14

What actually works in diversity initiatives?

Jake

| 0 Posts

CIPD Staff

28 Feb, 2019 11:06

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 j.young@cipd.co.uk.

Jake Young, Research Associate, CIPD

5807 views
  • Hi This is an area I'm really interested so great to see that CIPD are kicking this off. We're an organisation that are about creative skills (as opposed to artistic) and diversity is absolutely key to our work. I'd love to be part of the research
  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    6 Mar, 2019 08:51

    Hi Jake I think refer a friend schemes for recommending people to join an organisation (and you get a thank you bonus for doing so) could in theory lead to a lack of diversity as people refer their friends, family and acquaintances who are similar to themselves. Just a thought! Johanna
  • Jake

    | 0 Posts

    CIPD Staff

    6 Mar, 2019 09:14

    In reply to Joanne Garnham:

    Hi Joanne, great to hear from you! We'll be posting discussion topics in the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled. We can also email you directly if you'd like to stay notified of when we post new questions. Feel free to email me and we can keep you in the loop. Jake
  • Jake

    | 0 Posts

    CIPD Staff

    6 Mar, 2019 09:17

    In reply to Johanna:

    That's a really interesting point, and one we hadn't given too much thought on so far. I agree with you, it's understandable that refer a friend schemes might lead to a cliquey culture that lacks diversity. Thanks, I'll have a look into it!
  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    6 Mar, 2019 09:59

    In reply to Jake:

    I think they are still prevalent in some industries and geographical areas - maybe where recruitment challenges are greater.
  • In reply to Jake:

    Hi Jake
    Can I email? I would love to join your discussion!
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    6 Mar, 2019 11:34

    In reply to Ella :

    Ella - I will pass on your email to Jake.
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    You're so helpful Steve! Thank you :)
  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    6 Mar, 2019 12:03

    In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Jake does provide his email in the original post also :)
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    6 Mar, 2019 12:20

    In reply to Johanna:

    D'oh! You're quite right
  • Hi Jake
    I’d be keen to be kept abreast on this topic, so if you can arrange for the notification prompts I will really appreciate.

    My own thoughts on diversity and inclusion are as follows:

    Agree we should be wary of unconscious bias;
    Agree that diversity enriches discussions, debate, adds new perspectives, eliminates group think, protyping, etc.
    Agree that notwithstanding the above it also boils down to principles of fairness and equity at the very basic.

    My concern is about how do we ensure we successfully achieve integration, socialisation and acceptance for optimal outcomes. It is a two-way process I believe:
    One where the incumbent is accepted within the environment and allowed to thrive and the other is the “immersion” in the organisational culture without diluting or jeopardising potential contribution/enrichment to the group’s perspective thereby enhancing value. I find that achieving this balance is often a practical challenge.

    So I agree on the existence of the tension which you mention. We have tried to address this by a buddy programme integrated within orientation but it takes a toll to ensure participants embrace it with an open “HR” mindset.

    Happy to read about other views.
    Cheers
    Reena
  • Jake

    | 0 Posts

    CIPD Staff

    7 Mar, 2019 09:44

    In reply to Reena:

    Hi Reena,

    Great to hear your thoughts. I agree, it's a really difficult balancing act! We're hoping to get a greater understand of how this balance can be achieved, as well as the consequences of diversity being undermined by fit, or vice versa.

    It's interesting you bring up the buddy programme - having joined the CIPD towards the end of last year, I've found having a 'buddy' really refreshing as it gives me the opportunity to interact with others outside of my team who I might not normally speak to. I think you're right though - I also think it's important new recruits embrace such interventions!
  • Jake

    | 0 Posts

    CIPD Staff

    7 Mar, 2019 09:45

    In reply to Reena:

    Sorry, just one more thing - if you email me @ j.young@cipd.co.uk, I'll put your name onto the sign up list. Thanks.
  • In reply to Reena:

    Hi Reena,
    Yes, I completely agree. It is indeed a fine balance and uneasy to manage. I think one way to look at it could be to define in the organisation what do we mean by "culture". Is it about items such playing golf, dress smart, speak up in meetings, and watch a certain TV show or is it about aligning with the orgnization core values - usually address principles such as provide quality service, innovative etc. Of course, in reality things are a bit messier, but I think this distinction can be a start of a good corporate discussion.