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We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.- Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World-Wide Web

DIVERSITY BENEFIT #1: CREATIVITY & INNOVATION

Socially diverse groups (those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic background,  and sexual orientation) are more innovative than homogeneous groups. 

  • People with different backgrounds bring unique information, perspectives, and experiences to tasks.
  • A diversity of views enables objections and alternatives to be explored efficiently, solutions to emerge more readily, and results to be adopted with greater confidence.  Academic research has shown that diverse groups often outperform experts.
  • Diversity encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision-making and problem-solving.  The best decisions are not made by a homogenous group.

DIVERSITY BENEFIT #2:  HAPPIER TEAMS

Diversity increases employee satisfaction, improving collaboration and loyalty.  It fosters positive attitudes and behaviours in the workplace.  Where diversity recruitment is tokenistic, psychological outcomes are poorer.

When inclusivity is made a priority in the workplace, people feel more comfortable to engage.  A 2013 Gallup poll found that only 13% of employees are actively engaged at work.  The management behaviour most likely to affect engagement was “demonstrates strong commitment to diversity”.

DIVERSITY BENEFIT #3:  REFLECTING SOCIAL CHANGE 

The pandemic has driven a desire to work for organisations that reflect personal values, rather than just paying a salary.   Deloitte found that 80 percent of employees say that inclusion is an important factor in choosing an employer.  A diverse workforce can enrich the workplace, whilst also more accurately representing the demographics of the broader population.  ONS data for 2019 suggests that 3.5% of the population in England and Wales identify as from a black ethnic background; as at July 2020, no members of DPAG staff identify with this ethnicity.

DIVERSITY BENEFIT #4:  RECRUITING THE TOP TALENT

Diversity in the workplace increases the talent pool, and the best creative talent can come from untapped employment pools   A focus on diversity can attract more candidates, and encourage them to join an organisation: in a Glassdoor survey, two-thirds of those polled said that diversity was important to them when evaluating companies and job offers.

Given demographic trends, future leaders, influencers, and supporters will increasingly be drawn from previously excluded populations. Race equality can help us access diverse talent pools, and recruit top talent.  This can improve organisational performance, and provide a competitive advantage 

HOW TO IMPROVE DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE

It is important to attract diverse candidates, otherwise the status quo remains the same no matter how many networks, working groups, and EDI initiatives we introduce.

Think about how to reach, and attract, diverse candidates, and address the factors that could dissuade people from thinking DPAG is for them.  Adopt inclusive recruitment practices for all vacancies.

  • Job advertisement placement is important – ensure adverts are accessible to a wide range of potential applicants.  Depending on the role, consider promoting jobs through diverse networks and societies, job fairs, social media (if you have a diverse following), and even the job centre. As recruiters, seek diverse candidates.
  • Consider job advert and job description content – check for gendered or stereotyped language, ensure essential criteria really are essential, and ensure that the specific experience requested doesn’t deter diverse candidates.
  • Ensure your webpages are accessible, consider the images and language – are there too many acronyms or other jargon? Share success stories and testimonials from a diverse range of people, and promote flexible working. 
  • Before carrying out any selection processes take Implicit Bias in the Workplace Training as a reminder of how to address your biases and try the Harvard Implicit Associations Test to identify your own biases
  • Consider whether selection tests are necessary; if they are provide practice tests in advance.
  • Ensure interviews are structured, with set questions related to agreed criteria and a scoring rubric, to ensure a fair process.  Recruitment panellists should challenge bias or homophily from others.
  • Allow sufficient time for decision-making, 

Onboarding 

Onboarding is also vital for fostering a sense of belonging which, in-turn, links to job satisfaction, performance and commitment.  Focus on the needs of the new starter, rather than those of the organisation. 

  • Standardise processes so that everyone receives the same information and support.
  • Don’t make assumptions based on your own experience or views.
  • Get to know the person on a personal level and identify where their strengths and interests lie.  Consider how to make the most of these attributes and consider tasks they could undertake and networks that they could join.
  • Facilitate introductions to colleagues.
  • Make people feel valued - ask for their views and opinions and avoid blame. 

RESOURCES

EDI Article:  Fair Play Talks:  Holistic View of Diversity Needed to Embed Real Workplace Inclusion, Confirms McKenzie-Delis Review

Blog:  Buffer.com: The 3 Research-Backed Benefits of Diversity That Guide Our Team Growth

Office for National Statistics (ONS) Population of England and Wales: Population estimates by ethnic group and religion, England and Wales - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

Blog:  Vantage Circle.com: 100 Powerful Diversity And Inclusion Quotes for a Stronger Company Culture 

Blog:  The Guardian (2015):  A workforce that reflects our diverse society | | The Guardian

Noemí Enchautegui-de-Jesús, Diane Hughes, Kristen E. Johnson, and Hyun Joo Oh, “Well-being in the context of workplace diversity”, Journal of Community Psychology, 2006, volume 34, number 2, pp. 211–23) Well‐being in the context of workplace ethnic diversity - Enchautegui‐de‐Jesús - 2006 - Journal of Community Psychology - Wiley Online Library

NHS Employers (2021), Inclusive recruitment: Leading positive change:  Inclusive recruitment | NHS Employers

Responses to Common Criticisms of Anti-Racism Action in SteM- Point 10

Review Article: Making Better Decisions in Groups

Research Article: Groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers

Research Article: Effects of Racial Diversity on Complex Thinking in College Students

McKinsey Report- Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters

Forbes Report:  Diversity Drives Innovation

Webinar:  Tackling Bias in Recruitment, Pearn Kandola (29 minutes):  Tackling Bias in Recruitment

Image of a poster created to outline diversity makes science better.  Engagement: When inclusivity is made a priority in the workplace, people feel more comfortable to engage.Decision-making:  People with diverse backgrounds have unique experiences and perspectives, and because of this, they approach problems differently and ask different questions, leading to better decision-making.Communication: Many global health issues disproportionately affect underrepresented communities. A focus on diversity in research groups can ensure that people feel represented and have a voice. Diverse groups are also more likely to design unbiased solutions and can more effectively recruit and engage broad public audiences.Innovation & creativity: Diverse groups develop more innovative solutions, increasing the likelihood of scientific success and promoting competitiveness,