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What businesses can do to boost diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

The President of the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) has said that increasing ethnic representation is one of his key topics of focus. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) has come to the fore during the pandemic as the pandemic has highlighted inequalities in the UK. 7 in 10 businesses want to increase D&I activities in the next 2-3 years.

The adverse impacts of not having a diverse workforce are widely understood. A lack of diverse talent has either a minor or significant negative impact on an organisation. Reviewing recruitment strategy right from where roles are advertised and engaging with jobseekers and applicants is essential to attract a diverse range of talent.

Additionally, D&I policies including flexible working need to be promoted at key points such as in job adverts and on an organisation’s website as well as during the interview process. Training for both managers and employees is a way for organisations to improve D&I. Hiring managers should be provided with support and training to recognise and mitigate the impact of unconscious bias. Helping hiring managers and interviewers identify bias can positively encourage equity when professionals are looking to work with an organisation.

Similarly, providing unconscious bias training to all staff can help emphasise the focus on D&I and allow staff to learn about biases they may be unaware of which impact their interactions. As the working world continues to evolve with more employers providing opportunity for hybrid and remote working, now is the time to drive momentum in creating more equal, diverse, and inclusive workplaces.

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