Recently, HRC hosted a webinar with Francis Lake and Emily Stephen of Virgin Money. During this webinar, we discussed how the last year or so has really thrown diversity and inclusion in the spotlight and how – despite having legislation in place for a number of years – business have been slow to act.
The simple truth of the matter is that, when a business is as diverse as its customer base, it performs better. There have been numerous studies to back this up – whether it’s women, BAME communities, disabled candidates or LGBTQIA+ candidates making it to the boardroom and beyond.
Here are just some of the ways that diversity and inclusion can impact your business, your current employees, your future employees and your customer base …
Psychological contract shows people want to work for employers with good employment practices. They want to feel valued at work. Employers are beginning to recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion initiatives for attracting talent and retaining the skills of valuable employees. There is a real need for appropriate and fair policies and open and inclusive workspaces, which respect all colleagues.
A diverse workforce can help inform the development of new products and services, open market opportunities, improve market share and broaden customer base. However, people of all backgrounds and experiences need to have a voice within these organisations to allow their perspectives to be heard. It’s so important that businesses realise that diversity is not just legislation on paper, but a viable way to create a thriving and productive workforce that better reflects your customer base.
Corporate reputation used to be focused on environmental issues but, now, employers are taking a wider view – seeing the overall image of the organisation as important in attracting and retaining both customers and employees. There are some great businesses out there who are embracing the concept that engaging a diverse workforce is not only the economically sensible thing to do but is also the right thing to do. Inclusive economic growth is beneficial for employee and employer alike.
Leaders must set the example as diversity initiatives really must come from the top. The lasting results and impact will be immeasurable.
There is certainly more awareness today around the issue of unconscious bias and recruitment professionals are working hard to ensure that this is built into the recruitment process. Only by doing this will we start to make real headway in ensuring that capability is the number one reason for recruiting someone.
It’s about setting down the legislation and acting on it. We shouldn’t include diversity initiatives because we feel we have to – we should want to include everyone. We should want to have as wide a talent pool as possible. After all, it has been proven that the more diverse a business is, the more productive and successful it is.
Diversity is not another office buzzword; it’s not a trendy cause. It’s something that can have real and meaningful impact on workplaces and communities as a whole.
HRC Recruitment is committed to building diverse and inclusive workforces – internally and for our clients. If you would like support or further information on how you can create and sustain a diverse workforce, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your usual HRC contact.