareness and organizational intelligence around diversity to enable ourselves to actively contribute to a diverse organization and world.
Expose Military Children’s Six Foundation employees to the diversity of our beneficiaries, target audiences or communities that we seek to serve.
Actively explore and challenge our unconscious biases, which - if unchallenged - will limit our decisions, behavior, and actions to what we are primed to do or how we normally see things.
Disrupt our ways of thinking or established approaches if we experience a gap in diversity relevant to us where a minority is not adequately represented or has unequal opportunities.
Leverage the diversity of staff to support our ways of working and establish robust and sound policies, processes, and procedures.
Foster appropriate spaces and competencies to engage in dialogue – i.e. share own experience, be compassionate to the experience of others, listen actively, stay curious and learn from each other. This requires interactions characterized by dignity, respect and fairness and a high level of psychological safety.
Look to find a common solution, if a staff member feels caught in a dilemma between being him/herself and being able to perform own role, provide clear explanations about what we can or cannot do.
Assume positive intent – acknowledge that intentionality can be an explanation – but can never be an excuse for not showing respect. If you are offended by another person, acknowledge that they may not have the intent of offending you and commit to providing an explanation of why their words or behavior were offensive to you. If, on the flip side, you have offended someone and they have committed to explaining this to you, reciprocate their commitment by actively leaning into the discomfort and listening intently to understand their perspective: even if you were not intending to be offensive, you should approach these interactions as golden opportunities to learn and grow.
Ensure that the entire employee life cycle is fair and that our employee related processes do not treat people differently based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, etc. Meaning our recruitment is consistent with the diversity we seek to promote, that our performance and development process gives agency to the individual to thrive and perform being who we are, and that we continuously build capabilities to value and grow personally and professionally within a diverse environment in order to succeed together.
Create a strong sense of belonging among Military Children’s Six Foundation employees building on our commonalities and shared goal of Systemically Reaching Children with Learning through Play.
Recognize that if not acted upon a continuous lack of inclusion (exclusion) can become discrimination. Therefore, all staff must be introduced to the Anti-harassment policy which outlines the Military Children’s Six Foundation’s responsibility to prevent and manage behavior like harassment, bullying, victimization, or discrimination.
Measure our efforts and progress to bring these commitments into to our ways of working.
The detailed activities supporting these commitments are described in an action plan that acknowledges that effectively being and acting in a diverse organization evolves in stages.
Roles and responsibilities
Overall accountability for the diversity and inclusion policy sits with the Leadership Team in the Military Children’s Six Foundation.
Employees in leadership roles should always consider relevant diversity in their daily duties, be mindful of unconscious biases, be open to feedback about their own biases, ensure that their team is aware of this policy and support team members in being inclusive. They should also encourage open dialogue regarding diversity and unconscious biases, and how these influence the effectiveness to deliver child impact.
All employees should demonstrate behavior that is inclusive of diversity and mindful of unconscious biases.
If Military Children’s Six Foundation employees experience attitudes, behavior, structures, or processes inconsistent with the policy, they are encouraged to first discuss it in the environment where it occurred or if relevant bring it forward to their immediate manager, HR, the CEO or the Military Children’s Six Foundation Compliance Officer. This will result in a dialogue on possible actions for the individual or the organization, and how those actions would align with the individual’s role in the organization, the Military Children’s Six Foundation's purpose and goal. As the organization evolves, new solutions should be considered for prioritized actions supporting this policy.
The Military Children’s Six Foundation Leadership Team must ensure that there are organizational structures and appropriate procedures in place to support this policy.