Diversity within the workplace is vitally important. The UK needs a diverse workforce to be able to compete on a global stage. Diversity in the workplace drives innovation and increases the size of the thought pool for new ideas. Diverse teams are more likely to challenge each other, resulting in quality decision making. A recent report by McKinsey, shows that businesses who actively employ a diverse workforce, perform 33% better financially.
Given these advantages, why are businesses struggling to attract and crucially, retain, top diverse talent? Lack of awareness remains a key problem which needs to be addressed if boardrooms are not to continue being dominated by men from educational and cultural backgrounds. For instance, only 8% of business executives currently occupying senior or managerial roles identify as coming from a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) background. Beyond gender and ethnicity, the outstanding contributions that could be made by LGBT and disabled candidates are often absent. The talent pool is already small and shrinking each day.
Brexit, is doing nothing to improve the situation; in fact, since the announcement was made, there has been a significant drop in EU nationals applying for roles within the UK. Nurses have been particularly affected. A Guardian report shows that 5.6% of the nurses working for the NHS come from EU countries and last year, 3,985 left. As these losses escalate, it could be catastrophic for the NHS, which is already under immense strain.
The media have already reported an increase in attacks on EU nationals after the result of Brexit. With this increase in hostility, the UK no longer appeals as an attractive place to work. The only thing Brexit seems to have done so far, is increase the unconscious bias that EU nationals already face on a daily basis.
Whilst the situation is currently bleak, there is hope. Business owners in the UK who ignore this bias and actively search for a diverse workforce will not only seen profit and productivity increase, but their brand and reputation will, no doubt, improve too. Employees who work in a diverse environment are far more likely to stay in their roles.
Brexit has the potential to damage diversity, not just in the UK but across the EU. This is why it is so crucial for businesses to show their commitment to diversity, inclusivity and equality. Ultimately, we want people to feel comfortable coming to the UK to work, and to-do this, we have to the remove the bias that everyone experiences, no matter the gender, race, sexual orientation, age etc.
At Easypay we are committed and recognise the merits of a diverse workforce. We are proud of every member of our team which boasts varied backgrounds and experience, and we see the benefits first hand. We encourage every member of our team to contribute new ideas and ways to continuously improve the service we provide to our customers.
If you would like to know more about our diverse team, please contact our Customer Care Manager, Shelagh Ward, on 01943 882104 or email Shelagh.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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