Is diversity and inclusion the key to unlocking growth and productivity in the UK?
The CEOs of M&S, Page Group, Co-operative Group, Unilever, Microsoft and Barrett Homes certainly think so. They have signed the CEO activist pledge promoted by Dial Global.
The pledge requires CEOs to commit to four key steps:
- Ensure that their workplaces are inclusive with clear steps to engage diverse leadership teams now and in the future. This requires creating a work environment where staff feel it is safe to have complex and sometimes difficult conversations around diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity and role modelling good behaviour.
- Measure their progress against 10 key areas annually. These include: race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, mental health, parenthood, nationality, religion and socio-economic status.
- Implement strategic diversity plans and put in place clear lines of accountability for CEOs. The focus should be on progress - not perfection - and sharing their mistakes and lessons learned.
- Share learning and future strategic plans with other members of the pledge through quarterly meetings.
Why is D&I important?
The business case for supporting diversity and inclusion is well rehearsed and generally taken as read. We know that it can improve brand reputation, help businesses to win new customers and to attract and retain staff. Recruiting from a wider and more diverse talent pool also helps businesses embrace new skills and ideas, and improve their culture, performance and efficiency.
But becoming a workplace where all staff feel valued, accepted and supported to succeed at work doesn't happen by accident. It requires commitment, perseverance and education.
Some organisations have hit the headlines recently for the wrong reasons in relation to issues about D&I. The CBI is embroiled in controversy following allegations about the way some of its senior leaders have behaved towards staff (particularly women). A damning report into the fire service found that 'every fire brigade is plagued with bullying, harassment and discrimination'. And the Met police has been found to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic.
How we can help
Our D&I solution is made up of:
- Our D&I assessment to understand what you have already done and what your next steps will look like.
- Advisory support to help you implement a plan and manage the complexities of a diverse business.
- Training to create a safer, more productive environment for all colleagues including our new eLearning modules.
Here’s the link to our latest podcast where we discuss why you should integrate diversity and inclusion into your workplace.
We cover the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce, how flexibility can be accommodated, the importance of building a reputable brand to attract and retain valuable talent, and more.