GENDER DIVERSITY WHY AREN’T WE GETTING IT RIGHT?

|

article image
As experts in the world of work, Hays consultants are witnessing thousands of selection and hiring decisions every day. We also see the attempts by many corporate entities to identify, educate and implement policies and activities to increase the percentage of women in the workforce. Although many organizations have taken some positive steps towards increasing gender diversity, there is still a need to ensure these policies and initiatives are creating impactful and sustainable change. We wanted to develop a deeper understanding around what can drive positive change in gender diversity, particularly for women in top roles.

Spotlight

Human Resources Focus

We provide Human Resources and WHS (Workplace Health and Safety) services to businesses across Australia. HR Focus were one of the first companies to provide a outsource HR staff service in Australia. Services that we provide are Policies & Procedures, Training, Staff Profiling, coaching, systems and software to manage streamline your HR and WHS internally.

OTHER ARTICLES

Notes from the Trading Desk – Europe

Article | August 10, 2020

Franklin Templeton’s Notes from the Trading Desk offer a weekly overview of what our professional traders and analysts are watching in the markets. The European desk is manned by eight professionals based in Edinburgh, Scotland, with an average of 15 years of experience whose job it is to monitor the markets around the world. Their views are theirs alone and are not intended to be construed as investment advice.

Read More

Diversity Data and Gender Equality: How much do we really want it?

