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Diversity “critical” in developing talent pipelines

Organisations that put diversity at the top of their recruitment agenda will attract the best people, according to Armstrong Craven.


Armstrong Craven’s CEO, Matthew Mellor, says corporates can no longer afford to pay “lip service” to the diversity question.


The company says the challenges presented by the need for greater diversity and inclusion have been highlighted by the furore surrounding this year’s Oscar nominations, in which no black actors or actresses were nominated for best or supporting roles – the first time this has happened since 1998. The Academy has since pledged to double the number of its female and minority members by 2020.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron used an article in the Sunday Times at the weekend to accuse education and business of failing minorities. He highlighted how “just 4% of chief executives in the FTSE 100 are from ethnic minorities.”


Mellor said, “All the evidence is telling us that the organisations which embrace diversity and make it an ingrained part of their culture are most likely to attract and keep the best talent which, in turn, enables them to achieve above-average financial returns.


“We are increasingly being asked by clients globally to help them put in place more diverse and inclusive recruitment strategies. It has become business critical.”


Armstrong Craven recently partnered with a global financial services client that was struggling to attract and retain female leaders in corporate roles in Asia Pacific.


The firm engaged with over 200 senior female professionals in the region to understand their career drivers and the challenges they faced. They also captured views on the client as a brand and a prospective employer.


Mellor commented, “The result was a powerful evidence-based research report that informed our client about how it could become a more attractive employer to the targeted cohort. The organisation responded by implementing a number of changes to its employee proposition to improve its prospects of engaging with and attracting the best talent.


“We created a pipeline of 35 senior females across the region. Placements are already being made and regular networking is enabling our client to manage this talent pool directly.


“All data is our client’s intellectual property and our work has dramatically reduced the cost and time to hire, providing an immediate and longer-term return on investment.”


“Diversity is not something you can pay lip service to. It is not about tackling issues like gender or race or age or sexual orientation in isolation. It is about developing robust policies and practices and embedding them into the way a corporate does business across all of its territories.


“It should go much further than quotas. Dynamic diversity is about ensuring your Board or senior leadership team includes people from varied sectors and backgrounds.


“We know from our work how transformational it can be for those who get it right.”


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