Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity refers to the different types of people that make up a society. This refers to protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, sexuality and abilities, but this can also refer to differences in ways of thinking and behaving.
Having a diverse workplace is about having teams that are made up of different types of people, with different backgrounds and viewpoints.
An inclusive workplace creates the culture, conditions and opportunities for everyone to thrive. Without an inclusive culture, diverse talent won’t join, or if they do, they won’t stay.
Who is this Diversity and Inclusion toolkit for and why is it important?
This toolkit is made for businesses and employees looking to build a more diverse and inclusive business. Wherever your business is at, there is always room for growth and improvement.
This toolkit isn’t just for business founders, entrepreneurs and HR professionals to be able to tick boxes in certain criteria, but to be able to holistically breakdown your business’ D&I journey and ensure that everyone in your team can benefit.
Plymouth is becoming more diverse. Whilst the proportion of the population that are White British remains higher than the UK average, this is decreasing. At the time of the 2021 census, 94 per cent of Plymouth’s population were White British, whilst Black, Black British, Black Welsh, Caribbean or African increased to 1.1% and Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh increased to 2.2% with other ethnic groups increased to 1%
Some areas of the city are more diverse than others, in particular the areas around the university, the city centre, Stonehouse, and the East End. Children and young people from minority ethnic groups account for just under 7 per cent of all children living in the area, compared with 25 per cent in the country as a whole. 11 Plymouth’s black and minority ethnic (BME) communities are very diverse. The Polish, Chinese, and Kurdish communities are amongst the largest. The census records that there are at least 43 main languages spoken in the city and nearly 100 different languages are spoken by Plymouth school children.
How will this benefit the employees?
Diversity and Inclusion encourages better open communications between your employees. This can be necessary for understanding expectations, planning projects, developing strategies and sharing ideas. Diverse communication styles can encourage more opportunities for collaboration, asking questions and providing input.
Additionally, it improves team relationships. Diverse workplaces commonly have a positive workplace culture where employers are supportive of one another and work together to achieve positive outcomes. Teams that focus on minimising bias and welcoming individuals from different backgrounds may foster supportive relationships between colleagues.
How will this benefit employers?
Businesses that take inclusion and diversity seriously will benefit from improving and retaining the talent pool, corporate reputation and business performance.
According to the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD), Research on the psychological contract shows that people want to work for employers with good employment practices.
Businesses need to consider Corporate Responsibility in the context of diversity as social exclusion and low economic activity rates can limit business markets and their growth. Corporate Responsibility used to be centred on environmental issues, but an increasing number of employers now take a wider view, seeing the overall image of an organisation as important in attracting and retaining both customers and employees.
Lastly, openness to diversity widens access to the best talent. Inclusion allows engagement with talent effectively. Equality enables delivery of fair outcomes. Together, this leads to enhanced innovation, creativity, productivity, reputation, engagement and business results.
"Diverse communication styles can encourage more opportunities for collaboration".
Where to start?
Implementing Diversity and Inclusion in your business can seem complicated and difficult to embed in your structure, but it doesn’t require a huge budget to impose and is something everyone can and should be able to engage with.
One simple way to start off your business’ journey is by taking Harvard University’s Implicit Bias Test. Tackling bias in ongoing work.
Diversity and Inclusion Checklist
Gather diversity data
According to the EW Group, the basis of diversity data is the different protected characteristics of your workforce and job applicants so it is a way of collecting people’s ethnic identity, sexual orientation, disability status, gender identity amongst may other things.
It should be anonymised, so it is never about identifying one person, but looking at trends across your business.
Analysing this data can tell you if you are representative of your local community or the community in which you serve, as well as highlight which groups are in the majority in your business and if any groups are underrepresented.
Gathering this data will help businesses understand if action is needed. And tell you if some groups are not promoted at the same rate as other groups, or if certain groups do not breakthrough at different points in the recruitment process.
How to collect the data:
You would need good communication with job applicants and employees as to why this data is important. Asking these questions can seem intrusive to some individuals so being explicit on why you need the information is important.
You would need baseline evidence; this could be composed based on your workforce or service users. Using these as a benchmark can show how these changes over time. If you cannot get enough information of your service users, the Office of National Statistics provide approximate diversity data giving you overall profiles of an industry.
You would need to work out what is measurable – what can your systems tell you?
Set a Diversity and Inclusion strategy
Establish an inclusive culture
Recognise this will require continual training/learning
Adopt an inclusive growth recruitment practise
Create an inclusive workplace
Set and measure a Diversity and Inclusive budget
Address bias in product development
Embed inclusive culture across sales and customer success
Create more diverse and inclusive marketing