Tag: Diversity

Employing older adults improves diversity in business 

A new study has shown that 10% of over 70s are choosing to go back to work or delay retirement as a result of the pandemic. This is a trend that could see billions of pounds poured back into the economy.  

According to the results from the study called “Back on Track”, by Retirement Villages Group slowing down is the last thing on the minds of older adults with one in three (36%) over 70s saying that they have spent the last 16 months reflecting on their life goals, leading to an increased desire to now make up for lost time in both their personal and professional lives. 

Going back to work, whether for financial reasons or in pursuit of a more purposeful and active lifestyle, has become important to many with 7% looking to return to work and 3% wanting to delay retirement.   

With skill shortages in mind, Retirement Villages Group has calculated that 10% of over 70s heading back to or staying in work could add as much as £1.8billion to the UK economy each year. Also importantly, as the older generation are overlooked during talent acquisition processes, this promotes a much-needed shift in perspective when it comes to the value and experience older candidates bring to a business.  

The study showed that continued employment for the older workforce comes with many personal benefits such as improving financial or mental health. Among those that have or plan to go back to work, over half (52%) agree that the main motive is to boost their finances, while a third would like to alleviate boredom and a 21% would like to continue to contribute to society.  

Over one in three (39%) said that seeing more age diversity in the workplace would give them greater confidence to consider working opportunities themselves. Yet, encouragingly, the research also found that one in four (27%) older adults believe the pandemic has led to a more widespread view that older people have valuable life skills that society can benefit from. 

Will Bax, CEO of Retirement Villages Group, commented: “Today’s research confirms that older adults have a critical role in ensuring the ongoing diversity and vibrancy of our society and economy. The pandemic has brought this reality into sharp focus, with many people over 70 forced to isolate for prolonged periods, curbing the active, independent and sociable lifestyles they would normally lead and temporarily separating them from communities. 

“It’s vital, as we unlock from the pandemic, that we continue to reappraise how we view the great contribution of people over 70 to our culture and economy. Independent, positive ageing matters – not only to the long-term health and wellbeing of individuals, by keeping people out of hospitals and care homes for longer – but also to our society which is enriched by older people playing an active part. 

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Primis, a new technology recruitment company that will operate out of the UK and the US will focus on improving the D&I landscape in the technology sector. The announcement was made by APSCo member and Managing Director of Premier Recruitment, Ben Broughton. Broughton who assisted in growing the firm to revenues of £30m, said that Primis will also offer D&I and unconscious bias training to the hiring managers of Primis clients and their own employees.

The people-centric approach the business appears to be focusing on comes at a time where D&I is deemed an important factor in talent retention as a sense of belonging is increasingly more important to employees when looking for a company to work for.

Primis’s training solutions is delivered by a team that includes: Faisel Choudhry, a strategic management professional with experience working at The Royal Household and The Bank of England; Chikere Igbokwe, an Executive Recruiter and D&I Leader and Jina Etienne, who became the first national leader for D&I at Grant Thornton, in the USA.

Broughten commented: “We want to educate and expand the views of tech communitites across the UK and US when it comes to hiring diverse teams. We are a growth business and will achieve this through a mixture of senior hires as well as organic growth through a structured training academy.”

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With vacancy numbers hitting all-time highs in the UK since before the pandemic hit, online talent sourcing specialist, Talent.com, has warned employers that a lack of diversity in recruitment adverts themselves could hinder hiring strategies.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that there are more job vacancies now than before the pandemic as employers look to bolster resources as restrictions ease and business demand finally increases after more than a year of uncertainty. However, Talent.com has warned that an audit of hiring process – including job adverts and descriptions – is needed to ensure they appeal to modern-day diverse audiences.

Values and “must-haves” for job seekers have changed dramatically in the last few years with the workforce placing large emphasis on things that matter as opposed to higher pay. There is far more focus on sustainability and diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the Black Lives Matters movement has served to accelerate the much-needed evolution of hiring practices and other business policies.

Without a more diverse approach to hiring practices, businesses could see limited hiring success in the second half of 2021.

