How will Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion be a Critical Foundation for Success in the Workplaces of Tomorrow?

By Shruti Ambavat

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) plays a critical role in the UK’s labour market. A 2022 report by The Chartered Management Institute shines a light on these statistics:

  • Over half (52%) of employees believe their identity hindered career advancement.
  • A staggering 6.9 million employees have faced workplace discrimination due to their background.
  • A majority (51%) have witnessed or personally experienced discrimination.

There is an urgent need for businesses to bridge the gap between recognising the importance of EDI and taking concrete action. Transparency in data collection and government-led initiatives are crucial to unlocking the full potential of a diverse workforce. This, in turn, maximises business potential and boosts economic effectiveness.

The benefits of EDI, however, extend far beyond avoiding legal repercussions. Numerous studies show that diverse and inclusive workplaces foster higher employee satisfaction and retention, ultimately leading to increased productivity.

Benchmarking in EDI and Talent Attraction and Retention

Christine White, Director at Diversity Mark spoke at the recently concluded National Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in the Workplace Conference 2024 in Belfast emphasising benchmarking in EDI. “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” Benchmarking is a data driven process that helps you create your own standards to measure success.

Attracting and retaining the right talent is the key reason for organisations to adopt best EDI practises today. Generation Z (aged 12-27), for example, prefer work-life balance, fair pay, purpose and EDI and value alignment. They are not shy in asking for data, EDI strategy, impact and goals, and are ready to walk away from an employer that does not align with their values.  

Organisations such as Diversity Mark support companies in benchmarking EDI. It takes the companies from basic EDI compliance level to trailblazers in their industry.

Neurodiversity at Workplace

Approximately 22% of Gen Z identify as neurodivergent and it is estimated that 1 in 10 people in the UK have some degree of dyslexia. But the number of people with neurodivergent traits that are employed is shockingly low. Only 22% autistic adults are employed compared to 52% that identify as being physically disabled.

Cara Marks, Co-founder of SPARK shared these stats. She identifies as being neurodivergent herself. “Many people don’t tick having neurodivergent traits during recruitment as they don’t consider themselves disabled,” she said and emphasised on the crucialness of flexible work arrangements.

The conference was organised by IGPP and was their first one on the island. It included speakers from Diversity Mark, SPARK, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Belfast City Council, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Cara Friend and SYNC Living along with Jude Copeland from Cleaver Fulton Rankin who is an EDI speaker and advocate. They shared case studies of their EDI best practices and its positive impact at their workplace.

If you would like to know how Diversity Mark can support you in your EDI journey, please book a call here.

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