Every individual has something different to offer, and these differences can help make your business more successful. Diversity and inclusion should not just be about ticking a box; it should be about understanding why diversity and inclusion is essential and celebrating the differences that each person can offer. These differences may include age, gender, religious beliefs, ethnicity, and sexual orientation – among many others. There are various ways you can improve diversity and inclusion in your workplace.
Make sure your job descriptions are inclusive by using gender-neutral language. For example, instead of saying ‘he’ or ‘she,’ you should use ‘they’ or ‘them.’ It will open the role and ensure that no one is discounted.
Re-evaluate Diversity and Inclusion Policies
If your policies only cater to a specific demographic, it is time to re-evaluate these. For instance, if they only apply to parents, you are potentially excluding a massive part of the population. A mix of policies incorporating people from all walks of life should be vital for improving diversity and inclusion. For instance, in addition to your maternity/paternity policies, you should also have sabbatical policies for those who wish to take time off to travel or study. In addition, you could incorporate mental health days into your sickness and absence policy. Since the pandemic, we have realised that many jobs can be undertaken remotely, which further widens the pool of candidates and improves diversity. Michael Taggart, the Director at FPSG spoke about flexibility and diversity by saying:
“Remote working as the new default during lockdowns and business critical roles moving from the office to the kitchen tables and home offices, widened the talent pools. Consequently, we were able to offer candidates access to roles that they may not have been considered due to geographical location alone.”
Change Interview Panel
If you have the same people conducting interviews all the time, you will always hire the same types of people. It is known as unconscious bias; a term used to describe our instinct to lean towards people who share the same background as us. Make sure you mix up your interview panel with different age groups, cultures, and backgrounds to help ensure you have a wide variety of employees within your business. Andrew Spratt, the Chief Operating Officer at FPSG spoke about his experienced of unconscious bias.
“The main focuses on diversity and Inclusion initiatives are often very obvious in campaigns and operational changes, but we have also noted a significant investment, particularly from HR and Recruiters, in the subtle but important areas such as “Unconscious Bias” with a lot of training and education time made available.”
Arrange a Buddy
Individuals who are recruited into the business should always have a buddy. Someone that can support them as they find their feet. It is paramount to do this as it can help ensure individuals feel that they are included. Starting a new job can be challenging, and it is essential to have that support from day one.
Take time to understand individuals in your business and their culture/beliefs and incorporate these into your policies and celebrations. For instance, not everyone celebrates Christmas in December, and these individuals could feel excluded if their holidays are not considered. Some nationalities have other celebrations such as a ‘name day’, and If you have employees from the LGTBQ+ community, they may appreciate an acknowledgment of ‘Pride.’ When you take the time to understand your teams and incorporate their needs, they will feel more included, and you will promote a more diverse workforce.
We tend to gravitate to people like us but getting to know and understand others can be mutually beneficial. To ensure diversity and inclusion within your business, you should train your employees to understand better what they can do to help achieve a diverse workforce. In addition, they should gain an understanding of why diversity and inclusion are essential.
It looks like there has been significant changes to diversity and inclusion in many industries. Allana Logan, our Legal Consultant spoke about the improvements in this area by saying:
“For the legal profession, I have personally seen a solicitor’s socio-economic background does not appear to affect their career progression once they have qualified & are in the profession, the way it did in previous years which is testament to firms’ efforts to become more inclusive. As recent as July 2021, the Law Society of Scotland collected diversity data which concluded more than two-thirds of the professional mainly attended state school, a fantastic representation of the positive strides firms have taken to improve their diversity & inclusion.”
At FPSG, we are constantly improving the way we work to improve diversity and inclusion. Visit our website to find our current opportunities.