It is something we hear so often, clients talking about increased diversity in their workforce. Whether it’s a gender imbalance on their board or a dream to have a more ethnically diverse work force - the increased focus is a real step in the right direction.
However the main challenge comes in the form of action, with many organisations understanding what they want to achieve but being unsure as to how they achieve it.
We work with some brilliant clients, and are so proud of the stance and more importantly the actions they are taking to tackle diversity imbalances within their businesses. One client said to me a couple of weeks back "unless we take proactive and conscious action, nothing will change - no matter how much we want it to"
Setting targets is so important to drive proactive action, and the reality is this can be done without fears of positive discrimination. To be clear, organisations should only ever employ the best candidate, irrespective of gender or ethnicity. Yet our clients often lean on us to ensure shortlists and research assignments offer a balance and are diverse. By setting short and long term targets improving diversity becomes measurable and therefore more realistic.
Some short term goals that can be set (and achieved with the help of your recruitment partner);
- Recruitment research: Ensure that every recruitment assignment has diversity as a core agenda, and utilise the research data to understand the talent and diversity landscape.
- Shortlist diversity: try to ensure every shortlist you receive from your recruitment partner is as balanced as possible.
Some long term goals that can be set (and achieved with the help of your recruitment partner);
- Board & Leadership diversity: Setting long terms goals regarding target diversity levels give something to strive towards and drive short term action. A diverse leadership team also demonstrates commitment.
- General diversity %: Targeting the company to achieve generic diversity levels by a particular date gives accountability to everyone.
The pandemic over the past few months has given many the opportunity to reflect, and think about how we can do things differently and more importantly better in the future. Diversity is so important, and whilst the light is shining on the issue we all have a great opportunity to drive action and ultimately change.
Don't forget, your talent partner has a big role to play in this, feel free to reach out for any information on how Collingwood can help in building a diverse workforce.
Many leaders are diversity and inclusion optimists; they care about the right things — but fail to turn their intention into action.