A recent article I saw stated that according to a poll of 700 startup founders and CEOs by First Round Capital, only 14 percent of companies have formal plans and policies to encourage inclusion and diversity in the workplace. This was a surprise given the amount of activity and initiatives that organisations appear to have. But then if you read this article it would seem that there are still significant challenges that are faced by employees in the workplace and that the value of getting this right could be as high as £24bn to the UK economy.
One question that is a mystery for me is how, despite all the various initiatives organisations expect to achieve an improved mix of applicants when their talent pipeline creation is typically done through sourcing and/or Linked in. This does not allow for the whole audience to engage with vacancies and the typical performance measure placed on recruiters are about time and efficiency, again not encouraging them to widen their net to a more diverse applicant base.
Many employment experts, career gurus and companies have been quick to bang the drum for diversity and inclusion. Yet evidence from recent government-backed reports such as the McGregor-Smith Review have revealed that discrimination and bias towards Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees exists in a high proportion of UK workplaces. In short, to expect greater profits and productivity as a result of simply increasing diversity statistics is short-sighted. With the report both claiming that the UK economy could stand to be boosted by as much as £24bn if employers did more to support the professional development of their BAME employees, and recommending greater levels of transparency on company diversity statistics, employers are simultaneously under pressure and motivated to ensure their workforces are operating as equally and openly as possible.