We held our third Diversity Conference in partnership with The Herald yesterday in Glasgow. It was another inspiring day with many organisations talking about the progress that has been achieved but also some challenging conversations about the issues that many individuals across our workplaces still face. You can find out more about the event from our video.
In just under two weeks time we will host Scotland’s third diversity conference with our partners at The Herald. We’ll be hearing from and engaging with speakers from all sectors of the economy and from all backgrounds. Everyone has a story to tell and a message that emphasises that diversity is not an add on – that diversity is vital to economic growth. We can’t be complacent on diversity or pause for a moment thinking that we’ve made enough progress. Diversity needs to stay on the business agenda.
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.
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.
• 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:
• Data Analysis
• 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.
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.
There is growing recognition that to make real progress and deliver real change within our society, our economy and in our workplaces to achieve inclusion everyone has to take responsibility. It is not the Government’s sole responsibility, nor is it the public sector, nor is it the private sector.
The Scottish economy would benefit by additional billions if we achieved gender pay parity – £6.5bn to be exact.
A 5% rise in the employment rate of adults with a disability would see an extra £6bn contribution to the UK economy by 2030.
Full representation of ethnic minorities in the workplace would benefit the economy by £24bn per annum.
Fear of discrimination and exclusion keeps many LGBT employees closeted at work – this is a loss of talent and potential to thousands of workplaces up and down the country.
In 2018, facing the continued economic challenges that we hear about daily, can a business afford not to be Diverse and Inclusive?
When we launched Scotland’s Diversity Conference in May 2017 with The Herald we knew that there was great work going on across Scotland and that there were inspiring individuals working tirelessly to achieve change. At our conference we welcomed over 200 individuals who were all committed to finding out more about what they could do to support their organisation to move forward.
Fast forward into a new year and whilst we are making progress we still face a long road ahead.
Gender Pay Gap legislation, introduced last April requiring all organisations with more than 250 employees to report their pay gap, is still to capture a true reflection of pay across our industries. Just over 10% of 8,000 organisations have reported so far – yet the deadline to report is less than 8 weeks away… We have to seriously ask why this is the case when this is a statutory requirement?
Despite the challenges, we are excited to launch the 2018 Conference to be held in May. Inclusion must be everyone’s business. It must be a standard agenda item on FTSE 100 company boards and on senior management teams in our small to medium sized enterprises. And it must spread across an entire organisation – rhetoric from the top won’t change the behaviours of an entire workforce unless everyone buys in to truly embracing inclusion.
Our 2018 conference will focus on Action and sharing lessons and experiences from organisations on their diversity journey, even if that is just taking the first few steps to developing a strategy and understanding where challenges begin. We will also hear from inspiring individuals who prove that there is no limit to what we can achieve.
It’s 2018 and it is time for action. This is everyone’s collective responsibility. Join us.
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.
Evidence continues to prove that diversity in the workplace is good for bottom line business performance, talent attraction and talent retention.
However, despite the evidence, the pace of change to achieving equality is stubbornly slow. Across the UK the pay gap remains 18% yet in some sectors this is as high as 40%. Women continue to dominate sectors where work is low paid and low skilled. Women are underrepresented in growing sectors including ICT. And, in sectors where women have better representation there are not enough women in senior leadership positions.
Achieving gender equality will need focus and efforts by government, the private and public sector and individuals – there is no quick and easy solution.
Men have a major role to play in ensuring women have the opportunity to achieve their ambitions and potential in the workplace. 99% of companies employing 250 people or more in Scotland are run by men. No Scottish companies who are listed in the FTSE 100 are run by women.
Yet men are often overlooked in terms of their importance to achieving equality and their views are not sought or known.
At GenAnalytics we have recognised the importance of men on this key economic issue and the valuable role they can play in identifying the challenges and solutions to solving this.
That is why we have undertaken the first male attitudes survey on gender equality in Scotland through a range of quantitative and qualitative analysis and the results are insightful.
73% of our respondents believed that we had not achieved gender equality in the workplace in Scotland.
When we asked men to consider if gender equality had been achieved in their industry sector 64% did not consider that it had.
However, despite a perceived lack of progress at industry and national level 79% believed that both women and men were treated equally within their workplace.
Our research and analysis aimed to gain more detailed insights into individual views and when we asked what the barriers were to achieving equality the following quotes represented some of the views received:
“Male Bias at boardroom level”
“Unconscious and conscious bias in Senior Management”
“Ignoring the problem”
“The Old Boys Network”
“People hire people like themselves so status quo is hard to shift”
“Perception that women lose interest after giving birth”
“Structural sexism in wider society and economy is reproduced in the workplace”
Importance of Equality to Future Business Success
Despite a lack of progress and barriers to achieving equality an overwhelming majority of our respondents recognised that this was vital to the future success of their industry.
