Most will agree that workforce diversity is morally important and many agree that it benefits the organisation. But what can employers do to increase diversity? Which interventions are the best bets and which don’t live up to their promise?
Over recent years, we’ve developed a number of insights. One came from our research into recruitment practices, which explored the question of who fits within an organisation’s culture and who doesn’t. A strong focus on person-organisation fit can create room for bias and undermine actions aimed at improving diversity. You can end up hiring “mini-mes”. Indeed, employing someone who is ‘anti-fit’ – meeting all the requirements for the job but failing to fit with some aspects of the existing culture – may in fact be useful to shake up the status quo.
This is just one example and it raises as many questions as it gives answers. To understand more, we’re launching a new programme of research to explore what works in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. We want to understand your perceptions of the D&I initiatives that are most commonly used in your organisations, and which of these support workforce diversity most effectively. One area we’ll investigate is this the tension between person-organisation fit and diversity but we’ll also look at other issues and practices, from unconscious bias training to gender pay gaps and quotas. The broad approach to the research will see us explore all strands of D&I, including race, gender, LGBT+, religion, disability and age.
We’d love for people professionals actively working in D&I to share opportunities, challenges and experience to help shape what works in practice to drive positive change in organisations. You can share your thoughts through our online ideation platform, powered by Crowdoscope. We’ll be posting discussion topics every few weeks to explore these areas.
The research kicks off on March 25th, so watch this space! Please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jake Young, Research Associate, CIPD