Top 10 Commandments for UK Businesses to Ensure Diversity at Every Level

Top 10 Commandments for UK Businesses to Ensure Diversity at Every Level
Top 10 Commandments for UK Businesses to Ensure Diversity at Every Level

The lack of diversity across the UK’s private sector is no new surprise. Disconcerting statistics surrounding the lack of diversity found within the UK’s workforce have highlighted that only 2% of directors are from an ethnic minority background, despite 59% of the ethnic minority workforce aspiring to reach management positions.

In order to ensure businesses cannot state that diversity is too big of a challenge, Equality Group, a consultancy that helps companies retain and develop diverse talent, unveils their top ten diversity commandments for businesses who wish to improve a fair representation of British culture within their business.

10 diversity commandments

1. Education, Education, Education

  • Create a safe space for bold and confident discussions around race issues
  • Be clear on intent; open and honest in conversation
  • Examine and assess the language you are currently using and whether it works
  • Get the right people around the table (i.e. senior leaders, junior team members, as wide a range of ethnic diversity as possible)
  • Start with the key decision makers at the firm
  • Get the senior leadership to spearhead the education process across the firm
  • Educate everyone in the company about the value of diversity and the particular importance of BAME talent

2. Radical Recruitment

  • Have clear targets for the percentage of BAME candidates, i.e. 10% of a shortlist
  • Expand into a broader search pool – partner with networks and firms who can help
  • Identify different ways to evaluate diverse talent and train the interviewers and managers (do not expect them to know how to do this)
  • Contextualised recruiting: understanding the local demographic and how to assess their performance

3. Know Your Data

  • Ensure you know where you stand currently
  • Put in place an appropriate system for collecting and measuring the data
  • Set clear and achievable targets
  • Share the targets and the anonymised data with the firm to create greater levels of transparency
  • Ensure that you are accountable with your data

4. Unconscious Bias

  • Ensure training on an unconscious bias with ongoing refreshers
  • Apply the methodologies of dealing with unconscious bias
  • Remind individuals at any key-decision making junctures about the importance of unconscious bias and the impact it has on all of us

5. Relationships & Role Models

  • Raise the profile of key BAME professionals in your firm
  • Encourage role models to tell their stories within the organisation via different mediums (e.g. videos, lunch and learns, podcasts etc)
  • Join networks, panels, events and power lists that will promote your key BAME talent
  • Build structured and coordinated mentorship programmes
  • Consider reverse mentoring across the organisation
  • BAME on BAME mentoring + BAME on Non-BAME mentoring

6. Appreciate Intersectionality

  • Breaking down BAME into which minorities it covers, e.g. Black, South East Asian
  • Ensure intersectionality within the ethnic groups
  • Ensure that understanding of the minority backgrounds and differences are included in the reporting
  • Understand and appreciate cultural differences
  • Consider social mobility factors that overlap with BAME

7. Collaborative Events & Celebrations

  • Organise and attend networking events with diverse candidates and board level management
  • Organising events for the full range of diverse talent
  • Celebrate as a firm at key points in the year, i.e. Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Pride etc.

8. Early Outreach

  • Programmes in schools
  • Encouraging and supporting young talent
  • Soft skills programmes
  • Look at targeting communities and areas with strong BAME representation to help build an early talent pipeline and affinity with an organisation

9. Sponsorship & Coaching

  • Build upon successful mentoring programmes with sponsorship training
  • Ensure emerging talent have trained sponsors
  • Make coaching available at key points in the career and look at who your coaches are (do they reflect the talent you want to develop)

10. BAME & Your Brand

  • Examine the representation of BAME in your brand
  • Create marketing/social media campaigns associated with BAME agenda

As a society of business leaders, decision-makers, professionals and commentators, we have an obligation to ensure that intention is met with action to ensure the UK’s workforce – in its entirety – has access to a democratised career ladder that promotes inclusion for all at every level.