PMI launches the diversity and inclusion initiative “Inclusive Future” to measure inclusion in 2021 and further the company’s commitment to equality

08 Mar 2021 · 4 min read
The year-long research campaign will help PMI devise more effective ways to promote the inclusive cultures central to our smoke-free aspirations.
Text asking what an inclusive culture means

To mark International Women’s Day, PMI has announced the launch of a one-year inclusion initiative to strengthen our commitment to equality.

“Inclusive Future” will explore best practices and established thought leadership to advance the discourse surrounding inclusivity in business and civil society.

These insights will enable us to devise effective and timely ways to promote inclusive cultures.

Our new initiative follows a year in which inclusion and diversity efforts moved center stage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the absence of a single authoritative approach to effectively measure inclusion in business has become even more apparent.

PMI recognizes that fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace is an essential driver of the creativity and innovation needed to achieve our vision of a smoke-free future and contribute to a fairer, more equitable world.

Furthering inclusion inside PMI and beyond our walls

“Measuring diversity is the easy part,” says Silke Muenster, PMI’s Chief Diversity Officer. “Measuring and understanding inclusivity is far more complex, as we discovered through trialing inclusivity measurement efforts at PMI.

“While established frameworks, language, and tools exist for measuring inclusivity today, it is clear that they are far from adequate. 

“In the context of a world that shifted radically in 2020, this new initiative will help us to develop compelling ways to further inclusion within the PMI global organization and, we hope, beyond our walls as well.”

In the context of a world that shifted radically in 2020, this new initiative will help us to develop compelling ways to further inclusion within the PMI global organization and, we hope, beyond our walls as well.”
Silke Muenster, Chief Diversity Officer, PMI

Research partnership to explore the state of inclusion in 2021

Over the next 12 months, the research and convening work of the initiative will be carried out in phases—beginning with a quantitative and qualitative exploration of the state of inclusion today. 

This part of the study will include a year-long research partnership with the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, to study how inclusion is currently measured and how this should evolve to drive impact.

The findings will culminate in the publication of an “Inclusive Future” report in March 2022. 

Josefine van Zanten, Chief Equity, Inclusion & Diversity Officer at IMD, said: “Our key objective is to reshape the conversation of inclusion.

“Is today’s measure of inclusion still appropriate in light of the profound socioeconomic evolution of the past year? And how will this evolution impact inclusive leadership and the meaning of inclusion going forward?

“We are looking to tackle this important and yet complicated part of the equity, inclusion, and diversity equation.” 

Trailblazers putting inclusivity in the spotlight

Beyond the academic research, PMI’s project will include a range of engagement activities, exploring and advancing the latest content and thinking on inclusion. 

These activities will range from hosting digital panels, roundtables, and interviews to celebrating those who are progressing the work today.

As part of the “Inclusive Future” launch, PMI’s Chief Diversity Officer Silke Muenster will participate in a virtual event on International Women’s Day (March 8) hosted by flagship SHE media site, BlogHer. She’ll be appearing alongside other female change-makers dedicated to advancing economic empowerment for women everywhere.

Muenster will also be participating in a high-level panel at the Gender Summit, described as “a day full of conversations with trailblazing women and male allies who are committed to advancing gender equality in the workplace and the wider society.”

Hosted by Equality Leaders—the global digital community focused on connecting people, ideas, and organizations to shape the future of equality, diversity, and inclusion—Muenster will speak on the “Lessons from the Top” panel on Wednesday, March 10.

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