Workplace diversity is about accepting and valuing all employees’ differences and encouraging them to use their unique knowledge and skills to create a stronger and more competitive organisation.
A lot of corporations have already recognised the multiple benefits of workplace diversity. Employees with different backgrounds and views are more likely to produce innovative and creative solutions to existing problems. Fostering diversity within the company can further attract a more diverse audience and clientele, thus expanding the customer base and increasing profits.
In fact, in the McGregor-Smith Review, it was estimated that an extra £24 billion can be generated in the UK economy every year, simply by using the full potential of the black and minority ethnic (BME) community. This amount corresponds to 1.3% of GDP. Nevertheless, BME individuals in the UK are still underemployed with 15.3%, in comparison to white workers’ underemployment rate of 11.5%.
These facts are undeniable and any respectable company nowadays accepts and pushes the diversity agenda. That is, on paper atleast. Goals are set and reviewed each year, but are they met? Is your company doing enough to promote diversity in the workplace?
As employees, we all have the right to know how our company is supporting minorities and what initiatives are undertaken to reach the diversity goals. The infographic below will show you a glimpse of how Britain is performing on gender and ethnic diversity.
How to Stay Informed
If you want to stay up to date with the latest on workplace diversity and keep an overview of the world’s progress, there are some great resources out there that can be accessed freely. We have made a list of some of the most popular ones below.
- Official Sources
If you want more information on overall national development, you can always reference official governmental sites. For example, on the gov.uk website one can download the Davies Review Annual Report on “Women on Boards”. Amongst other things, the report reveals the percentage of women in FTSE 100 companies, which currently lies at 25%.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission
A lot of useful information and trustworthy data is also provided by independent sources like the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is a non-departmental public body. We suggest you take a look at their “Sex and Power Report” from 2011, which is still relevant today.
- Stonewall Workplace Equality Index
Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index is a UK exclusive annual benchmark conducted by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity Stonewall. It is basically the most comprehensive list of Britain’s best employers for the LGBT+ community. The index is based on criteria such as employee policy, training, career development etc.
- Company Annual Reports
Companies themselves who are committed to their diversity objectives are usually quite transparent and publish a lot of reports and information on their sites. All big multinationals like Procter and Gamble, Y&E and PwC offer diversity reports free to download. Since potential employees value a diverse workplace, being open and honest about the company’s situation can attract more talented applicants. Is your company doing the same?
And of course, we can always trust in Wikipedia to satisfy our curiosity. The Wikigender platform is a project by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge on gender equality issues. If you are looking for statistics on gender diversity for different countries, this I a good place to start your research.
If companies want to stay relevant today, they have to embrace the changes in society and adapt accordingly. We, as employees and citizens carry the responsibility of holding them accountable for their actions. And the only way we can do that is by staying informed and opening our eyes to reality.