The Business benefits of Diversity

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					The Business benefits of Diversity

                Besides it being both a legal
                requirement and an ethical approach
                to employing people there are good
                business reasons why an employer
                should explore all avenues to find the
                best person for the job and have a
                staff which is as diverse at least as its

   If you truly want to get the best candidate
    then making sure suitable people know about
    and are encouraged to apply for your job
    regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality,
    disability or faith means that you will get the
    best of all worlds in terms of quality
Diversity Image = positive image

 Would you notice if you walked into a small shop and all the
 customers were women while all the shop assistants were
 men? Or if all the assistants appeared over 50 but all their
 customers were teenagers? Might you think this a bit odd? You
 probably would. Would you use their services if you were
 different to all the staff? We are used to seeing a range of
 different people while out and about. Any concentration of one
 type of person can stand out, especially if you are not one of
 them. Although it can be harder to spot, the same is true for
 businesses. Its workforce influences how the business is
 perceived to the world outside. You need to be seen as
 attractive and welcoming to all
Be open to all

 Who is employed and what they are like says
 something about the business to customers,
 suppliers, contractors and potential recruits, as well
 as to existing employees and to trade unions
 representing them. If a company’s workforce is
 uniform in sex, age, ethnic background, or any of the
 other characteristics people tend to notice about one
 another, then that can make a difference to the
 impression a business makes.
The UK Background -1
   There are almost 61 million people living in the United Kingdom,
    slightly more women than men. Nearly 31 million of us are working or
    actively looking for work (most of the rest are under 16 or are retired).
    These days, the number of women either in, or looking for, paid work
    is getting closer to the number of men: 14.1 million women compared
    to 16.7 million men. 70% percent of women between the ages of 16
    and 59 are in paid work outside the home, compared with just 56% in
    1971. This includes a majority of mothers with children under 16,
    whether they are married or living with a partner or on their own.

   Around 3.5 million disabled people are in employment – around one in
    eight of all working age people in employment. This represents an
    employment rate for disabled people of 50%, whereas the working-age
    population as a whole has an employment rate of about 80%.
The UK Population - 2

   The working population as a whole is getting older. Compared
    to 1971, a higher proportion of the population is aged 30 or
    older and this is set to continue to grow in the future. The 2001
    Census gives the latest definite measure of the UK ’s ethnic
    diversity, and showed that 7.9% of the total population, or 4.6
    million people, are from ethnic minority groups. Indians were
    the largest minority group, followed by Pakistanis, those of
    mixed ethnic backgrounds, black Caribbeans, black Africans
    and Bangladeshis. The remaining ethnic minority groups each
    accounted for less than 0.5% but together accounted for a
    further 1.4% of the UK population. 11% of the UK population
    were born outside of the UK.
UK Population 3

   The most recent British Social Attitudes Survey shows that 45%
    of the UK population identify themselves as having no religious
    belief (though they may hold non-religious beliefs, such as
    Humanism). 47.5% of people say they are Christian, while 3.3%
    are Muslim, 1.4% Hindu, 0.5% Jewish, 0.2% Sikh, 0.2%
    Buddhist and 1.4% other non-Christian religions.
   The majority of people are heterosexual or ‘straight’ and they
    are attracted to the opposite sex. HM Treasury Actuaries
    estimate that 6% of people are attracted to people of the same
    sex (lesbian women and gay men) or both the same and
    opposite sex (bisexual people). In addition there are a number
    of Transgender people.

   a workforce which reflects the diversity of
    your customers is important for business,
    your staff should be better able at
    anticipating and meeting different clients
    needs, while people often feel more
    comfortable if they are able to talk to people
    they feel will be respond to them easily .
Extra knowledge and insight

   if you have a wide variety of staff then you
    have a greater amount of knowledge and
    experience to draw from when looking at the
    range of goods / services to offer, the right
    approach to take with different customer
    groups, plus be able to relate and empathise
    with a wider number of clients.
Positive and balanced workforce

 There are benefits which the majority of
 people in any equality group can bring to a
 business and which when combined together
 can generate a positive and balanced
 workforce and culture. The key benefit of
 diversity is that between them staff from
 diverse backgrounds can offer a range of
 information and support to clients from all
 different backgrounds and needs
Gender balance

   Men and women usually work better together as a
    mixed group, they tend to bring different positive
    attributes and are able to bring the experiences and
    interests of both genders of consumers.
   People from LGBT backgrounds can add to this mix,
    and bring the experiences and interests of LGBT
    consumers to the organisation. They may also be
    able to help you avoid giving unintentional offence to
    LGBT people.
Examples of diversity benefits to
employers – the Met

   The Metropolitan Police – who carried out research with their staff who
    include women and men, people from a wide variety of racial and
    ethnic backgrounds and from different faiths, gays and lesbians as well
    as some people with disabilities.
   They asked all their staff to inform them about their other interests,
    activities and skills outside of work. This led to an appreciation by the
    Met that they had an enormous range of in-house knowledge,
    experience and skills which could be drawn on when needed.
   This included a wide variety of languages which they could use for
    translation, interpretation, examination of evidence, material and
    interviewing witnesses etc.
   They were able to draw upon the breadth of experience of particular
    areas, cultural groups and in depth knowledge of sports and activities
    which is of use in many different ways.
Brent Council street furniture working

   I was involved in this group of experts from different departments at
    Brent which drew up the design and location requirements for street
    furniture. It was a diverse group of expertise but it was only when
    someone who was a member of their Disability section joined us that
    we became aware not only of the issues of street furniture for people
    with disabilities, particularly blind people but they were able to point
    out ways in which these issues could be addressed at minimum
    additional cost – such as having a raised plinth to alert people with
    sight disability that they were about to make contact with a sign but
    also to inscribe basic information in brail on relevant furniture. Our
    previous discussions had not included these issues not out of
    prejudice but from ignorance and once included we were able to
    produce a brief to the contractors that addressed all problems at
    essentially the same cost and became of benefit rather than threat to
    all those people living, working in or visiting Brent with visual
Further Areas of Business benefit from

   Strategic Planning and development
   Research
   Marketing and promotion –Employing the
    best staff
   Value for money
   Product / service design
   Resource
Strategic Planning and development

   When developing your organisation’s strategic and
    action plans including policies and procedures – it is
    beneficial to include all staff in the process and
    where possible customers
   With a diverse staff base you can ensure that all
    perspectives are taken into account, including
    expanding into new markets ( including international)
    and developing new product / services or uses for
    your existing ones

   When researching your needs, your
    opportunities and threats, your current and
    future markets you need to draw upon not
    just research and research specialists but
    ask & include your staff for insights /
    awareness / links into these areas
Marketing and promotion

   Diversity improves such areas as
   Design – concepts / appropriateness /innovation
   Images – relevant / different
   Text – cultural/generational reference,translation
   Outreach - contacts
   Targeting different groups
   Knowing how and where to reach them
Product / service design

   Different backgrounds, cultures, ages,
    gender and experiences impact positively in
    innovative new product development and
    adaptations for different markets especially
    niche ones

   Again the human and physical resources
    available and useable by an organisation are
    increased with a wide variety of staff from
    different backgrounds, different experiences
    and skills.
   They also are able to help source resources
    from and for alternative markets