Diverse representation in business is a hot topic and most businesses already understand the benefits of having a diverse workforce. It’s been widely proven that diverse teams have higher innovation, engagement and better decision-making processes. In fact, companies with a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to outperform those without diversity initiatives. So, why are we still behind where we need to be in terms of diverse representation within business?
The truth: Making systemic changes takes time, resilience, and dedication. A few businesses making a pledge isn’t enough. We need organisations across all industries to commit to real positive action in the EDI space. Here are 5 ways your business can action positive change in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion landscape.
The first and perhaps more obvious place to begin is your internal recruitment policies and procedures. Does your organisation have a fair selection policy? How do you eliminate bias from the recruitment process? Have the employees who are conducting interviews received EDI training? These are all great questions to ask before you get started. Moving forward, the business can look to implement fairer recruitment practices such as, gender decoding job descriptions, introducing blind CV reading and ensuring interview panels are diverse. Check out our Guide to Attracting and Retaining Diverse Talent for more information on inclusive recruitment practices.
If your business is passionate about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, your suppliers should be too. When onboarding new suppliers, actively ask for their EDI credentials. Some questions to ask include: What are the businesses diverse representation statistics? How do they insure EDI within the organisation? Is the business involved in any EDI initiatives? Through working with suppliers who are passionate about EDI compared with their competition, you are actively supporting positive change within this space.
Internal Engagement and Retention
Finding and hiring a diverse workforce is just the beginning, you need to actively work to retain this talent. Ensure the working environment is inclusive and accessible. Make certain your team are engaged and feel valued. Employees should feel comfortable enough to be their authentic selves at work. Retention and engagement play an integral part in building diverse and inclusive work environments. Take a look at our articles on flexible working and supporting parents and caregivers.
Alongside EDI improvements, many sectors are dealing with a skills deficit, one of the most prominent being within STEM. Working with schools and educational institutes can go a long way to closing the skills gap and improving diversity within these industries. Inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in industries with lower diverse representation is highly rewarding and instigates real change. One educational organisation making waves within this space is our partner Ron Dearing UTC. Ron Dearing UTC has a unique approach to education for 14 to 18 year olds. They offer students employer-led learning, specialising within the engineering, creative and technical digital sectors; unlocking their infinite potential to excel.
Call in the Experts
There are some fantastic organisations doing great work within the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion space. Whether you are looking at recruitment, retention, progression or auditing your businesses success, there are companies who can assist. For example, our partners, The Equal Group support organisations to establish robust EDI systems, procedures and policies, enabling businesses to measure successful progress over time. When it comes to Executive Search, the team at Harper Fox Partners lead businesses to develop a cohesive recruitment strategy which will attract and include diverse talent. Get in touch to find out more.