Recruitment Agency Now


You are here:  Home  >  RA Now Opinion  >  Current Article

Diversity starts with an inclusive culture, not a bunch of initiatives

September 29, 2016  /   No Comments

Jo Faragher

Diversity starts with an inclusive culture, not a bunch of initiativesDiscrimination in the recruitment process continues to be a major barrier to diversity and inclusion, according to the latest report from the CIPD, Attitudes to employability and talent.

The most worrying revelation, however, is that much of this discrimination happens unconsciously; for example, neglecting to target working parents or those with disabilities, despite them scoring high in terms of the attributes required for a role.

The truth is, as diversity consultant Kate Headley points out, some of our views are so embedded as to be second nature – which makes bridging that gap even more difficult, as it’s hard to identify and pinpoint exactly where hiring managers and agencies are going wrong. Many simply recruit in their own image – believing their own attributes (whether that’s gender, class, education or whether they’re a parent or not) to represent a ‘norm’ towards which everyone else must conform.

However, surveys continue to show that the greater the diversity in teams, the better they perform. A research project by the Center for Talent Innovation in New York found that companies with ‘inherent’ diversity (such as gender or race) were 45% more likely to have expanded their market share in the past year, and 70% more likely to have captured a new market. There was an 80% improvement in business performance among those with high diversity levels.

Headley adds that there is one issue that needs to be addressed, however, and this is the negative experiences some organizations have had in trying to improve diversity and inclusion – which in many cases seems to have led them back to square one and their old, non-inclusive hiring ways. This sounds like initiative-fatigue – simply declaring a company is going to be diverse and launching a few projects to improve gender or race balance won’t solve the problem if the culture is not ready.

Unless the cultural piece is addressed, unconscious bias will continue to be a problem. From the very top, employers need to be open and inclusive – looking at the skills and behaviours that are right for the role, rather than any preconceptions getting in the way.

    Print       Email
  • Published: 7 years ago on September 29, 2016
  • Last Modified: September 28, 2016 @ 1:04 pm
  • Filed Under: RA Now Opinion


RA Now 2016 Preview

RA Now 2016 Preview

View all →

Your Voice

  • Oct 11
    Via @IOR_JoinUs on Twitter  Facebook accused of discriminating against women with male-targeted job adverts Read More
  • Sep 27
    Via @agencycentral on Twitter  Need an introduction to recruitment agency regulations? The laws and regulations recruiters absolutely need to know about. Read More
  • Sep 13
    Via @greg_savage on Twitter People don't leave companies. They leave leaders!   Read More
  • Jul 19
    Via @recmembers on Twitter Google for Jobs launched today in the UK – in case you missed it, here’s REC marketing manager Michael Oliver's blog on how agencies can take advantage > Read More

RSS News