Noura Dadzie, Vice President of Sales UK and International Markets at Talent.com said: “With unemployment levels dropping as vacancy numbers rise, the war for talent is accelerating exponentially. The challenge for hiring managers now is not just to get in front of the right people before the competition, but perhaps more importantly, have the right content to push to these audiences. Job seekers are placing greater emphasis on diversity initiatives and employment culture in a post-pandemic world, but as businesses attempt to replace lost resources, too many are falling into the trap of pushing out pre-Covid ads and job descriptions that are arguably out-dated and irrelevant.

“Job seekers are more likely to apply for a position if they can easily identify with the job description and advert. If these do not reflect the diversity of the new talent landscape, employers will be on the back foot – a less-than-ideal scenario in a growing economy.”

Should you have interesting news stories to share, please send them to the Editor Debbie.walton@talintpartners.com

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Companies with a significant number of women in their executive committees outperformed during the pandemic and are continuing to do so, according to new research.

The Women Count 2021 report, published last week by diversity organisation the Pipeline, found that the persisting gender imbalance in FTSE 350 companies was costing the UK economy more than £100bn per year.

Analysing the performance of firms in the index, it found that in 2021 companies with no females on their executive committees suffered a fall in profits of 17.5%. By contrast, those where more than 50% of the executive committee is female enjoyed profit margins of 21.1%.

It cited the target set by the 2016 Hampton Alexander Review of 33% of women on executive committees and main boards as a key measure of success.

“Using ‘33%’ in the context of levels of profit reveals just how much money is being missed by companies. If all FTSE 350 businesses with less than 33% of women on their executive committee were to achieve the same profit margin as those with 33% and greater, there would be an additional £123 billion in pre-tax profit for the UK economy,” said the report.

Although the 33% target was met in terms of women on boards in the FTSE 350 index as a whole earlier this year, on a company-by-company basis there are still more than 100 in the index that have not met that target.

And The Pipeline argues while the growth in the number of women in non-executive director roles is positive, it’s the executive committee that really matters. Here, overall numbers are well below target, with just 5% of CEO roles and 17% of CFO roles in FTSE 350 companies held by women.

“The data shows how despite numerous initiatives and repeated calls for action over many years, these important PLCs have still to make significant progress on achieving acceptable levels of executive gender diversity. This position belongs to another time, as in today’s world it is recognised that ability is not the preserve of one gender, but equally distributed between men and women.

“Women Count 2021 reveals how far many of the biggest companies have to go in catching up with the times, as in the FTSE 350, women remain second class citizens when it comes to promoting or developing talent,” said the report’s authors.

Commenting on the findings, Nicole Sahin, Founder and CEO of professional employer organisation Globalization Partners, said:

“Time and time again, research shows that organisations that have a high percentage of diversity financially outperform their competitors. However, the reality is that while many women and male allies are championing workplace diversity, only five of the top Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index companies are steered by women. And at that current rate of growth, it would take more than 80 years for the number to reach 50%.

“In order to achieve greater balance sooner, management teams must make equality for everyone a priority – from the recruiting process, through professional development and management training. All female leaders need to claim their place at the table.”

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D&I network INvolve last week launched its inaugural Top 10 Black Role Models in the UK list, in partnership with Google.

The list aims to shine a spotlight on business leaders who have made a significant contribution to breaking down barriers within the workplace for black and ethnic minority individuals.

Included in the top 10 were executives whose brief covers diversity and inclusion, with Edleen John, International, Corporate Affairs and Co-Partner for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director at the Football Association among those featured.

Janet Onyia, Project and Programme Manager at Accenture and the Scotland Lead of the Accenture African Caribbean Network (AACN), was also included.

The rest of those featured came from a range of industries and included Toib Olomowewe, Organisational Development and Learning Manager at Royal Dutch Shell and Leila Thomas, CEO and Founder of Urban Synergy, who has been seconded from the talent team at London Stock Exchange Group.

Making up the remainder of the list were Belton Flournoy, Director of Digital Identity and Security at Protiviti UK, Celia Fraser, Insights and Analytics Lead at Capital Group, Christina Liciaga, Head of Customer and Products for Europe and CIIOM at HSBC, Dominic Carter, Group Chief Commercial Officer at News UK, Roni Savage, Founder and Managing Director of Jomas Associates, and Sengova Kailondo, Senior Associate at Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Alex Okosi, Managing Director of Emerging Markets at Google subsidiary YouTube EMEA, said: “As a company that aims to celebrate the diversity of our employees, customers and users we are delighted to present the first ever EMpower Top 10 UK Black Role Models List and shine a spotlight on some of the amazing black role models who are making an impact across UK business.

