A lot of people are thinking about how they can promote inclusion and diversity in the workplace – but it isn’t always easy to get people talking about it. People want to, but where do you begin? Inspired by a visit to the Women’s Forum Global Meeting in 2018, ExxonMobil’s Women’s Interest Network (WIN) wanted to promote these discussions and drive the inclusion and diversity agenda forward.

Their idea? The Meeting in a Box.

“The Meeting in a Box initiative provides a forum to discuss ideas and conceptions of gender balance,” says Yesim Karaman, from ExxonMobil’s Brussels WIN chapter, who came up with the idea. “It brings the reality to the table.” Take a look and find out how it works:

To have a Meeting in the Box, a moderator gathers a group of people, who then ask each other a series of questions about gender equality in the workplace. Questions like: “How many years do you think it will take to close the gender gap?” And: “What is the business case for inclusion and diversity?”

When the group have given their answers, the moderator shares truths with them – which are often surprising. Did you know that the World Economic Forum estimates that, at the current rate, it will take 108 years to close the global gender gap? Or that companies with higher diversity in management earned 38% more of their revenues, on average, from innovative products in the last three years than companies with lower diversity?

The Meeting in a Box is just one of ExxonMobil’s inclusion and diversity initiatives, and we have already seen great enthusiasm for taking part. In just the first 3 months, a quarter of employees at our Brussels campus took part. The initiative is now being rolled out to 24 chapters of the Women’s Interest Network across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

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