Publisher Malcolm Forbes (publisher of Forbes magazine) once said that ‘diversity is the art of thinking independently together.’ Diversity is more than just a buzz-word, it can hold the key to fostering new ways of thinking, broadening a customer base and growing a business. Organisations can’t thrive and grow if everyone in them thinks and behaves the same way. Valuing diversity is becoming increasingly important for businesses.
To reap the benefits of a diverse workforce it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential. The key point is that it is for everyone to achieve their potential, that does not mean specifically from a particular background.
What kind of organisation do you want to work for?
You may want to consider how they value their workforce ,including those that may be less well represented. This is where equality marks come in.
Some employers sign up to the following schemes or awards that can be displayed on their job adverts to show that they have a positive approach to employment practices for people from various demographics such as disability, sexual orientation or gender. Whilst not a guarantee, this can be a good indicator that the organisation may provide a positive environment for you to succeed.
Disability confident/ Two Ticks Scheme.
The disability confident symbol has replaced the ‘two ticks’ symbol. The scheme is voluntary, developed by the UK government for employers to demonstrate their commitment to good practice in employing and retaining disabled staff.
Stonewall Diversity Champion programme
Diversity Champions is the leading employers’ programme for ensuring all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace. Working with over 700 organisations, all of whom share the core belief in the power of a workplace that is truly equal.
Athena Swan Charter
Members subscribing to this charter are committed to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. The charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, not just barriers to progression that affect women.
This standard scores organisations’ performance on disability across the whole business from their products and services to recruitment and facilities. It is built around ten criteria and helps business to measure and improve on performance for disabled customers, clients or service users, employees and stakeholders.
So next time you are considering applying and are asking yourself if the employer wants people like you, stop and think, ‘do I want to work for people like them?’. Consider the work culture that you can thrive in and what you may want to know to help you make these decisions.