Diversity, Equality and Inclusion: Good for Business

Interim Head of Business Nuala Murphy takes a look at why diversity, equality and inclusion have never been more important.

‘Supporting women in work to achieve their ambitions, whatever they may be, has been a focus of mine over the past eight years through my voluntary capacity as a Lean In Network leader. We have seen thousands of women from across all industries benefit from being part of the Lean In Circle programme in their communities and organisations.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark

The benefits have seen eight out of 10 women saying that being part of a supportive group has had a positive impact on their lives, in work we have seen those who wanted a promotion, change in working patterns or indeed change in career, fulfil their goals.

Companies with more women on their boards, perform better. Mixed gender startups raise more money and build more inclusive products. More diverse teams perform better.

Since taking up my role with Diversity Mark, I have been encouraged to see the commitment among the growing number of signatories to their ‘Mark of Progress’ across Ireland and the UK. There is no doubt the pandemic shone a light on the disproportioned work women do at home and in work compared to male colleagues and partners and as such, leaders had to take heed and find ways to better support and enable their employees.

According to the McKinsey LeanIn.org Women In The Workplace study 2021: “At a time when the stakes have never been higher, women are showing up as better people-focused leaders and stronger advocates for diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) they are more likely, than men at their levels, to take consistent steps to promote employee well-being, such as checking in on their team members and helping them manage their workloads.

“They are also more likely to support DEI initiatives and to be active allies to women of colour. But although this work drives better outcomes for all employees, it is going largely overlooked by companies.”

The key findings

More than 90% of companies track women’s overall representation, but only 65% track gender differences in promotion rates.

Almost 70% of companies hold senior leaders accountable for progress on diversity goals – but only 30% hold managers, who play a critical role in hiring and promotion decisions, accountable. Only 34% of employees have participated in anti-racism training in the past year.

Senior-level women are twice as likely as senior-level men to spend substantial time on DEI work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities.

Some 86% of companies say it’s “very or extremely” critical that managers support their team members’ well-being, but only twenty-five percent formally recognise those who do this – and a similar trend holds for DEI work.

When managers take action to promote employee well-being and companies prioritise DEI, employees are happier, less burned out, and less likely to consider leaving their company.

To drive change, companies need to invest deeply in all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To improve representation of all women across the pipeline, companies need to double down on reducing bias in reviews and promotions, and they need to hold leaders and managers accountable for progress. But diversity in numbers isn’t enough. Companies also need to create a culture that fully leverages the benefits of diversity – one in which women, and all employees, feel comfortable bringing their unique ideas, perspectives, and experiences to the table.

What action can we take?

You can start and continue your own journey by joining the rapidly growing Diversity Mark community of signatories across Ireland and the UK and commit to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace where all employees can feel valued and supported to do their best work. We want to support you and enable your success in this area. Not only will it help you attract and retain staff, but it will contribute to building a more equal, representative and inclusive society that at the end of the day is good for our economy.’

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Version 1 NI Awarded the Diversity Mark Bronze Accreditation

Huge congratulations to all the team Version 1 for being awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation. The Diversity Mark Accreditation is a ‘Mark of Progress’ that publicly declares commitment to building more diverse and inclusive workplaces to benefit all employees.

Jonas Cella, co-chair of the Version 1 NI commented:

“Receiving the Bronze Diversity Mark is an important milestone for us. It shows we are on the right track to have a diverse and inclusive workplace and makes Version 1 a great place to work in Northern Ireland. At Version 1 diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice we make every day”

Christine White, Head of Diversity Mark added:

“We are delighted to recognise Version 1 for their commitment to Diversity by awarding them the Bronze Diversity Mark accreditation.   

Our independent assessment panel commended Version 1 on a reflective application looking at a variety of specific and strategic interventions which will have the potential to collectively shape a truly inclusive culture and begin to address the gender balance across all levels of their business.

 We congratulate everyone at Version 1 on this achievement and look forward to working with them on their Diversity journey over the next number of years.”

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Belfast entrepreneur Nuala Murphy named interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark

Nuala Murphy, who joins Diversity Mark as interim Head of Business

Diversity Mark NI are delighted to announce that Belfast entrepreneur Nuala Murphy has been confirmed as interim Head of Business.

Nuala founded Lean in Belfast in 2013, the volunteer-run chapter of the non-profit group created by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. The group, which began as a small network of peers from all walks of professional life, now boasts 3,000 members across Ireland.

During lockdown last year, Nuala also set up the Women’s Investor Ready Project, a community interest group dedicated to changing the stat of investment in women entrepreneurs regionally.

She will join Diversity Mark on a 14-month basis while the firm’s current head of business Christine White, is on maternity leave.

With a commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, Diversity Mark enables organisations to identify and take action on any institutional barriers facing underrepresented groups. Founded in 2016 by Women in Business, Diversity Mark now represents 80,000 employees in Northern Ireland.

In her new role, Nuala will bring her skills and global experience in diversity and inclusion and will be focused on expanding Diversity Mark’s reach to include the rest of Ireland and the UK, helping the organisation achieve its objectives in 2021 and beyond. She will channel her passion and commitment to building a more equal society, working with companies from all sectors as they commit to advancing diversity and inclusion to benefit all employees.

Nuala said: “It is a real honour to carry on Christine’s mantle as Head of Business at Diversity Mark, an organisation that has become such a vital proponent of workplace inclusivity across Northern Ireland.

“For years I’ve been an impassioned advocate for women’s equality and have a deep commitment to creating workplaces where every person has a seat at the table and a chance to be heard. Never has there been a better time to have organisations sign up to commit to diverse and inclusive strategies and practice and I am very much looking forward to building on the momentum and success that the Diversity Mark team has achieved to date.

“I am calling on companies and those I have worked with in the past to get in touch with Diversity Mark NI to begin their diversity journey.”

In her first month in post, Nuala will be involved in a fireside chat “Emerging Stronger” with Danske Bank’s Gender Diversity Network. The event will be an honest conversation of how challenges of lockdown were overcome and how to thrive in the new normal, with Nuala talking about her experience during the past year and how it led to her taking up her new role with Diversity Mark.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.