If this year’s Oscars are anything to go by then it seems that the issue of diversity really does affect all industries, with even the stars of Hollywood not exempt from the inequalities that still remain amongst race, gender, pay and more.
Diversity is an issue that has always been high on the agenda for HR professionals, but merely paying attention to the subject isn’t enough, not to mention the fact it was never good enough in the first place. Moreover, it’s become obvious when only the minimum standards have been met, whether that’s out of sheer laziness or in order to be politically correct, it’s a transparent route to take.
It’s important to note that whilst the diversity issue rages on, globally we have revolutionised attitudes and policies relating to the LGBT community. Whether it’s stars such as Laverne Cox or Caitlyn Jenner who have paved the way for change within the and outside of the LGBT community, or social media helping to raise awareness of race and gender issues, the point is they are being addressed on some level.
That isn’t to say that the hard work is over and we can rest on our laurels, but perhaps the ice has started to melt on the subject and the only way is up. Mandatory gender pay gap reporting has been introduced in the UK, but it’s estimated it will take around 118 years for this gap to be closed.
Admittedly, diversity is a tough thing to crack both socially and within business, if you aren’t diverse enough you receive criticism and if you’re too diverse (if there is such a thing) then you receive criticism again. Even when corporations such as the BBC take a stand and tackle diversity head on, with diverse show line ups such as Top Gear, negative attention is received for taking diversity too far. We should be applauding the BBC for taking a public stand, albeit a subtle one but it’s a step in the right direction nonetheless.
Diversity is so much more than race or gender, diversity is itself diverse, it embraces knowledge, experience, education, religion, upbringing and more. It’s more than just a box to be ticked on an application form, it has roots within all businesses.
Diversity isn’t just how we look, it’s how we work, interact with one another, think, and ultimately how we get the job done. And shouldn’t that be the goal; it doesn’t matter what we look like or where we come from, a diverse workplace creates a better culture, which creates better employees and ultimately, a more successful business.
Diversity thrives in all areas of business, it doesn’t start or stop within the HR department, and diversity should have its roots firmly set at the core of all businesses. A dedicated Diversity Champion can help to ensure diversity is always firmly on the agenda for all employees, no matter their job title.
Unity is essential, so take the time to turn your employees into brand ambassadors for diversity, find out what it means for your business and you’ll soon see where it will take you. A united team can go a low way in helping your business to flourish, and with diverse thoughts, attitudes, learning processes and energies, you’ll have a workforce with diversity running through their veins.
Now is the time to take a look at your current diversity policy, and if you think you’re doing enough, then the answer is you probably aren’t. In a world of savvy employees, falling behind isn’t an option and only the most diverse will succeed.