Addressing the Pipeline and Retention Problem

The importance of attracting and retaining diverse talent

Renee Kapuku, Creative Digital Programmes Manager, Supa Network

At Supa Talent, we value diversity and inclusion as a core principle of all our work. We work with organisations, communities and individuals from a diverse array of backgrounds, and actively seek to platform those from traditionally marginalised communities. We celebrate diversity across all spectrums. As an organisation that has over ten years of experience working with these communities, we have found that diversity and inclusion continues to be an integral part of workplace progression and innovation. 

What is Diversity and inclusion?

Diversity speaks to markers of difference amongst collectives and individuals. It concerns the respect and empowerment of people irrespective of their differences along lines of race, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, national origin, education, or sexual orientation. 

Inclusion can be described as the organisational effort to ensure that members from different communities are welcomed, equally-treated and socially accepted within the culture of the organisation. This can be embedded in company culture, policies, participation and social interactions. Workforces that are proactive in curating belonging and acceptance environments will find themselves setting the space to bring out the best in their workers. 

Why is Diversity and Inclusion important?

Diversity and inclusion is important for a number of reasons. There is a business case to be made, as companies with diverse teams continue to show better returns, higher levels of progress and innovation, and greater capacity to attract and retain top talent. 

Businesses with a healthy balance of men and women are 21% more likely to outperform their competitors, businesses with a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 33% more likely to outperform their competitors, and teams that are gender, age and ethnically diverse make better decisions up to 87% of the time. 

Beyond business, we believe that organisations simply cannot thrive without embracing a progressive social outlook. Changing demographics, globalisation and the onset of social mobility means that now, more than ever before, organisations must reflect a changing society. Enrichment can occur through transmission of culture, and sharing of differences in a respectful and mutually-beneficial way. 

The Ethnic Minority Pipeline Problem 

The United Kingdom is facing challenges as it pertains to the employment pipeline. Organisations are finding it difficult to find diverse talent, and diverse talent are struggling to find inclusive workspaces. The demographics facing the lowest employment rate in the United Kingdom has consistently been those who identify as Asian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black, Mixed. The job search effort was less successful for ethnic minorities who, despite having identical CVs and cover letters, needed to send 60% more applications in order to receive as many callbacks. 

Not only is this an issue for ethnic minorities entering the labour market, but issues arise long after. For many organisations, there is a disproportionate amount of focus on recruitment, without engagement with workplace inclusion, retention and internal social mobility. A study by the institute for social and economic research found that ethnic minority graduates experience less career progression than their white British peers. Considering the lack of ethnic minority individuals occupying space at senior levels, diversity at senior levels must be addressed. 

Exploring a solution 

Workforces must be more proactive in addressing the pipeline problem. 

Organisations must engage with unconscious bias at interview and screening stages, advertise and partner with minority-led organisations, and ensure interview panels are diverse. 

To address workplace culture, organisations must embrace employee forums to allow workers to engage with diversity policies, checking culture at senior level, and implementing policies which protect and encourage workplace diversity. 

Above all, organisations must come together to address the pipeline and retention issue as we hurtle further into an innovative future. 

For more interest in working with Supa Talent on training programmes and programme management as it pertains to diversity and inclusion, please get into contact.  

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