Article | August 10, 2020

We live in a world where equality, in numerous forms, continues to reside at the forefront of many people’s minds. From gender to race and everything in between, things have certainly improved, but there is still a very long way to go. Today, there are a mere six female CEOs in the UK FTSE 100, with the average male CEO earning 17% more than the average female CEO. Gender equality has been in the spotlight far longer than other protected characteristics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age and it continues to remain prominent. And here, CEO and founder of AssessFirst, the innovative artificial intelligence recruitment firm, David Bernard, asks why, if we are losing the battle for gender equality in the FTSE 100, we should expect to see diversity, equity and inclusion successes across a much wider cross section of the business community. A race to equality and diversity The business case for gender, cultural and ethnic diversity is strong, and is only getting stronger. Since 2015, McKinsey has conducted extensive research and produced compelling reports that demonstrate ironically, whilst the business case for diversity is robust, international progress is weak. The latest reports show that those pushing ahead with gender diversity are 25% more likely to financially outperform companies in the bottom quartile. What’s more, for ethnic and cultural diversity, the top quartile companies are 36% more likely to be profitable than bottom quartile companies. The UK (aside from the US) leads the way with gender equality on executive teams. But representation here only grew by 5% between 2014 and 2019. McKinsey's global data set for 2017-2019 shows a mere 1% increase. This pitiful and indeed slowing progress is a problem. We need to do better. Yes, the UK and the US lead the way with gender diversity, but there is still a long way to go, and neighboring countries need to make quick and impactful changes. And, let’s not forget, whilst gender equality is of pressing importance, businesses and leaders should ensure that other cases, such as culture and ethnicity, are considered no less important. A knock-on effect I see a lack of diversity and equality in workforces as a psychological manifestation of who we are. We, as are all humans, are programmed to find differences in our perceptions distasteful. We just do not like change - even if we adapt to it in the end - and even 'feedback' on our actions is naturally offensive to us. So, with that in mind, it is inevitable that we have ended up in a situation where we have an echo chamber of talent that isn't necessarily supported by objective performance data. The problem manifests itself everywhere; from the executive hires in the world's biggest companies to the latest bartender pulling pints at the local pub. Conventional hiring and recruitment, such as only using a CV to identify and rank talent, is part of the root cause of bias decision-making (however implicit it may be) because the initial filter sifts candidates based on their upbringing, education, experience, or even appearance. We are, thankfully, at the start of a movement of change. But this is a problem that is hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of years in the making. We need to unpick that problem with a collaborative and collective effort. Covid-19 impacted diversity, equality and inclusion progress There has been a polarization of diversity, equality and inclusion efforts, also known as DE&I, as a fallout of Covid-19, the ongoing pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns. In the spring of 2020, companies rightly turned their attention to the Covid-19 crisis. Most have continued to do so – either to stay afloat or even gain a competitive advantage – which meant DE&I became more of a focus for some whilst a matter of less significance for others. Those that deprioritized DE&I - perhaps as a short-term measure to consolidate HR and hiring resources - have weakened their position; whether that is in their ability to retain, recruit, or mobilize their workforce, or even all those stages in the talent lifecycle. Diverse talent is often most at-risk during times of challenge and hardship, as downsizing can have a disproportionate impact on roles held by those from more diverse backgrounds. And with increased home-working practices, all manner of inequalities can manifest in ways that will hit the bottom line and badly impact minorities. For example, those who are managing childcare responsibilities during periods of isolation or school closures or those who are living in shared accommodation may be frequently working against the odds in order to keep pace with their peers. Without a diverse collective of perspective catering to a diverse workforce, these problems can multiply to cripple performance from the ground up. The acceleration of DE&I The generational leap of tech-first remote working for so many companies provided an opportunity to build inclusive and agile cultures. Though we may be coming out of the ‘crisis', there remains a golden opportunity – and one that businesses should seize. Traditional management structures, reinforced by physical office environments, have been fundamentally changed forever - even if we see a hybrid home-office working pattern become the norm from this point onward. With this revolution, HR departments find themselves in a situation a pathway to achieving diversity and inclusion goals seems more realistic. Make or break: what’s next? There is no silver bullet. There is much to consider and even more to do. But, with a few simple changes, real and meaningful progress is possible. What encourages me is that with all the companies that I speak to, particularly within the UK, there is almost wholesale agreement that this is an important issue - notwithstanding the economic arguments. However, the same cannot be said for all other countries across the globe. The most common question I receive from those who recognize the criticality of this however is, "But, where do we start?" And to that, my response is always the same; "What is the data telling you? What is your workforce saying about your DE&I efforts?" We must know what the scale of the problem is before we can tackle it. Every single company is unique, and the manner of their ideal solution is unique to suit. Once the problem is identified, I recommend a few ideas that can be considered to start spinning the wheels of change: 1) Get unbiased views of candidate potential (internal and external) 2) Consult with your DE&I team, committee, or lead when publishing job descriptions 3) Implement DE&I training for your workforce 4) Offer remote working opportunities where practical and appropriate I'm proud that AssessFirst continues to help companies of all shapes and sizes with their DE&I goals through our data-led psychometric technology. We practice what we preach with our own remote workforce and using this technology as part of our own talent lifecycle management. But I recognize that fantastic technology is most effective when it is embedded as a part of a wider reaching strategy. I have hope for the future, though there is ongoing work to do, and there will be for quite some time. But as the UK economy stirs back to life within what feels like the closing chapters of ‘crisis’, we can also bring the equality gaps to a close with renewed urgency. Working in partnership with a handful of partners in the UK, we created a Diversity and Inclusion strategy guide.

Read More

12 tips for managing your calendar like a pro

Article | August 10, 2020

Calendar management isn’t always as simple as filling in your appointments and making sure there are no overlaps. It’s also helpful to use certain tips and tricks to keep that calendar running smoothly, especially if you’re trying to juggle many aspects of your life and you know some unexpected changes might pop up along the way.

Read More

4 Ways Blockchain Can Revolutionize Human Resource Management

Article | August 10, 2020

HR is often considered the heart of an organization. A well-managed and efficient HR team is uniquely positioned to completely change a business. From curating culture to processing payroll to administering benefits, HR touches every aspect of the employee experience. Today, however, much of HR’s work is tedious and manual. But certain technologies—like blockchain—have been helping HR teams around the globe automate their day-to-day processes, freeing them up to focus on strategic initiatives.

Read More

Spotlight

Human Resources Focus

We provide Human Resources and WHS (Workplace Health and Safety) services to businesses across Australia. HR Focus were one of the first companies to provide a outsource HR staff service in Australia. Services that we provide are Policies & Procedures, Training, Staff Profiling, coaching, systems and software to manage streamline your HR and WHS internally.

Events