Why Diversity and Inclusion Has Become a Business Priority

  • LesleyE

    Hi Josh, this is all very sensible advice focusing on the framework required to improve D&I, or the elements of business organisation that need to be examined with a D&I lens. I think one thing that many organisations are failing on in their D&I thinking is the acknowledgement of certain “facts of life”. Women more often than not are going to take time out to have children, or even to care for elderly relatives. For many companies this is still treated as an exception, or as a blip in the woman’s career. Yes, the company has maternity leave, and sometimes will even make a stab at a return to work policy but if we assume that women will make up 50% of the workforce shouldn’t this situation be treated as the norm? When companies start to recognise this fact and build all of their HR policies around it we may start to get somewhere. Many of the women returners that I coach are highly-skilled and highly motivated but they are frustrated by what’s on offer from their employer in terms of organisational structure, flexbility, return to work programmes, etc. Its sad that it has taken the emergence of investment funds and business performance analysis reports highlighting improved performance of diverse organisations to spur companies on to improve in something that should be fairly obvious to all. If you train and invest in 50% of your graduate intake knowing that a high percentage of them are going to leave to have a family why would you not recognise this fact early on and do everything possible to lure them back later? And make the organisation a place they want to work when they are ready to come back?