We need to stop treating Diversity & Inclusion as a mere box-ticking exercise and start focusing on real sustainable change. See people for who they are, not just for their impact on diversity data, understand their hopes and fears and create a safe and inclusive environment for all.
Analyse your reasons for having a social mobility focus. Remove certain criteria from the job description, if not required, and nurture diversity at all levels, not just in hiring. Keep an eye out for Imposter Phenomenon and sit down with employees impacted by it to understand what feedback and encouragement is beneficial to them. Make sure you value their unique offering to the business.
Showcase examples of Positive Action to address underrepresentation in your organisation. But first, make sure you have evidence of a lack of diversity and how you attempted to address it. Be specific on what you’d like to achieve and be prepared to justify your decisions.
When building your D&I strategy, try targeting less traditional diversity groups as well, particularly candidates with disabilities. Look beyond ways to just accommodate them and consider ways to developing their skills and careers for the future. Make it a business-wide initiative and challenge colleagues to change their perceptions and unconscious bias.
Diversity is important to ensure your organisation stays innovative and productive in a competitive marketplace. However, to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels safe to be their unique self.