“These talented individuals are not just excelling in their own areas of expertise, but are inspiring us all by paving the way forward and leading by example when it comes to creating more inclusive workplaces.”

Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder and CEO of Audeliss and INvolve, added: “I’m delighted that EMpower are partnering with Google for the first time this year to share the Top 10 UK Black Role Models who are actively creating a workplace where black and other ethnic minority individuals have an equal opportunity to thrive.

“We must do more when it comes to driving black inclusion in business. Organisations must step up and hold themselves accountable when it comes to turning well-intentioned aspirations into clear, concrete actions for change.”

Each of the individuals included also appeared on the wider EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model List, which was launched by INvolve in May.

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Black professionals are twice as likely to be turned down when asking for a pay rise than their white counterparts, according to a new study.

The findings were included in an in-depth white paper published by Robert Walters, which surveyed more than 7,500 workers year-on-year between 2019 and 2021.

The poll found that 42% of black professionals were refused a pay increase after negotiation, compared with 21% of white professionals. For black women, the situation was even worse – 63% were turned down when asking for more pay.

Further, even when they were successful in negotiating a pay rise, black professionals were less likely to get 75-100% of what they asked for, achieving this just 21% of the time, against 35% for white employees.

Black workers were also more likely to be deterred from even asking for more money, with 37% saying they hadn’t even tried, against 23% for their white peers.

Habiba Khatoon, Director at Robert Walters, said: “This report is one of the most significant pieces of research into diversity and inclusion in the workplace in the past two years, and specifically highlights the failures that come from a lack of effective inclusion – where company structure, culture, and/or policies negatively impact underrepresented groups.

“Whilst D&I has rightly been a prime concern for leadership teams, who now understand how critical an active D&I policy is for their organisation’s success, it remains the case that almost no protected characteristic – be it gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability or age – can be said to be properly represented in the workplace.”

The recruitment firm noted that the temporary hold on the government’s decision on whether or not to enforce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting was making it difficult to assess the exact state of play.

While ONS figures showed that in 2019 the gender pay gap between all minorities and white British workers had shrunk to just 2.3%, it noted that, “this simple comparison between white and ethnic minority groups does, however, mask a wide variety of experiences among different ethnic minorities”.

In fact, the Robert Walters report found that the top five ethnic groups most dissatisfied with their pay were all minorities.

Needs not being met

Pay wasn’t the only issue noted, however. Some 41% of black professionals also felt there were a lack of opportunities available to them, with 34% stating that no relevant training courses were on offer.

Three times the number of black, and two times the number of Asian professionals stated that lack of representation was holding them back, compared with their white peers. One-third of black professionals said their career expectations were not being met by their employer.

Meera Raikundalia, Co-Founder of the Black Young Professionals (BYP) Network, which contributed to the Robert Walters report, said: “The UK has an abundance of black and ethnic minority talent, however, it appears that they remain hugely under-represented in the workplace. When asked to name business leaders from an ethnic minority background, just 34% of respondents could recall even one role model, in comparison to 75% of white respondents.

“It is clear that you can’t become what you can’t see, and it is therefore key for organisations to consciously attract and showcase minority talent at the top of their organisation to show there is a clear path to success for minority candidates.”

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Two-thirds of those in senior positions in the UK are nervous about using the wrong language when discussing race in the workplace, a survey has found.

The poll of 500 non-HR decision makers carried out by Censuswide for D&I network INvolve found that 65% of respondents were concerned about using the wrong or inappropriate language when discussing race at work.

More specifically, 56% were uncomfortable using the terms ‘Black’, ‘Asian’, ‘BAME’, and ‘Ethnic minority’ in the workplace, while 36% did not think BAME was an appropriate term to use in the workplace.

Some 44% reported that they changed their natural language choice when talking to someone of a different race.

Of those surveyed, three-quarters of whom were white, 72% stated they had witnessed at least one instance of racism in the workplace over the last three years.

Suki Sandhu OBE, Founder and CEO of INvolve, said: “The ability to discuss issues surrounding race in the workplace is crucial and if white and other employees don’t have the confidence to have these discussions, we cannot create the meaningful long-term change we need.

