There are many reports in the news of firms trying to increase the diversity in their recruitment.Chief Constables in England and Wales are calling for changes in the law that would allow them to fast-track underrepresented groups from society in the recruitment of police officers.The BBC reports
"Under such a plan, if two job candidates met the required standards, the candidate whose ethnicity is under-represented in the force would be selected." (BBC, 19th April 2007)
Within the field of publishing, often perceived as an industry where"the old school tie" holds most influence, firms are also increasing diversity. Penguin Books now holds open days at schools and colleges with a large number of minority pupils, and has been hiring a number of interns from minority backgrounds every summer as part of parent firm Pearson's diversity programme (BBC, 26th March 2007).
Diversity recruitment doesn't just mean recruiting people of different races.At First ScotRail, 879 of their 900 train drivers are men.The firm is now proactively trying to become more diverse by encouraging women to apply to be train drivers (BBC, 1st February 2007).Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham universities are trying to increase the diversity of their students in terms of the income groups of their families.A £1m programme is being launched to help gifted students from low-income families to study at their local universities (BBC, 22nd Jan 2007).
The Times 100 Lloyds TSB case study describes its well-developed diversity recruitment programme. This includes seven main strands: gender, race and religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, age and work-life balance.
So why are Lloyds TSB and other companies investing so much on ensuring diversity in their recruitment?The Times 100 case study suggests:
"For a business, employing a diverse workforce enables it to use a wider range of talents and skills. These lead to creativity and innovation"
Potential Study Questions:
In the Lloyds TSB case study, the diversity of the population is described, including the following statistics:
Ethnic minorities make up 8% of the external labour market (4.6 million people). 11% of the UK working age population is estimated to have a disability
How diverse is your school population?How diverse is the staff in local businesses?Do they reflect the diversity of your local community?