Building diverse and inclusive workplaces

Building diverse and inclusive workplaces

Diversity: good for people, good for business

There has been significant progress on diversity and inclusion in the workplace over the last few years, but we need to pick up the pace of progress. Diverse workplaces can boost performance, lead to innovation, improve productivity, help to engage employees - and all this is better for people too.

The change we're calling for

We're calling on business to make diversity and inclusion a priority across all areas of the organisation, creating an environment where everyone has the chance to succeed, prosper and feel welcome. Business leaders can help to create change by challenging previously accepted practices, setting priorities from the top, and empowering every employee.

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    Ensure equal opportunity across recruitment, progression and development – regardless of age, disability, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or anything else

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    Adopt good practice, such as improving employee engagement, inclusive recruitment practices, clear progression routes, and more

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    Set clear objectives and develop a roadmap for how you’ll meet them, measuring your progress along the way

Why it's needed

Companies are committed to gender equality: the compliance rate with the first round of gender pay gap reporting was 100%, and according to the 2018 CBI/Pertemps Employment Trends Survey, 93% of employers are taking action to close the gap. The number of female directors on FTSE 100 boards has more than doubled between 2010 and 2018.

But there is still more work to do. Barriers exist, from entry to board level, that still prevent people from reaching their potential. Businesses can lead the way in creating an environment where everyone has the chance to succeed.

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"Building workplaces that have the best of all of our talent from all walks of life has never been more important. For the UK to globally compete for people and skills, every business leader has a role to play in convincing the quiet sceptics of the importance of diversity and inclusion for UK prosperity."

Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General, CBI

Inclusive businesses perform better

Getting diversity right creates advantages for everybody

There is significant evidence to suggest that diverse groups enjoy better performance - but there are wider economic advantages too. In fact, the business case is watertight.

  • Firms with the highest levels of gender and ethnic diversity are between 15% and 35% more likely to outperform their rivals.

  • Diverse and inclusive workplaces mean employees are better able to innovate (+83%) and are more engaged (+101%).

  • Full representation of BAME individuals across the labour market would give the UK economy a boost of £24 billion per year – 1.3% of UK GDP.

Our progress and impact

The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  1. Are you a business leader?

    Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK.

    Join the voice of business, and help us campaign to build a diverse and inclusive workforce.

    Find out more
  2. Are you a CBI member?

    Have your say

    A diverse range of talent creates a more productive working environment. Shape our policy position on this matter and help drive change.

    Get involved
  3. Are you a policymaker?

    Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's People & Skills team.

    Contact Matthew Percival, Director of People and Skills, to find out about the change UK business urgently needs and how you can support it.

    Contact us