“As shown by the lack of ethnic minority representation in senior leadership, systemic racism is still pervasive in British business and until we are all able to have difficult conversations by eliminating the fear surrounding them, we cannot successfully address racial equality in the workplace.”

This release of the research coincided with the publication of INvolve’s annual EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Models lists, which highlight business leaders who are breaking down barriers for ethnic minorities at work.

Diageo’s Chief Executive Officer Ivan Menezes topped this year’s list of top executives, largely for his work driving inclusion and diversity at the multinational drinks giant.

Menezes said: “It takes time to see shifts in representation at all levels in the organisation. It requires the setting of targets, changes in policy, leading the change from the top and having role models within the business.”

Maryse Gordon, Business Development Manager of Data and Analytics at the London Stock Exchange Group, was number one in EMpower’s 100 future leaders list, while Carolyn McCall, CEO at ITV, came top of the 50 advocates list.

Sandhu said of the lists: “Celebrating ethnic minority talent is a great way to champion individuals in business who are paving the way forward for inclusion. I am thrilled to be able to showcase the achievements of another fantastic group of role models in business who are reaching the top of their fields while ensuring that they send the elevator back down for others.”

The full lists can be found here: https://empower.involverolemodels.org/

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UK universities should be prevented from charging the maximum level of tuition fees unless they deliver better graduate outcomes, a new report from the CIPD has recommended ahead of the Budget next week.

‘The graduate employment gap: expectations versus reality’ shows that just half (52%) of graduates secure a graduate-level job six months after they finish their course. The Government’s official figure is inflated to 77% by including ‘associate professional and technical occupations’ such as dancers, choreographers, fitness instructors, youth and community workers, despite the ONS stating that these jobs ‘do not require a degree’.

The findings call into question the current balance between the Government’s investment in university education relative to the investment in the UK’s under-funded vocational and adult skills education pathways.

The report also shows that the continued focus on boosting graduate qualification rates in the UK appears to have had little effect on productivity, with the UK languishing in sixteenth place in GDP per hour among OECD countries, despite having the fifth highest proportion of residents educated to degree level.

Lizzie Crowley, skills adviser at the CIPD, said, “As we look ahead to the Budget next week, the Government should consider linking tuition fees to graduate destination data in order to prevent higher education institutions charging top rate fees while delivering bottom rate outcomes.

“This report shows that the preoccupation of successive governments with boosting graduate numbers is leading to high levels of over-qualification and potentially skills mismatches, which the OECD suggests undermines productivity growth. Many people in ‘graduate jobs’ are actually in roles that don’t require degrees, and with the spiralling costs of university students need to ask themselves whether a degree path is the best route into their career.

“We need much better careers advice and guidance to ensure that young people are equipped with the information they need to make informed decisions, alongside high quality alternative vocational routes into employment that offer routes other than university education.”

The research also finds a clear gender pay disparity for recent graduates, even if they study the same course at a top ten university.

The findings were consistent across subject area, with male graduates enjoying a higher salary regardless of the areas of study looked at in the research. The research showed that, six months after graduation:

  • More than a quarter (28%) of male law graduates were earning £30k+, compared with just over one in ten (14%) female law graduates
  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) of male medicine and dentistry graduates were earning £30k+, compared to three in five (62%) female graduates
  • More than half (54%) male veterinary sciences graduates were earning £30k+, compared with just two in five (39%) female graduates
  • Female graduates who managed to secure a job in the top occupational band (managers and senior officials) were almost twice as likely to be paid less than £20,000 as their male counterparts, with 25% of women in this category compared with 15% of men

Crowley added, “It has long been claimed that the differential in pay between male and female graduates was to do with their chosen subjects of study, but this data proves that the gender pay gap is baked in from the point of graduation. Regardless of what women study, or indeed where they study, they are paid less than their male peers.

“If we are going to eliminate the gender pay gap then employers need to ensure they are paying fairly right across their organisation from day one, including among recent graduates.”

Finally, the research also reveals that, despite a strong government focus on boosting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, STEM graduates are more likely to be unemployed six months after graduation than graduates from other disciplines. Compared to a national unemployment rate of 4.9%, STEM graduate unemployment rates are:

  • 8.6%% for computer science graduates
  • 6.5% for physical science graduates
  • 6% for engineering and technology graduates
  • 6.5% for mathematical science graduates

Crowley said, “The Government has continually focused on boosting STEM skills, and encouraging graduates to pursue those subjects at university, but that investment doesn’t appear to be translating into better graduate outcomes.

