Are Diversity Targets Bad for Diversity?

Last updated

17th January 2022

Read time

2 minutes

Business’s current approach

More and more UK businesses are now prioritising the D&I agenda. However, many are still approaching their D&I strategy as a tick-box exercise, focusing solely on hiring certain demographics in order to hit their diversity targets. This is resulting in businesses feeling as though they have fulfilled their D&I commitments without truly analysing the real impact they are delivering.

Should we be tackling the diversity challenge differently?

Instead of taking this tick-box approach, businesses should be questioning the overall impact of their D&I strategy: ‘Are we seeing the diversity of thought and innovation that we want?’, ‘Are we getting the best out of all our people?’ and ‘Are we seeing progression across all talent, not just certain groups’ are vital questions in determining whether a D&I strategy truly is a reality.

A focus on diversity targets alone leads businesses lose sight of what is really needed – inclusion. Hitting diversity targets on paper does not mean the business is an inclusive place to work. A lack of inclusivity often leads to lack of productivity and motivation, or significant turnover of underrepresented employees. The businesses that take the time to measure the impact of their D&I strategy will only then be effective in championing genuine inclusivity across their organisation.

How does this work in practice?

Businesses looking to genuinely turn their D&I strategy into reality must honestly determine how inclusive they currently are – and identify where there is room for improvement. Reviewing how and where underrepresented people are progressing in the business is a key lens to look through.

Organisations must also implement processes and tools that build and maintain this sense of inclusion. These tools must be meaningful in supporting diverse talent to access the opportunities they deserve – based on ability, not background.

One crucial strategy that effectively boosts inclusion and ensures businesses are maximising their people is digital mentoring. Traditional mentoring programmes remain too often for the privileged few. Connectr’s technology transforms this traditional approache and breaks down existing barriers by providing people of all backgrounds access to mentors they can identify with. Leveraging technology that puts the human back into HR, Connectr’s employee engagement platform is designed to provide equal power and opportunity for all talent to maximise their potential.

“I was so impressed with Connectr. From choosing my mentor, to reading the material and completing the activities, the whole process was seamless. “I have a lot more confidence now, and I secured a secondment in my team as a Business Change Support Co-ordinator. “I can honestly say that it has sparked something in me to re-address my whole life – not just at work, but my personal life too … It changed my whole life for the better.” – Rachel, Heathrow

D&I strategies are only meaningful and effective when businesses shift away from tick-box approaches and review their strategy vs their reality. To find out how Connectr can do just this, chat to us.