HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Getting better leadership diversity

Attempting to hire more diversely at entry level isn’t good enough anymore: there has to true diversity at every level of the business….
Getting better leadership diversity
 
 
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Getting better
leadership diversity


Attempting to hire more diversely at entry level isn’t good enough anymore: there has to be true diversity at every level of the business…

 

Businesses do take D&I seriously…

Diversity is at forefront of many businesses. These days the most employee-minded organisations excel at inclusion for all genders, ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations and disabilities, both mental and physical. For example: Diageo, the multinational beverage giant, is insistent that diversity forms part of its core business strategy. With five women on their Board of ten, they also quiz potential partners on their diversity praxis. Chief Finance Officer Kathryn Mikells, previously said: “When I go into a pitch for banking or accountancy services, I always ask about the diversity of the team.”

…but business leadership isn’t diverse…

Earlier this year executive recruitment and diversity consultancy Green Park released its fourth annual BAME 100 Business Leaders index, discovering that the number of BAME UK board members has flatlined over the last year. In fact, since Green Park’s index was launched three years ago, only 28 of the 178 leaders shortlisted have taken on new roles. It’s a failure in diversity hiring for senior positions.

 

…and this means employees can feel unsupported…

This slow progress impacts the UK’s BAME employee base. The Equality Group commissioned a study of eight million BAME Brits which discovered that half of respondents noted that there are no prominent role models of their ethnic profile in positions they aspire to reach professionally. This is despite almost half of all UK BAME citizens stating they would feel supported if there was more BAME representation at board or director level.

…and the picture across the board is bleak

It’s not just BAME employees who are underrepresented: women are too. Figures from the 2019 Hamilton-Alexander review found of firms making up the FTSE 100 less than a third had women members. The review, which was established by former UK PM Theresa May, was designed to examine the gender gap in the top tier of UK business and set a target of one third of board members to be women at the 350 largest-listed firms by the end of 2020.

…yet diversity is good for business…

With statistics demonstrating that a more inclusive and diverse workforce can drive profit – a study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies who have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation – it is in the best interests of a company to ensure it is delivering its message for diversity from the top down.

…and diverse leadership is good for employees…

Employees look up to their leaders as role models, however if there is not a single diverse member within a company’s c-suite, it’s likely that employees will struggle to relate to their leaders if they feel underrepresented. This is a notion Emily Lofting-Kisakye, HR Director at retailer Urban Outfitters, agrees with. She told HR Grapevine: “It’s important it starts from the top down. It’s also really important that we go all the way down the chain and everybody hears that same message.”

…so check your recruitment rates if you want a more diverse leadership…

James Gillard, Head of Talent Acquisition at the foreign exchange company Travelex, believes that those who do not feel included will not hesitate to look elsewhere for better opportunities. “Sometimes, lack of diversity at senior levels within a business can be due to lack of recruitment at that level/lack of attrition,” Gillard says. “It’s worth looking at the diversity across the business with new hires over the last couple of years, to see if there is diversity across new hires coming in to the business but also checking to see if there are any trends in new hire attrition – ensuring you are genuinely offering an inclusive environment for everyone (or is a company just saying they are inclusive but people from different genders, ethnicities, background, identities etc choosing to leave as they aren’t finding it inclusive).”

 

If you don’t have a really brilliant, gorgeous mix of people in jobs at senior levels in all functions and all organisations, then you’re missing out on a big talent pool

 

Danielle Harmer, Chief People Officer, Metro Bank

…and question whether you understand the benefits of diversity…

Understanding the clear business benefit of having diverse teams, Metro Bank’s Chief People Officer, Danielle Harmer, questions why more employers are not tapping into a diverse talent pool. She goes on to say: “If you don’t have a really brilliant, gorgeous mix of people in jobs at senior levels in all functions and all organisations, then you’re missing out on a big talent pool and why on earth would you do that? Ultimately you just want a really diverse candidate pool and then be able to choose the best person for the role.”

