In recruitment we can’t always guarantee outcomes. We can however work hard to maximise the chances of a positive result. At Head Resourcing we want to know that whatever happens, we’re doing our best to fairly and accurately represent the interests of those to whom we act as trusted advisors. Part of this process is seeking to understand the different challenges people face and how we can assist in overcoming them.
Just as I can’t always guarantee outcomes, I can’t always tell people what they want to hear. To do so would be to sacrifice honesty and integrity. I’ll therefore be retaining this analytical perspective and recognise the need for improvement even if that means confronting uncomfortable realities.
In this article I hope to introduce the relevance of diversity to our work, its vital importance and how we are working towards positive change. Diversity of course takes many forms though today I’ll focus on LGBTQIA+ areas specifically, following on from some recent initiatives within the business.
Confronting the numbers
The statistics can be shocking (if not a little overwhelming) when it comes to the significant discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people in the UK. This is experienced by individuals in their everyday life, including the workplace, and presents a real ongoing struggle for equality. Let’s consider the figures from Stonewall and Crossland Employment Solicitors indicating that in the UK:
One in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months;
Two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months;
Four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents go unreported, with younger LGBT people particularly reluctant to go to the police;
One in three employers admit they would be less likely to hire someone who is transgender.
Why does this matter?
These levels of discrimination have a huge negative impact on the mental and physical health of those affected. This is a very real human cost. Unfortunately as we’ve seen above these challenges even extend to careers. We believe that a workplace, and indeed our society, should be a positive one where people can be open about who they are. We should all be able to enjoy the work we do and thrive in our work environments. In the future when we look back, will we be proud of the actions we took to help?
At Head Resourcing we pride ourselves on providing a customer-service approach and seek to understand what we can do to maintain this level of service for all. Individuals trust us to best represent them; it’s the cornerstone of our values and we take this responsibility very seriously. Clients should not miss out on strong talent because candidates feel uncomfortable applying and candidates likewise shouldn’t be disadvantaged because of their identity. Inequality has many disadvantages whilst equality has significant and tangible benefits.
As it stands however, we have work to do to maximise these benefits.
Where to begin? Educating our business
This is not about ticking boxes, it is about driving systemic change. That doesn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t happen by employing rainbow branding for a month each year, and it absolutely requires us to be critical of our current reality. As a business we have established clear motivations to educate ourselves and work to ensure we provide the best candidate, client and employee experience possible. We must now identify and acknowledge areas where we can be stronger in order to inform the changes we make. In conjunction with this, education is vital.
To action this I recently put together a presentation on LGBT+ Equality & Diversity to act as an accessible learning resource and an analytical toolkit. This introduced key terminology, explored the challenges faced by many, and proposed active changes we can implement to try and make a positive impact. Equipped with key information, a conversation at Head Resourcing has begun about how we can operate moving forwards from an internal and external perspective.
This presentation has provoked wider discussion and the formation of working groups with the specific remit of Equality & Diversity. This involves a number of different perspectives also including: race & ethnicity, neurodiversity, disability, and socioeconomic considerations. It’s a collaborative and ongoing approach, and this is key to driving change and progress. We all have a part to play in this.
Some strong words perhaps, but where do we go from here?
We’ve identified the need and importance of change and we’ve begun to educate ourselves. So now we must establish how we can encourage further learning and further listening to what our customers and colleagues are saying in this space; incorporating these elements to make targeted improvements. Through working groups and wider discourse we’ll be having frank discussions about what we can do better.
In addition, hopefully this article serves to further stimulate conversation and invite collaboration. This will be crucial in maintaining an informed outlook and ensuring we can work towards tangible change. In the meantime I can provide my personal reassurance to those I represent that our interactions will always be a space where all identities are respected and equal.
To discuss this topic in greater detail, please get in touch with me over here.
Looking for some further reading?
Some of our previous Head Resourcing blog posts and podcasts have centred around Diversity, Unconscious Bias, and Wellness in the Workplace. You can find these here.
The information contained in this article does not constitute business advice and should not be acted on as such. This content is based on our understanding in August 2020. Head Resourcing are not liable for the information contained on any third-party websites linked to this article.