Frequently Asked Questions

Why is diversity and inclusion in the workplace important?

Diversity and inclusion is much more than policies, procedures and headcount. Employers that seek to be a equitable outpace their competitors by respecting the individual needs, perspectives and potential of all members of the team. As a result diverse and inclusive workplaces enjoy deeper trust and greater commitment from their employees.

What is the difference between diversity and inclusion?

Diversity is all about representation, or the make up of your organisation. Inclusion is about how well individuals and different groups of people‘s contributions and perspectives are valued and integrated within your business.

Is diversity good for business as well as people?

Taking diversity and inclusion in your organisation seriously offers many potential business benefits

Talent – people want to work for employees with good employment practices. They also want to feel valued at work and that their contribution matters.

Competitiveness – to be competitive organisations need everyone in their business to make their best contribution. More employers are recognising the importance of diversity and inclusion in recruiting and retaining the very best skills and talent that they need in order for their business to thrive

Corporate reputation – brand– Diversity and inclusion is good for your business reputation and Is important in attracting both new customers and employees.

What exactly am I signing up to in the way of commitment, if I engage with IW?

You would simply be committing to a willingness to be more open minded about who you employ and how you go about advertising and recruiting for new roles. There are no targets or quotas to achieve, just a desire to be more open minded about who and how you recruit your staff.

What sort of adaptations could I make to my recruitment process to become more inclusive?

You may like to talk to the team about this, as there are many things you could do depending on the role and skill set you are looking for. It could certainly include things like: reviewing the job description to include only those skills which are really essential for the role; offering alternatives to online applications, such as hard copy applications or video submissions; work trials / skills tests, rather than traditional interviews etc.

What is meant by a “Reasonable Adjustment”?

This is where you change a way of doing something, or offer an alternative, so that an individual is not unnecessarily disadvantaged. This could, for example, be by removing physical barriers or providing extra support, facilities or technology for a disabled worker or job applicant.

What are the benefits for me?

Having a more diverse and inclusive workforce can bring benefits at many levels within your organisation. This includes things like increased loyalty, renewed team motivation and staff retention, customer loyalty / endorsement, attracting new employees who value D&I within organisations, a wider range of talent and new ways of looking at things, as well as the generation of positive PR. Inclusion in the workplace is one of the key aspects to successfully retaining an employee. If an  employee doesn’t feel that their ideas or contributions are truly valued they will disengage and ultimately leave.

What will it cost me?

There is no charge for support directly from the IW team – we can help in a variety of ways to support your organisation’s journey towards being more inclusive. These include, for example, looking at making your recruitment processes more inclusive, reviewing/ rewriting job descriptions as well as offering support and advice during induction/probation periods. Support from other external organisations may have a cost implication.

What do I have to do to become an “Inclusive Employer” and what’s in it for me?

You can discuss this with one of the team, but in essence you will need to demonstrate that you have provided employment or an apprenticeship / traineeship for one or more people who have significant barriers to entering the world of work.

Is there any Government support to help me to adapt my systems and processes?

Yes, the “Access To Work” scheme is a valuable support to help you in adapting and supporting individual needs. The IW team can help to advise on this and may also be able to offer support throughout the application process

How do I convince my staff team that this is the right thing to do?

Time and again we see that the best outcomes happen when staff are involved at every stage in the process so that they “buy into it”. So, include your teams in initial discussions and plans, as well as at the interview and induction stages. Facilitate methods of providing constructive, objective feedback so that any concerns or issues can be acted upon quickly and solutions found. Most companies find that even if there is some initial reluctance that employees usually find it a very rewarding experience.

“She is never late, always happy and bubbly and can do no wrong with us, she’s always trying to find how she can help more”

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