…and take action NOW…

As Brian Krzanich, CEO of global tech firm Intel, previously shared: “It’s time to step up and do more. It’s not good enough to say we value diversity,” it’s true that there is a real difference in saying and doing. While many employees have shared their pledges for better diversity, it’s clear more action needs to be taken in order to better represent all employees, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

 

Businesses do take D&I seriously…

Diversity is at forefront of many businesses. These days the most employee-minded organisations excel at inclusion for all genders, ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations and disabilities, both mental and physical. For example: Diageo, the multinational beverage giant, is insistent that diversity forms part of its core business strategy. With five women on their Board of ten, they also quiz potential partners on their diversity praxis. Chief Finance Officer Kathryn Mikells, previously said: “When I go into a pitch for banking or accountancy services, I always ask about the diversity of the team.”

 

…but business leadership isn’t diverse…

Earlier this year executive recruitment and diversity consultancy Green Park released its fourth annual BAME 100 Business Leaders index, discovering that the number of BAME UK board members has flatlined over the last year. In fact, since Green Park’s index was launched three years ago, only 28 of the 178 leaders shortlisted have taken on new roles. It’s a failure in diversity hiring for senior positions.

 

 

…and this means employees can feel unsupported…

This slow progress impacts the UK’s BAME employee base. The Equality Group commissioned a study of eight million BAME Brits which discovered that half of respondents noted that there are no prominent role models of their ethnic profile in positions they aspire to reach professionally. This is despite almost half of all UK BAME citizens stating they would feel supported if there was more BAME representation at board or director level.

 

 

…and the picture across the board is bleak

It’s not just BAME employees who are underrepresented: women are too. Figures from the 2019 Hamilton-Alexander review found of firms making up the FTSE 100 less than a third had women members. The review, which was established by former UK PM Theresa May, was designed to examine the gender gap in the top tier of UK business and set a target of one third of board members to be women at the 350 largest-listed firms by the end of 2020.

 

 

…yet diversity is good for business…

With statistics demonstrating that a more inclusive and diverse workforce can drive profit – a study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies who have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation – it is in the best interests of a company to ensure it is delivering its message for diversity from the top down.

 

 

…and diverse leadership is good for employees…

Employees look up to their leaders as role models, however if there is not a single diverse member within a company’s c-suite, it’s likely that employees will struggle to relate to their leaders if they feel underrepresented. This is a notion Emily Lofting-Kisakye, HR Director at retailer Urban Outfitters, agrees with. She told HR Grapevine: “It’s important it starts from the top down. It’s also really important that we go all the way down the chain and everybody hears that same message.”

 

If you don’t have a really brilliant, gorgeous mix of people in jobs at senior levels in all functions and all organisations, then you’re missing out on a big talent pool

Danielle Harmer,
Chief People Officer, Metro Bank

 

 

 

…so check your recruitment rates if you want a more diverse leadership…

James Gillard, Head of Talent Acquisition at the foreign exchange company Travelex, believes that those who do not feel included will not hesitate to look elsewhere for better opportunities. “Sometimes, lack of diversity at senior levels within a business can be due to lack of recruitment at that level/lack of attrition,” Gillard says. “It’s worth looking at the diversity across the business with new hires over the last couple of years, to see if there is diversity across new hires coming in to the business but also checking to see if there are any trends in new hire attrition – ensuring you are genuinely offering an inclusive environment for everyone (or is a company just saying they are inclusive but people from different genders, ethnicities, background, identities etc choosing to leave as they aren’t finding it inclusive).”

 

 

…and question whether you understand the benefits of diversity…

Understanding the clear business benefit of having diverse teams, Metro Bank’s Chief People Officer, Danielle Harmer, questions why more employers are not tapping into a diverse talent pool. She goes on to say: “If you don’t have a really brilliant, gorgeous mix of people in jobs at senior levels in all functions and all organisations, then you’re missing out on a big talent pool and why on earth would you do that? Ultimately you just want a really diverse candidate pool and then be able to choose the best person for the role.”

 

 

…and take action NOW…

As Brian Krzanich, CEO of global tech firm Intel, previously shared: “It’s time to step up and do more. It’s not good enough to say we value diversity,” it’s true that there is a real difference in saying and doing. While many employees have shared their pledges for better diversity, it’s clear more action needs to be taken in order to better represent all employees, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

 


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