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Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in Practice

Putting Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) into practice on a day-to-day basis can be a challenge for any organisation: wondering where to start. Should one look at recruitment biases, the culture of the organisation, how will you measure its success etc.

With this in mind the CIPD recently developed a ‘Diversity management that works: an evidence-based view’ approach which addresses many of these points. The 6 areas explored as part of this work are highlighted below:

  1. Understanding organisational context and adapting D&I approaches accordingly
  2. Getting buy-in and commitment to D&I
  3. Making use of people data to guide and evaluate action
  4. Using diversity training effectively
  5. Managing the tension between ‘organisational fit’ and diversity
  6. The role of positive action approaches

Based on the review completed a set of top-level recommendations were developed as follows:

  1. Think global, act local.
  2. Get managers’ buy-in and commitment to D&I
  3. Collect and analyse high-quality diversity data
  4. Design diversity training holistically and use perspective-taking
  5. Root out bias in job specifications and selection
  6. Be ambitious in taking positive action on diversity

Whilst we won’t explore all these recommendations, we will explore point 6 above, as positive action programmes are a central part of any D&I strategy. Some of the action practices and strategies include:

  • Communicating the rationale for positive action.
  • Examine organisation/department objectives (ensure they complement/incorporate diversity targets). Consider how any positive action strategy links to other organisational practices.
  • Targeted recruitment campaigns.
  • Bring people on the journey. When people who tend to see ‘the bigger picture’ are less likely to react negatively to the apparent inconsistency in affirmative action policies.’
  • Recruit people managers as change agents for D&I
  • Mentoring, reverse mentoring, coaching and sponsorship for underrepresented groups. Promote mentoring while challenging sponsoring (sponsorship may hamper inclusion by justifying/perpetuating a climate based on an exclusive relationship). Ensure that coaching or mentoring is available to all (or all within a targeted group) and widely promoted (an opt-in basis prevents it from becoming a box-ticking exercise).


What can employers do to attract new talent?

Article by Michael Hanrahan (Senior Recruitment Consultant) BE (Hons), MBA. MSc

Finally, putting Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) into practice on a day-to-day basis can be a challenge and if an HR function does not prioritise D&I, the chance of it being taken seriously elsewhere in the organisation is slim and achieving the overall organisations goals are reduced.

To read the full CIPD report please click here full report.

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