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Together we can go further and create an inclusive HR Process for all

We are delighted to welcome our first guest blogger to GenAnalytics.

Dr Julie McElroy epitomises drive, motivation and passion. This Scotswoman has an impressive CV, including being awarded her PhD from the University of the West of Scotland in 2017. Over the years she has become an advocate of equality, inclusion, accessibility. More recently, her work has covered looking at improving equalities practices in workplaces. She shares some of her personal experiences of the challenges she has encountered when securing employment.

Together we can go further and create an inclusive HR Process for all

I believe that a new innovative approach is required to ensure people with impairments are welcomed and respected by employers across the private, public and third sectors. It requires forward-thinking organisations who are looking for ways to improve their business confidence and capability in meeting the needs of accessibility. There are business benefits for attracting people with impairments who have talents. It is also about cultivating the mind-set of all employees within organisations to what they can do to welcome people with impairment in an accessible, cost-saving and inclusive way.

Inclusive leadership leads to positive impacts:

Inclusive Leadership is about treating people and groups fairly based on their unique characteristics, rather than acting on biases derived from stereotypes. Different backgrounds and perspectives lead to a variety of ideas, knowledge, and new ways of doing things. By ensuring that your team includes staff from a range of social and cultural backgrounds, you will widen the range of perspectives, knowledge, and approaches from which decisions are made.

My own most recent employment success was supported and informed by inclusive leadership. This influential senior manager demonstrated that with his leadership style and authority he could make an impact in creating, changing or managing a very traditional workplace culture. His actions and my experience show that in an inclusive setting, leaders can shape the organisation behaviours, attitudes towards hiring and working with people with disabilities.  The key to engaging employees with a disability is to understand the individual’s needs and acknowledge decisions taken by individuals followed by being open-minded about situation and assess each part as they come. The cornerstone of success of ‘people’ leadership skills is based on feeling adept to dealing with others, we are individually different at the end of the day. But we all want to feel valued and to make a contribution to those organisations that we work for.

Organisational culture, why it matters:

Organisations who embrace diversity, equality and inclusivity can ignite harmony. From my experiences, I have experienced many “toxic” cultural environments. I can sense them as soon as I go into organisations and I believe it is created by the values, beliefs and behaviours of the people who work there and its leadership. All these elements shape how a potential candidate is likely to be welcomed and the experience they are likely to have.

I believe greater openness will ensure that more individuals with impairments will be allowed to fulfil their aspirations. Increasing the profile and opportunities for individuals with impairment in the organisation will ensure the stigma and assumptions are addressed. Therefore, it is time to start thinking about values based cultures. By sharing common principles of inclusive workplaces it becomes ‘automatic’ to embed these values into everyday operation and that includes in your recruitment practices..

I believe we can make that change in Scotland. Let’s now take the opportunity to implement an inclusive ethos where a diverse workforce can be celebrated with an array of a talents shared by everyone.

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Why we can’t afford to hit pause on the Gender Pay Gap

With the heatwave, a World Cup and the start of the summer holidays, April 2018 now seems like a long time ago…

Yet rewind three months back and many of us were waiting for the final wave of organisations to report their gender pay gap – the first time ever organisations with over 250 employees were required to do so in the UK.

At the time there was a significant amount of media coverage, a lot of commentary about the causes of the gap, some incredulity at the high figures reported, some misunderstandings on the difference between the pay gap and equal pay, and some fake news questioning the very existence of the gap at all.

Fast forward three months later and whilst we’re in summer-time mode it appears as if it’s all quiet on the pay gap front.

At GenAnalytics we’re using the summer months to ask organisations to really focus on understanding the causes of their gender pay gap, to undertake competitor benchmarking, and begin to implement the steps required to close the gap.

With just over nine months to go before the 2019 reporting deadline we can’t allow this to become a once a year tick box exercise with the pay gap drawer being open and shut once every twelve months.

Here’s why:

• 78% of employers in the UK with 250 staff or more pay men more than women
• The industries with the highest gaps reported include financial services, utilities, manufacturing, construction, professional and scientific, transportation, and retail
• The UK has a higher gender pay gap than the OECD average
• Scotland’s pay gap although marginally less than the rest of the UK is still higher than the OECD average
• Closing the gender pay gap in Scotland would contribute an additional £6.5bn to the economy

So for those employers who are committed to closing the gender pay gap, talk to GenAnalytics about the insights we can provide to support you.

We have been undertaking benchmark analysis for employers in transport and logistics, construction, legal, and financial services. Our advice to any organisation is based around the following principles:

• Ownership
• Accountability
• Honesty
• Transparency
• Data Analysis
• Measurement
• People Investment
• Action for change
• Continuous tracking

Let’s keep the gender pay gap on the agenda. It is the right thing to do but for businesses seeking to attract and retain talent and beat the competition – it’s the smart thing to do.

For a confidential discussion about the gender gap gap or wider diversity challenges please contact us.

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The greatest award is doing something you are proud of

It takes time, effort and energy to complete award applications. You might need to speak to different departments to get all the relevant information, you might need to get a sign off from managers before submitting an entry, so perhaps when you get an email or see an alert on another awards event you file it into the ‘nice-to-do but not essential’ pile of work.

Here’s why we think that Scotland’s Diversity Awards are different and that, regardless of your business, your company size, if you are in the third sector or the public or the private, or if you are an individual then you should be applying today.

Diversity in our economy and our workplaces seriously matters.

Workplaces that are not inclusive and that don’t embrace diversity will be outperformed by those who do.

Organisations who take diversity and inclusion seriously, who recognise that there is a long road ahead but who are on the journey, and who recognise that diversity of talent and thought are crucial to their ongoing success have the opportunity to shine at Scotland’s Diversity Awards.

Now in its third year, we are inviting entries from individuals and from organisations who are standing up to be counted as we continue to drive forward on the diversity and inclusion journey.

We have recognised companies large and small, charities, campaigns, and inspiring individuals in the first two years of these awards. We want to build on this and grow our network of Scotland’s Diversity Champions.

We know you are out there. We see the great work being done to close the gender pay gap, to break down barriers to inclusive recruitment, to overcome outdated perceptions, and to stamp out dated practices.

It’s time for you to get the recognition that your organisation deserves and we can truly build momentum towards the creation of an inclusive and diverse economy and society.

Now is the time to enter Scotland’s Diversity Awards. It’s not a nice to do – it’s essential.

Scotland’s Diversity Awards