Five Diversity & Inclusion practices that work

Programmes designed to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace often fail. Make sure that your D&I programme isn’t one of them with five evidence-based recommendations from the Harvard Business Review. If you haven’t got time to read the full article, please scan our quick summary below. 


  1. Collect, count and compare

By collecting and analysing data on diversity over time, comparing the numbers with those of other similar organisations, and sharing them with key stakeholders, companies can increase accountability and transparency around diversity issues. If a company is found to have far fewer women in senior positions relative to comparable companies, this exercise will flag up the need to increase female headcount. Sharing the goals with key stakeholders promotes accountability, boosting motivation to achieve them.


  1. Use alternative complaint systems

About half of all discrimination and harassment complaints lead to some kind of retaliation or career challenges further down the line. This can be countered by employing alternatives to legal grievance mechanisms, e.g., Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs). Run frequently by external parties, EAPs offer free and confidential advice to employees to help tackle D&I issues. From companies’ perspectives, they can transform the perception of complaints from threats to insights that trigger positive change.


  1. Test for biased technology

Technology can increase the risk of perpetuating and even exacerbating group-based inequalities. Biases and discrimination can creep into corporate screening, hiring and evaluation processes. Companies need to deploy new technologies designed to reduce this risk. They must test them and deal with any issues before they implement them at scale. Partnering with a trusted, professional recruitment expert also offers a good solution in this regard.


  1. Beware of the small numbers problem

When individuals belong to underrepresented groups – such as racial minorities or women – they may be subjected to subconscious stereotype-based evaluations or tokenism. To combat these biases, companies should increase the representation of particular minority groups and provide them with more visibility internally and externally. Hiring for multiple similar positions at the same time, rather than at spaced-out intervals, is another effective strategy.


  1. Involve managers from the outset

There’s no one-size-fits-all D&I policy. Every organisation is different. Involving managers and leaders in the design process from the outset is vital for your D&I efforts to hit the right note. Doing so provides a reality-check early on, increases buy-in and smooths implementation.


In conclusion, there is no silver bullet for D&I issues. But the above insights offer valuable tools to help you progress along your journey to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.


We hope you found this article interesting and informative. If your current HR challenges are more of a recruitment-based flavour, please get in touch. ABL, the UK’s leading multilingual recruitment agency, is here to help. With a vast and constantly growing pool of talented, active job seekers on our books, we will match all your current vacancies to outstanding candidates. Please give us a call on 020 7092 3939 or email us at today!