So we can safely assume from our research so far that there has been a lack of progress yet there is recognition that gender equality is important to a business’s future success.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
As we mentioned at the start of this analysis, the pace of change is still slow and Governments in Scotland and the UK are recognising the power of legislation to drive through change at a faster rate.
This year, all companies employing 250 staff are more will be required to publish gender pay gap information. This will deliver a step change in focusing companies to consider their pay gap and the reasons for it.
Just under a majority of respondents welcomed this legislation believing that additional transparency will reduce inequality. However, we can see from our results that with just under 35% unaware of the legislation there is still work to be done to raise the profile of this new law.
Views on Gender Quotas
We explored the views of me on legislation to support greater gender equality by asking if they supported quotas for women on public and private boards.
Just over half of men surveyed did not support the introduction of quotas on public boards.
In addition, a higher majority – 53% – did not support quotas on private boards.
These results are insightful given the focus at a Scottish Government level to achieve a 50:50 gender balance on all public boards by 2020 and an aspiration to increase women on FTSE Boards over the next few years
Our survey also sought to understand male views to caring responsibilities and family friendly policies within their place of employment.
70% of respondents work for an organisation that promotes shared parental leave and encouragingly 55% of men surveyed stated that they would consider using shared parental leave for their own family circumstances.
Family Friendly Policies
An overwhelming majority of men believed that more family friendly policies will improve gender equality. However, with current low levels of uptake by men on shared parental leave we know there is work still to be done.
To shift the needle and begin to make real progress in achieving gender equality in the workplace we must engage men at all levels and understand their views.
Men across Scotland recognise the importance of diversity for the ongoing success of the industry that they work in and in their own organisations.
However, they are less likely to support legislation and quotas to achieve change. Given the direction of travel in Scotland and the UK to develop and implement legislation to focus the spot light on gender equality and drive change we need to ensure that we continue to talk about the benefits of diversity.
As we have seen regularly in the last few weeks there are still so many misconceptions about women’s work versus men’s work.
There is also an aspiration for men to use shared parental leave for their own family circumstances yet we know what take up of these policies by men remains stubbornly low.
Achieving gender equality in the workplace is not just the right thing to do. It is imperative for economic growth and the future success of our companies and industries.
There is still a long journey ahead of us but at GenAnalytics we are engaging, talking and working with organisations who want to achieve a diverse balance in their workplace – because they recognise it is the smart thing to do.
(This survey was conducted by GenAnalytics in Spring 2017. Respondents were drawn from the public and private sectors and were at all different stages in their careers)
Whilst we are all enjoying the prospect of summer holidays and (hopefully) more good weather ahead, at GenAnalytics and The Herald we are turning our attentions to autumn and our second Diversity Awards.
We launched the Diversity Awards in Scotland last year to showcase and recognise organisations and individuals across all sectors of our economy who are committed to promoting diversity, equality and inclusion within their workplaces.
It was hugely encouraging last year to read all the entry submissions and learn more about the efforts and energies to drive change and achieve inclusion. What we also found was more and more organisations recognising that this was not only the right thing to do but that there were tangible business benefits by adopting diversity and inclusion strategies and implementing them.
Importantly however we also welcomed entries from organisations who were on the early stages of the diversity journey and who acknowledged that whilst progress had been made there was still a long way to go.
That’s why we are back again this year with the Diversity Awards taking place in Glasgow on 12 October.
We are excited to build on the success of our launch last year where over 350 individuals from a truly diverse background joined us to celebrate and recognise achievement.
Our categories have been designed to encourage applications from the public, private and third sector and from individual champions of diversity and inclusion.
You can read more and get all the information on how to apply here Scotland’s Diversity Awards 2017
Once again, we are also hugely grateful to our partners for supporting this event: City of Glasgow College, Diageo, Taylor Wimpey, MacRoberts, Glasgow Life, Solutions Driven, Skills Development Scotland, Royal Mail, Scottish Power, Standard Life, Wheatley Group, and YSC – who are absolutely committed to diversity within their own organisations and across our economy as a whole.
If you or your organisation is working to ensure that people have the opportunities to maximise their potential in the workplace and are committed to driving change then we want to hear from you.
Success attracts success and we want even more organisations to be a part of our Awards this year.
We are looking forward to all the entries and to read and understand more about the leadership being shown across Scotland on diversity, equality, inclusion and opportunities for everyone.
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.
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