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A New Approach is Needed in Order to Meet Equality and Diversity Goals

Recently, the 25% target set by Lord Davies for women on FTSE 100 boards was met. The new target set by the Davies committee is 33% of women to be on all FTSE 350 boards.

To those unfamiliar with just how unbalanced gendered employment is in this area, it is worth mentioning that much of the work to meet these targets has been done over the last 5 years. During this period, the number of female directors has doubled.

This step by step approach has certainly paved the way for more projects in equality and diversity. Ethnicity is clearly a huge remaining challenge, as can be seen by the under-representation of minorities in the Met, for example.

As Helena Morissey writes in The Telegraph, the focus on women on boards has catalysed a mindset shift beyond the relatively straightforward promotion of more female non-executives. What started as correcting an anachronism has now evolved into the realisation that organisations need diversity of thought, not merely of demographics.

The current focus is to live in a meritocracy, where talent and hard work is rewarded with success regardless of gender, sexuality, skin colour or religion. In order to achieve this, businesses are beginning to accept that they are part of the problem when it comes to social inequality and are beginning to work towards becoming part of the solution.

With the targets of five years ago being easily met, bigger and more expansive goals and projects in equality and diversity will be set. Whilst social integration on the scale of having LGBT communities enter into a conservative church might not yet be possible, the concensus within equality and diversity groups is to have an egalitarian society where everyone is free to be themselves, and to believe whatever they want as long as that belief does not promote hatred or bigotry of any kind.

A sign that further progress is being made is that some of the large public sector employers are leading the way: at the Financial Conduct Authority, there is an even gender balance throughout, and several prominent LGBT leaders.

This marks the start of a new era. Diversity of social and educational background, nationality and ethnicity, gender,culture, sexuality, age and ability can bring completely new ideas, not just different perspectives around the same old problems. Diversity of thought goes beyond the obvious categorisations but instead reflects the backgrounds and socio-environmental factors that shaped it.

 

Written By:

Daniel James
www.danieljamesbio.com
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