5 small steps to creating a diverse and inclusive culture

by Rebecca White

Last month, the PRCA published its guidelines on Diversity and Inclusion, providing practical guidance and outlining the business case for making our industry more diverse and inclusive. It’s a huge issue currently, and many businesses might feel slightly overwhelmed when considering how to incorporate the suggested changes into the fabric of their culture.

So, we have put our heads together to research the five small steps you can take on the road to embracing diversity. After all, it is every company’s responsibility to take every step possible.

  1. Set your own diversity goals

These are going to be different for every business, regardless of size and sector, but essentially, these are goals that are relevant to you, and that address the areas you want your company to consider more.

Diversity doesn’t just mean race and gender. It can be religious affiliation, generation, personality type or even thinking style. Remember that hiring based on these factors shouldn’t be the end of your efforts either. Diversity and inclusion should extend to promoting within the business, having discussions that are open to everyone, pitching for new business with a diverse team, and allocating projects fairly.

Set targets to achieve within six months or a year and check in on these regularly. Do this and you will find it becomes less about the word ‘diversity’ and more about adopting a new, and eventually normal, way to do business.

  1. Write your own Diversity and Inclusion strategy

This follows on from creating your own diversity goals but focuses more on the culture of the business itself. A lot of the challenges businesses face centre around not just implementing their ideas on diversity, but ensuring that a diverse workplace quickly becomes normal, established and everyday. This might seem backwards given that diversity is the word of the day, but essentially what we are all working towards is eliminating the need for it to even be an issue. Gather a team together to discuss how you are going to implement these goals, and what your long-term plans are.

  1. Publish your gender pay gap by the 4th April 2018

If you are a UK company with 250 or more employees, the deadline to post details about the gender pay gap within your company is the 4th April. About 9,000 firms will have to do this, so make sure you don’t neglect this responsibility. Theoretically there is nothing stopping smaller companies doing this either. In fact, it would be a very positive thing to do, and would make a company seem very attractive, open and forward thinking, to prospective employers.

  1. Take part in surveys

Irritating though they might sometimes seem, it’s a good idea to pay attention to surveys around this topic for the foreseeable future. There are a lot of companies wanting to find out more about the state of play when it comes to diversity. Questions are being asked about the views and current practices of companies trying to implement their own diversity strategies, so it’s important to put your views forward and take part.

The results may highlight steps you could take, and the more we participate the more research exists. Help build the data!

  1. Talk to your peers

As with anything, this is the way you can gather important information and ideas on how others are dealing with certain situations. Talking to your peers, colleagues, even competitors you have a good relationship with, can ensure you have as broad a view (so to speak) of diversity as possible. It also means you can implement ideas you like the sound of, or strategies that are working for others.

Essentially, making sure organisations are making themselves open and available to the widest number of people will take time. However, there is no time like the present to start, and help further your business, while offering opportunities to exciting new talent, that you might currently be missing out on.