D&I Initiatives can no longer just be viewed as a box-ticking exercise. Businesses must holistically embrace, embed and celebrate inclusion, equality, justice and diversity in their entirety. This includes their staff, products, workplace culture and their sociopolitical role in the world.
One of the reasons that many D&I initiatives fail is that recruitment is perceived as the ultimate marker of success. This limited view of recruitment perpetuates the idea that all businesses need to do is to remove demographic data, create ‘blind CVs’ and approach recruitment through meritocratic ideals. Sadly not. Businesses must start viewing recruitment as one part of their total cultural transformation and understand that hiring initiatives to drive more diversification will largely be unsuccessful if businesses do not first address systemic racism within their organisation.
For example, even if businesses are able to succeed in diversifying their team, unless they are able to also transform the culture into one of inclusion, equity and justice, it’s likely that they are going to struggle to retain talent. Simply having marginalised members in the team is significantly different from those members of the team feeling empowered, celebrated, included and supported.
With recruitment and retention of talent a key barrier for businesses when it comes to diversifying their team and culture, it’s more important than ever that we look at the methods of recruitment, retention and reparative remuneration that actually work on a meaningful scale.
Businesses must consider the systemic influences and barriers that continue to hold generations of marginalised groups back, while giving significant access and opportunity to the more privileged.
We all have to acknowledge the role we play in widening this gap, whether that’s through underpaying marginalised members of the team, limiting their opportunities for promotion or creating a hostile culture that eventually forces them to leave.
At The Future Laboratory, we are taking active steps to dismantle the nepotism, ableism and racism that exist within the recruitment processes we rely on. Here are the new recruitment policies we have implemented.
: Disability access in recruitment
We understand that people with disabilities often feel uncomfortable in the interview process due to fear of discrimination. Many disabled people never mention their disabilities in the workplace. During the hiring process, we will be encouraging potential talent to request ‘reasonable adjustments’ that we need to make for their inclusion and sharing clear options on what we can offer as a business.
: Addressing nepotistic hiring practices
One of the ways that our industry continues to discriminate is through nepotistic hiring practices, such as offering referral bonuses or using internal networks for recommendations. This means that we continue to hire the same people – those who look like us, think like us and sound like us.
: Implementing the Rooney Rule for senior leadership
One of the big issues that all businesses face is the significant lack of diversity at senior leadership level compared with entry and junior level. To address this, we will be implementing the Rooney Rule.
: Affirmative hiring policies
Affirmative hiring practice continues to be one of the most tangible ways that we can address the lack of diversity. Introducing quotas at shortlist and interview stages will continue to ensure that marginalised groups are given opportunities at the first hurdle.
: Expansion of recruitment networks
In addition to our current hiring and recruiting networks, partners and suppliers, we will be sharing any upcoming jobs with specific networks, creative communities and local groups. For our internships and graduate schemes, we will be collaborating with different initiatives to ensure further opportunities are created for marginalised young people.
: Tracking through an equal opportunities form
To ensure that we are measuring and tracking the gaps in our recruitment, we are introducing an equal opportunities form that will be able to capture demographic data from those who want to volunteer that information. Through regular analysis of the data, we can pinpoint where we as a business need to expand our hiring networks.
: Transparent pay bands
We want to remove the systemic barriers that exist when it comes to pay. As we enter 2021, we will be working to dismantle pay disparities through a phased approach to introducing clear and transparent pay bands.
Recruitment is only one of the barriers to diversity and inclusion. We know that we must also address what happens when talent joins our team. In addition to addressing barriers in the hiring process, we remain committed to ensuring that we continue to transform our culture to one that creates a sense of belonging for all, not just the privileged.
Our new recruitment policy can be accessed by all potential talent here. If you want to discuss our approach to D&I, or want advice on how to future-proof your business, get in touch and let’s keep the conversation going.
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