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10 Things Every Company Needs to Do to Increase Diversity

Last week, the UK’s Publishers Association announced an industry-wide initiative to increase diversity in the workforce.

The ten-point plan below is intended to help its member organizations reach two specific goals:

  1. Increase the percentage of black, Asian and minority ethnic employees to 15% within five years
  2. Increase the percentage of women in executive leadership to 50% within five years

This plan is inspiring for any company in publishing, media or digital. Here is PA’s ten-point inclusivity plan, and what we like about each point.

Point #1:

“Develop an inclusivity policy, which is embedded throughout the organization and which has strong leadership commitment.”

Why we like it:

Creating a policy is the first step for any workplace committed to inclusivity. Without one, your employees aren’t protected in writing—leaving them subject to the whims of individual managers and executives.

Point #2:

“Undertake an internal workforce audit and provide the Publishers Association with the data on an annual basis so that industry-wide statistics can be published.”

Why we like it:

Often, employers can become defensive when talking about lack of diversity at their company. Collecting objective data is the first step to taking emotion out of the equation and making goals clear and achievable.

Point #3:

“Ensure all staff involved with hiring attend unconscious bias training.”

Why we like it:

It’s been proven time and again that we all have unconscious biases, no matter how good our intentions. Unconscious bias training is a must for anyone making hiring decisions.

Point #4:

“Nominate an inclusivity champion on your board or management committee who can monitor action on equality.”

Why we like it:

This empowers an individual to represent inclusivity interests, ask tough questions and monitor progress. It’s important that this person is in a position of leadership so they can drive real change.

Point #5:

“Provide opportunities for flexible or agile working.”

Why we like it:

We’ve talked at length about the importance of workplace flexibility. It helps you retain working moms and dads, as well as employees with disabilities.

Point #6:

“Analyse job descriptions, recruitment strategies and interview practices for hidden biases.”

Why we like it:

We love it! It’s a pain to write job descriptions, and it’s so easy to gloss over hidden biases contained within. We recommend setting up a core taskforce to analyze hiring practices on a regular basis.

Point #7:

“Develop a mentoring scheme that supports new staff or those at transitional career stages who are from traditionally underrepresented groups.”

Why we like it:

What if you’re hiring people from traditionally underrepresented groups, but they don’t stick around at your company? This point is for you. Mentorship and support are vital for employee retention at all levels, from internship to leadership.

Point #8:

“Ensure there is a balanced speaker panel for any events you are running or speaking on.”

Why we like it:

All employees who making hiring decisions need unconscious bias training and everyone who plans panels and events need training, too. There’s no longer any excuse for an all-white, all-male panel.

Point #9:

“Consider hiring a publishing assistant apprentice or a Creative Access intern.”

Why we like it:

This is a wonderful, creative idea. When you form an internship or apprenticeship that focuses on inclusivity, you’re also strengthening the next generation of diversity leadership.

Point #10:

“Become a publishing ambassador, as well as encouraging colleagues to give a career talk to a local school or university.”

Why we like it:

It encourages companies to spread the wealth of their knowledge. Workplace inclusivity doesn’t happen in a bubble—we have to share our ideas, successes, and failures with others.

Is your company prioritizing any of these ten points? Which ones could you implement?

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