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Lessons to be learned from leading Corporations on Diversity & Inclusion…

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

The UK population exceeds 30 million residents and over 5 million private sector businesses operate increasing by 3% year on year since 2000 according to ONS. Addressing Diversity and Inclusion is becoming more evident in a workplace since The Equality Act was introduced in 2010 making it unlawful for businesses to discriminate against workers and prohibit prejudice behaviour in the work place. The good news is HR Leaders within large corporations have introduced Diversity & Inclusion as part of their Best Practice when attracting talent meaning even bigger talent pools to choose from. Organisations leading by example include BASF, L’Oreal, Sodexo, Ford, AIG, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson all fall within the Top 50 Diversity & Inclusion best practice. Based on their successes 5 valuable lessons can be learned especially where skills are limited and organisations are becoming more visible in the digital age wanting to be the Employer of choice.

Recognising the Shift from local to global talent

Freedom of movement between Countries and integration of cultures has raised awareness of the following in order for Businesses to be compliant with the Equalities Act 2010.

  1. Race

  2. Ethnicity

  3. Gender

  4. Sexual orientation

  5. Religious affiliation

  6. Generation

  7. Disability

  8. Personality type

  9. Thinking style

Evidence today suggests D&I shift beyond race, gender and cultural beliefs encouraging business leaders to adopt an open thinking style. For example more women are visible at Board Level as CEO and greater visibility for people with disabilities in a work place.

Building an “Inclusive” environment

More now than ever before global business leaders recognise the importance of striving towards a cohesive culture that drives inspirational vision. Senior Executives realise the value employees bring to the organisation powered with voices of people from different backgrounds and cultures. Creating working environments as such where employees are encouraged to draw upon their unique experiences and perspectives helps advance business goals. This can be particularly evident where organisations utilise bilingual language skills to cater for local markets from an international platform. Forbes insights also claimed 65% of global business plan to hire a diverse workforce and the belief amongst these corporates is that diverse teams and people make better decisions.

Deploying multiple practices and measures

Promoting Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace is a constant working progress. Technologies utilised by Corporates enables Business Leaders to ask comprehensive questions permitting employees to voice their opinions on hiring and retention trends. Other methods include e-learning modules to encourage Employees globally promoting self-development to retain their talent and promote within the organisation. Solutions already in place and practiced by major Corporations include as follows;

  1. Global mentoring programs

  2. Employee resource groups

  3. Multicultural talent management

  4. Strategic partnership development

  5. e-Learning modules

Making Diversity & Inclusion best practice

Managing Change in the workplace will consist of achieving several milestones before recognisable change gets noticed. It is vital that Senior Executives are instrumental in encouraging positive change especially when Diversity & Inclusive is being promoted with the Organisation. It sets the tone and permits senior officials to champion such change which will lead to a positive working culture and make the Organisation attractive to potential Candidates looking to be part of a forward thinking business promoting fairness and equality. Business Leaders seeking to enforce such change will need to be mindful of seeking diversity, creating inclusion and driving accountability This means hiring managers and talent acquisition teams must pull talent from a diverse pool of candidates as well as training hiring Managers and Talent Acquisition teams to ensure the hiring criteria is inclusive. Getting a diverse workforce isn’t enough but leveraging diverse perspectives to tackle the unconscious bias is equally key. More so now than ever before Business Leaders see the need to adopt a culture where the employees are involved and have the freedom to speak up against biases. Not only does this make the employee feel valued but also encourages a culture where employees step outside of their comfort zone sharing ideas that may in return lead to tremendous growth. To conclude, Organisations such as BASF, L’Oreal, Sodexo, Ford, AIG, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson has adopted these ideologies which in many ways has led to cognitive diversity leading to innovation and dynamic working cultures making them unique in their practices Source: Amdas research using Forbes and researched case studies

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