Last week GenAnalytics and The Herald brought together nearly 200 individuals from the public, private and third sector for the first Diversity Conference in Scotland.
Following the success of the inaugural Diversity Awards in October last year we wanted to continue to share stories of organisations really making a difference in embedding diversity throughout their workforce. And we knew that we still have to continue to reach out to as many businesses as possible to sell the business case for Diversity – to mainstream this as an economic issue.
Last week we heard about the business benefit to Scotland if we could close the gender pay gap – stubbornly sitting at 16%.
We heard about women in North Ayrshire who earn £180 a week less than men – and the recognition from that local authority that women are central to achieving inclusive economic growth. We also learned about the inescapable link between child poverty and women not in work or in low paid jobs.
Listening to our speakers talk about Diversity as good for the business, good for attracting and retaining talent, good for culture and moral amongst teams, we also heard about the challenges that remain – the uncomfortable conversations we still need to have on race and ethnic minorities participation in the workforce. We were reminded as well on the importance of an inclusive work culture so that everyone, regardless of their background, race or sexuality felt comfortable in their place of work to enable them to be able to do their jobs.
We are making progress – certainly the collective opinions on the day from our delegates and speakers recognised that – however the overwhelming conclusion was that we are only just at the beginning of truly mainstreaming diversity.
This is our focus at GenAnalytics.
We are working with organisations unlock the business and economic potential that a diverse workforce will deliver. There is still a lack of data and evidence on gender equality across all of Scotland’s main industries, on the participation of ethnic minorities, on the potential that we could harness from more people with a disability securing jobs.
We will continue to use data to mainstream Diversity.
This is what GenAnalytics set out to do just over 18 months ago. We are also on a journey but in this short period of time we have worked with some fantastic partners who share our mission and ambition. We look forward to continuing our work with them and identifying new companies and organisations to work with until we can truly say that we have unlocked the economic potential of everyone in our economy.