Diversity and inclusion: The gap between marketing and action image

Diversity and inclusion: The gap between marketing and action

Over the last two months, our Loughborough University interns, Afra, Bryanna and Kate have been working on a diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility project. Here is their concluding article and message to employers…

With the recent Black Lives Matter (anti-racism) protests in response to the death of  George Floyd during his arrest in the US, there has been a shift in expectations of organisations with regard to diversity and inclusion. 

Now more than ever, companies need to take responsibility for recruitment processes and their involvement with local communities. There is a rise in societal awareness, diversity, inclusion and the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, means that an opportunity has surfaced for young voices and talents to be acknowledged and given the ability to change the structure of the world of work. 

What we did

As part of our internship, we were tasked with carrying out employer research into diversity and inclusion, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  and youth employment. We assessed 40 employer websites using an employer scoring matrix and 12 semi-structured interviews with organisations across a range of different sectors. Following this, we produced a report to present our findings and recommendations. 

The gap

One interesting finding from our research was a disparity between what is displayed on company websites compared to direct conversations we have had with employers regarding diversity and inclusion and CSR initiatives.

At the surface, 60% of the 40 company websites we assessed showcased a seemingly impressive sense of an inclusive culture and CSR efforts. However, when it came to speaking with employees at some of these organisations, this wasn’t necessarily the case; it was revealed that there was in fact much more to be done in these regards.

“Diversity and inclusion is more than ticking boxes” Afra Padmore

“Promote inclusion within the workplace for marginalised groups by introducing employer support networks, where employees feel comfortable to be themselves and share their concerns”Kate Mcquaid

“Recruit and display a diverse workforce, where all employees can identify with and be inspired by people like themselves”Bryanna Khumalo 

Top tips for employers

  1. Ensure your marketing content is reflective of the diversity of your workforce (people like to see people like themselves already working for the organisation)
  2. Promote employee support networks for marginalised groups
  3. Raise a profile for the company’s involvement in the community and showcase employee participation
  4. Invest in young talent and provide opportunities for growth within the workplace through training and entry level programmes

Make a difference, take action today!

Young people have identified a number of flaws within the workplace and the ways in which employers attract new talent. They expect and encourage employers to: 

  • Embrace diversity and inclusion
  • Provide examples of progression
  • State when feedback is available
  • Acknowledge receipt of applications
  • Create entry-level roles

This is where Access Generation can support organisations in fulfilling these expectations, by listening to concerns raised by young people when applying for jobs and helping businesses to become an employer of choice. 

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