Talk is cheap.
Actions speak louder than words.
All familiar phrases that we hear regularly.
It seems lately that there’s still a lot of talk about diversity and equality in the workplace. We are still faced with reading articles about individuals working for global brands where there are searing misconceptions about men’s work and women’s work but no actions or plans in place to change mind-sets and behaviours. Too much chat and not enough positive action.
Just this week we have had more evidence and insights into the reality of pay gaps across the UK. Research by the EHRC has highlighted that:
Women in Scotland are paid 16% less than men
Ethnic Minorities are paid 5.7% less than white people
Disabled people are paid 13.6% less than non-disabled people.
Data doesn’t lie and this reality tells us that we still have a long journey ahead of us to achieve equality in the workplace for all.
Transparency and legislation is helpful in bringing these issues to the boardroom tables and to senior management forums. However, since Gender Pay Gap legislation was introduced in April we have had 48 employers publishing their data. That’s 48 employers currently out of around 9,000 who will be required to publish their details before April 2018.
What’s often missing from conversations is the absolute economic and business benefit that can be gained by greater diversity and inclusion.
McKinsey research states that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform companies that are not. McKinsey also state that if women could achieve parity with men we would see an additional $12 trillion added to global growth.
In the UK, gender equality would boost female earning by £85bn – though at the current rate of change we’d need to wait another 24 years to realise this benefit!
At GenAnalytics we are working with organisations to help them understand the business benefits of diversity, how they can foster an inclusive work culture, and how they can attract and retain talent.
With many industries citing skills shortages as their number one business continuity concern talent needs to be found beyond traditional recruitment practices. For example, in ICT, only 17% of the workforce in Scotland is currently female.
So we are working to change the record from conversation to action. Bold steps, transparency, leadership, ownership, and acknowledgment of challenges is needed from all our companies.
Our future economic growth and business success depends on it. As do the individuals in our society who should be free to achieve their full potential regardless of background, sexuality, race, gender, or disability.