Why is diversity and inclusion a good business idea?
In 2020, the death of George Floyd led to important discussions and actions against racial inequalities, as the BLM movement gained unprecedented momentum. In the UK, 2020 also marked the 15th year since the launch of LGBT History Month. And looking further back, in recent years the introduction of gender pay gap reporting has shed light on the issues of equal pay.
Social media has also played an important role in putting conversations about diversity and inclusion high on the agenda. At the BLM protests in the summer of 2020, people around the world used various networking platforms to show their support. The Pride in London Twitter account has racked up over 83,000 followers, while Kimberle Crenshaw (who coined the term intersectionality, as mentioned above) had over 135,000 Twitter followers at the time of writing.
But it’s not just on social media that calls for more inclusive societies have been made. For example, the BBC reported that post-containment measures failed to take into account the needs of people with disabilities.
These are just a few examples of how diversity and inclusion have become a top priority. And one area where this has been particularly important is business – Forbes, for example, named hiring a diversity manager as one of the primary ways companies can improve diversity and performance. inclusion at work.
In addition to this, the CBI London Business Survey 2020 considered diversity and inclusion at work, in particular the reduction of inequalities, as one of the main concerns of the capital. The CBI is a UK membership organization, representing 190,000 companies. He also helped launch the Change the Race: Ratio initiative in October 2020, which focuses on improving racial equality on the board and senior management.
Some of the larger companies also highlighted their plans to improve inclusion. For example, ITV appointed a Group Director for Diversity and Inclusion in 2020, making it the first FTSE100 company to have a director specifically focused on diversity on its board.
Additionally, Bupa and Mitie are two examples of large UK companies that made it to the top 10 in the 2020/2021 Inclusive Business Rankings. To get a place on this list, organizations had to demonstrate best practices in several aspects of diversity, such as age, disability, gender, etc. This included providing evidence on recruitment and training, as well as data on staff.
One of the benefits for businesses of having a more diverse and inclusive workforce is financial performance. For example, there was a 25% increase in the likely profitability of companies with management teams in the top quartile for gender diversity compared to those in the bottom quartile.
Additionally, leadership teams that were more ethnically diverse had a 36% increase in the likelihood of financial outperformance, when comparing organizations in the bottom and top quartiles for ethnic diversity. It is according to the Diversity wins: report on the importance of inclusion published by McKinsey in 2019.
However, with Google accused of institutional racism, it is clear that more needs to be done to create environments as inclusive as possible.
Still, there are signs of change. At the time of writing, “Diversity and Inclusion” has averaged over 5,000 searches per month, with particular focus over the past 12 months around late September 2020 and early October 2020. Like National Week Inclusion also took place around this time, this could offer a possible explanation for the increased interest.
In addition, “diversity training” had been searched for an average of 1,000 times per month and generated the most interest from early to mid-November 2020, over the past 12 months.
This suggests strong demand for those interested in learning more, with ‘jobs for diversity and inclusion’ also generating 1,000 searches on average per month, and interest peaking around mid-June 2020 during of the last 12 months. On top of that, it suggests that there are professionals looking for work related to diversity and inclusion. So how can you start a business in this space?