Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity​

Recognise the importance of true equality

The importance of true equality

Employees increasingly care about workplace culture and believe it is important to help them thrive in the workplace. A growing number of companies are starting to recognise the importance of true equality.

Equality and empowerment in the workplace

When assessing workplace culture, there is a disconnect between leadership perceptions and the employee experience. Most leaders feel they create empowering environments which enable employees to be themselves, raise concerns and innovate without fear of failure but a small fraction of employees agree with this.

At Queensbury we recognise the effects of this disconnect and our ED&I strategy experts actively engage with our multi- sector clients to address serious questions around the challenges faced and the need to address the gap between business strategy and culture whilst recognising the reality in relation to ‘true’ ethnic minority diversification and empowerment within their organisation. Our team have experience to facilitate and address:

● The lack of diversity and inclusiveness and the disconnect between business ED&I strategies and how it addresses the typical race equality agenda and organisational targets of strengthening the culture of equality year on year

● The conversation of why organisations do not challenge the disconcerting disconnect between employers and candidates?

● Understand why organisations assume there is a lack of diverse talent yet continue to source from the same pools?

● A review of organisational recruitment strategies and recruitment team make-up

● Facilitate stakeholder engagement and support real conversations around issues of ethnic minority employees particularly, professional learning and development programmes and future succession plans.

● Manage change programmes that educate leadership teams and positively support staff engagement and implementation of ethnic resourcing agendas.

Our expertise will challenge and support leaders to look deep into their existing processes and shine a light on what needs to be challenged, adjusted or transformed in order to repair broken processes and meet the needed standards of Diversity and Inclusion in today’s talent pipeline.

We often find our clients struggle to comprehend the true meaning of ED&I.

 

So what does ED&I mean?

Equality

Equality means "the state of being equal." It's one of the ideals of a democratic society, and so the fight to attain different kinds of equality, like racial equality, gender equality, or equality of opportunity between rich and poor, is often associated with progress toward that ideal of everyone being truly equal. The characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act 2010 are:

● age
● disability
● gender reassignment
● marriage or civil partnership (in employment only)
● pregnancy and maternity
● race
● religion or belief
● sex
● sexual orientation

Equality is not always about treating everyone the same – it is about treating people in such a way that the outcome for each person can be the same. Queensbury can strategically support leadership teams to articulate considerations which need to be made to support their people to achieve similar outcomes.

Diversity

Diversity in the workplace refers to an organization that intentionally employs a workforce comprised of individuals of varying gender, religion, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, and other attributes. Diversity is vital for both employers and employees because it builds a great reputation for the organisation it supports increase diversity of thought and opportunities for employees in teams which has been proven to lead to increased profitability. Workplace diversity is important both within the organisation and externally.

Queensbury’s ED&I experts will help the SLT review how their organisations can progressively remove stereotypes and perceptions moving them to building significant relationships within their diverse workforce people. A diverse workforce is likely to encourage more communication through the removal of barriers stemming from preconceived societal notions, micro aggressions and prejudices.

Cultural Diversity in the Workplace has been proven to have the following benefits:

● Increased productivity
● Improved creativity
● Increased profits
● Improved employee engagement
● Reduced employee turnover
● Improved company reputation
● Wider range of skills
● Improved cultural insights

Inclusion

In an inclusive environment, people of all cultural backgrounds and orientations can:

● Freely express who they are, their own opinions and points of view
● Fully participate in teaching, learning, work and social activities
● Feel safe from abuse, harassment, or unfair criticism

An inclusive workplace culture makes diversity work! Inclusion is the prerequisite for the functioning of a diverse workforce and involves the full and successful integration of diverse people into a workplace.

There are several strategies SLT's and Executives can implement to create a productive and inclusive climate. Queensbury's team of experts will help to explore, develop and embed. What we will need from you, is Commitment. Cultivating a diverse, inclusive workforce takes time and energy, two of a leader's most precious commodities.

The clients we typically work with are:

Professional service firms Boards and Senior Leadership Teams (SLT’s) are becoming increasingly more conscious of the need to be more ED&I focused both internally and externally. Queensbury recognise how complex Corporate Structures can be and that it is not always easy to have a direct line of sight on which areas in the organisational structure need strategic review to refocus, refining and/or transform to allow ED&I initiatives to be implemented effectively at all levels.

Public Sector Organisations are one of the largest employers of people in the Country. Their Boards and SLT’s are conscious of the need to be more ED&I focused both internally and externally. Their complex structures face similar challenges as Professional Service Firms. Public Sector organisations certainly have the added pressure to be very focused on Diversity given their close interaction with communities, constituents, and service users daily. Diversity and inclusion increases an agency’s capacity to represent and serve a diverse mix of clients who are from different backgrounds. A relatable workforce is more likely to break and enhance its ability to be receptive to different cultures.

Small to medium-sized enterprises make up most of all businesses in Europe and employ three-quarters of the workforce. As extensions of families SMEs often operate locally or regionally. Diversity is just as relevant to them too. Faced with a “war for talent”, the need to possess an inclusive recruitment strategy and process coupled with the desire to expand into new local, regional and national markets will become a significant element of how SMEs stay resilient and continue to grow. Embracing an effective ED&I strategy which is represented in the business provides the benefits of diversity in thought which can easily translate into a diverse offering which relates to wider customer bases for example.

The traditional start-up ecosystem, especially in the B2B technology space, has not been inclusive. Innovation has always been about generating good initiatives by challenging the status quo with new viewpoints. As such diversity is fundamental to the sustained success of any innovation ecosystem.

Promoting diversity in entrepreneurship and technological innovation can deliver greater economic and societal value. Within the start-up ecosystem, numerous studies have found that diversity in the leadership ranks yields a better return on investment for investors and better exits for entrepreneurs.

The startup ecosystem needs to better nurture inclusive entrepreneurship and we believe this can be done by driving change in three interrelated areas:

● Improving access to VC funding for women and underrepresented minorities in technology

● Creating an inclusive community of mentors

● Injecting diversity into the leadership of accelerators and venture capital organisations

HE plays a special and important place in society, unfortunately Higher Education has a significant challenge in addressing the lack of Diversity within both its Academic and Professional Services staffing. Diversity challenges stereotypes and preconceptions, it encourages critical thinking and supports students to learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds. It strengthens communities and the workplace.

Typically, challenging questions asked in the HE environment are:

● What are the challenges needing to be overcome by Vice Chancellor offices, the Marketing & Communications and Recruitment structures?

● How can the Perceptions of both HE internally, and the potential workforce externally be changed?

The case for increasing the diversity of the FE workforce and SLT’S is compelling. Unlike HE the barriers to change are limited. Given the connectivity of further education within communities it is integral that FE ensure that their workforce represents their clients (Students). As a student or a teacher if the senior leadership of a college does not relate in diversity it will impact the perception that those roles are indeed attainable. We support FE institutions to review their policies, facilitate the move from documented ED&I policies to implementation and measurable change. Queensbury have experience in taking FE clients through that change journey.

Meet the Team

Jason Sinclair

Partner

Precious Lwanga

Partner

Rosamund McFadden

Associate