5 Resolutions worth keeping in 2021
When the clock struck midnight many of us let out a sigh of relief as the curtain fell on 2020. However, for all it’s turbulence and tragedy the year also saw swells in movements pushing for equality. Civil and social rights activists raised their voices and were a catalyst for change across society.
But their impact wasn't just seen on social media or the news. Businesses came under scrutiny and a spotlight was placed on the diversity, or a lack of, on boards and in the c-suite. Amazing work was done by not-for-profits including 30% Club, Level 20 and Diversity Project to give a voice to the underrepresented and address this much-needed change. But these champions of inclusivity can’t do it alone. These organisations need the support of stakeholders and industry influencers to see the vital change we need. At Altus, we’re committed to addressing diversity within PE and the financial sector and we're hoping in 2021 you'll be too.
In early 2020, we hosted the event Each for Equal. During this event, we surveyed our attendees to find out more about inclusivity in their workplace – with a particular focus on gender. We found that 44 per cent of businesses do not have an effective gender parity strategy currently in place, and nearly half of employees feel that their company doesn’t have a hiring policy that's inclusive. With all the challenges 2020 threw at us, diversity may have slipped to the bottom of the priority list, but we implore you not to let it fall to the wayside.
We spent much of 2020 speaking to experts at our various online webinars and events about this topic. One of the most important things we learnt is that action is needed. This year rather than picking resolutions like cutting down on biscuits, which will be broken by week three, why not focus on something that will have a real positive impact on your organisation and the industry as a whole?
In the spirit of doing, here are our 5 ways you can promote diversity in your industry or organisation.
Policies that do more than ticking boxes
Improve recruitment and retention through policies that have substance. When we conducted our survey we asked what recruitment methods our attendees wanted to see, these were the top four:
diverse hiring panels
examples of under-represented people who have succeeded in an organisation
applicant pools beyond traditional sources
development and mentoring initiatives in schools, colleges, and universities
You can’t be what you can’t see
Role models and examples are essential to influence and demonstrate diversity. At our event on BAME talent, Tingting Peng – Head of Investor Relations & Business Development, ESO Capital – said “there are so few senior role models, so the career path for ethnic groups is unclear. You find yourself asking, how do I look up to someone and who do I speak to ask difficult questions?” Provide the role models your team need to inspire change.
Training and culture
How can you make sure D&I is ingrained in your company culture? By making it part of your training. Show your team why it's important and what your organisation is doing to champion it. Inclusion is a significant part of the culture which has an impact on employee retention and commercial success. 95% of respondents in our survey said cultural workplace inclusivity is important in their decision to remain at their current company.
Put in place cognitive diversity
Diversity of thought, backgrounds and experience is important. Having many perspectives, that stem from the cultural differences between people, will result in creative problem solving and innovation.
Actions speak louder than words
Create your strategy with a clear plan and stick to it. Be transparent with your policies, why you are doing it and how you hope it will be better for everyone. Encourage employees to get involved and come forward with any ideas or suggestions they may have.
Altus Partners is an advocate for progressive change and we practice what we preach. Our team are passionate about diversity and inclusion, this not only reflects how we do recruitment but what we talk about. We host regular events, surveys and discussions to help stimulate conversation and education within our industry. If you’re interested in finding out more about past events you can read our highlights in the links below:
At Altus Partners, we welcome partnership with businesses that seek to empower change and be progressive. If you are interested in discussing your recruitment strategy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org