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How to promote and retain diversity in the workplace

Chris Rowson, managing director at Ecardshack

Around the world HR experts would agree that there is still room for improvement when it comes to diversity in the workplace. But how can recruiters in the UK promote and retain diversity in the workplace when some of the world's largest corporations don't lead by example?

Despite a lot of progress being made, boardroom representation is still uneven between men and women. For example, there are 14 people on the board of leading car manufacturer Ford, but only two of them are women.

As a recruiter, you can help promote workplace diversity by following these top five tips:

  1. Mentor new & high potential employees

Some of the best leaders at board level started in the lower ranks of their workplace. Companies that excel in diversity management implement mentoring programs to source and nurture employees that have high-potential. You should encourage businesses to use mentoring programmes to develop a strong pool of leaders that are representative of the many cultures, values, races, genders, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs. Mentoring programmes are very attractive to new recruits as enhance employee engagement and loyalty.

  1. Encourage communication and openness

Businesses that employ a diverse workforce mean that employees at all levels must respect each other and leaders must manage complex teams requiring greater understanding of cultural beliefs. It’s a good idea to encourage management teams to communicate guidelines for disciplining employees who engage in activities such as workplace bullying and discriminatory behaviour, which discourages diversity. As a recruiter, you should be willing to listen to workers who feel their treatment was affected by gender, disability, age, ethnicity or other factors and address their concerns quickly and effectively when putting them forward for new roles.

  1. Promote flexible working

Flexible working is an integral part of any diverse workplace and makes businesses far more appealing to work for. For example, offering childcare vouchers and flexible working hours is likely to be very desirable to mothers who wish to pursue a career. Whilst recruiting for businesses you should advise them to be flexible and understanding as research has shown that this improves employee morale, well-being and productivity.

  1. Recommend organisations that can help

We can see that boardroom representation is still uneven between men and women in many global companies. This shows that it can be hard to establish a diverse workplace, and as a recruiter you should know the industry well enough to advise businesses that help is out there should they need it, such as Marshall Consultancy.

  1. Make diversity an integral part of the business not just a HR function

it is absolutely crucial that organisations go beyond ‘box-ticking’ and think creatively when it comes to implementing a diversity management initiative. If you encourage companies to invest a small amount of time and energy in ensuring that their organisation is as inclusive as it can be, this investment of time will pay dividends in terms of staff retention and performance.

For more information on the uneven representation of men and women on the board of fortune 500 companies, you can visit Ecardshack.

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