“Until we address this problem, and do more to identify the core skills that make STEM subjects so valuable, additional investment in STEM risks being wasted.”

Commenting on the CIPD report, Dr David Docherty, CEO of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), and Chairman of Placer, said, “Employers are crying out for graduates with vital science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. Therefore, it’s worrying to see that despite an increased focus on STEM education, many graduates in this area are still unemployed six months after graduating.

“It is vital we urgently improve the employability skills of all graduates, particularly those in STEM, to support young people as they move from education into the workplace. One critical part of the solution is improved access to quality work experience for undergraduates so that talented students can enter the labour market more quickly.

“Recognising a significant gap between the availability of work experience opportunities and the number of students in the UK, we’ve developed new technology for employers and students, as a practical step to tackle the issue. Placer, a work experience app and platform developed in partnership with Jisc and Unite Students, offers a structured and scalable solution to ensure the next generation of talent is workplace-ready.”

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By Advance Systems

 

Diversity in the workplace is something that should be celebrated and not feared. There’s a tendency for some old fashioned businesses to hire people that are all similar. White, middle-class, males are typically the most hired people in the country. However, a business can benefit from having a diverse workforce.

 

By having diverse employees, a company can see an increase in workplace productivity. And, they can see their employees becoming more active at work too. Listed below are a few reasons that back up this point and prove diversity is brilliant:

 

More Lines Of Thought
If you have a company full of similar people, then they’ll think in similar ways. Everyone will have shared the same experiences and come from the same backgrounds. With a diverse workforce, you have a group of people from different backgrounds. As a result, you end up with a variety of brains that think in different ways. They can provide thoughts that you wouldn’t get with a workforce full of similar people. With more lines of thought comes new ways of doing things. New suggestions can be made to help improve workplace productivity. All in all, your office becomes more productive because there are so many new ideas flying about all the time.
Higher Staff Morale
When people come from different backgrounds, they tend to relate to one another quite well. They share a common goal; trying to make it in a world where they’re often overlooked. So, if a diverse workforce works together, then staff morale is very high. In turn, this leads to a happy workplace, which results in increased productivity. And, when everyone is happy and getting along with one another, it means they’ll stay in the business. Furthermore, they’re less likely to take time off and will come into work every day. Take a look at your workforce management software if you have a diverse workforce. I bet you’ll find that very few of your employees have had time off. Also, look at their time and attendance, I’m willing to bet they’ll be in work on time, every day of the week. High staff morale encourages people to work hard for a company and come to work on time.
Diverse Set Of Skills
Another great thing a diverse workforce can boast is an increased skill set. When you hire lots of different people, you get lots of different skills. It’s far better than hiring a bunch of people that can all do the same thing. What’s the point in that? You’re just taking up space on your payroll with a load of employees that are all providing the same skillset. Diversity means people will be good at certain things. You can have one person that’s an expert in one business area, like marketing. Then, you have another person that’s exceptional at closing sales and speaking to customers. What you end up with is an entire team of people that have their own unique strengths and skills. This results in high productivity levels and a more active workplace.
Greater Customer Understanding
Diverse workers provide you with greater customer understanding. When you have a range of people working for you, then you’ve got people that can relate to your target market. The more diverse your workforce is, the more they’re likely to understand your customers. By having a better understanding, it means they can get more work done and keep the customers flowing in. This leads to a productive business that retains customers all the time. If you don’t have diverse employees, then you don’t have a big chance of empathizing with the customer.
As you can see, having a diverse workforce will benefit every business. Not only do they lead to an increase in productivity, but they also make a company much better. It can improve your brand image if you’re seen to be hiring a diverse array of staff. People will start to look at your business as very forward thinking and modern. As a result, you find that consumers are more attracted to your brand and like what you’re doing.
So, it’s important that you try and hire a diverse team of workers. Take a look at your HR software and see your employee database. Companies like Advance Systems provide HR software that lets you see all of your employee’s details. This can let you see what type of people you employ. You may find that you don’t have a diverse workforce, so can work on hiring different people. Then, you’ll see a more productive and active business.

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