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.