6 November 2017


#CBI2017 Blog: Diversity by Design - How to get much better results

How to improve diversity in your business? Insight from our fringe event at #CBI2017 Annual Conference

#CBI2017 Blog: Diversity by Design - How to get much better results

Building more diverse and inclusive workplaces is a top priority for many organisations. As the UK population changes and technology advances, drawing talent from the widest pool gives organisations a competitive advantage. But how does diversity and inclusion actually drive performance? And how can organisations change their recruitment and progression practices to see results?

These questions were at the heart of this morning’s insight seminar Diversity By Design – How to get much better results, generously sponsored by Accenture and led by inclusion consultancy, Diversity By Design.

The crucial question facing many organisations is how their investment in inclusion can be realised to unlock the diversity dividend. For Diversity By Design, recognising that diversity and inclusion is an approach to talent, rather than a ‘thing’ to be done, is an important starting point. Constructing teams of difference – with diversity in both who people are and how they work – requires firms to identify exactly where diversity is lacking and what the causes may be.

The question of how firms can address these barriers is high up business’ agenda at a time when progress towards greater diversity and inclusion is slow. To address it, Diversity By Design shared practical steps to help firms embed diversity and inclusion as business as usual.

It starts with leaders clearly articulating why diversity and inclusion benefits their business and communicating an appetite for change. This means setting clear targets and measures of progress to make the aim of greater diversity and inclusion tangible and achievable. It is only by designing recruitment and progression processes differently that organisations will see results. This means thinking differently about the job advertising, application and interview processes so that firms’ recruitment and progression practices actually enables them to hire the best person for the job.

Advertising jobs in different places, determining criteria for roles that move away from people’s background or experience, and assessing people’s competencies against that criterial during assessment are key changes that organisations can make to minimise unconscious bias in their recruitment and progression practices. Doing so will help firms to see higher results on diversity and inclusion, and higher performance in their business.