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The first steps to creating positive workforce diversity

The first steps to creating positive workforce diversity

Written by Victoria Hill

Last edited May 3, 2023

The first steps to creating positive workforce diversity

Diversity within your company is vital if you want the inner structure of your business to represent the world we now live in. To create a harmonious balance between different under-represented groups and nurture inclusiveness it is key to make the right decisions and create positive initiatives that focus on diversity.

This article is one of many in our new initiative here at The Recruitment Network #RecruitmentMeansDiversity, where we hope to shine a spotlight on how the recruitment industry currently attracts, retains and treats their talent.

We’ll be hosting roundtable discussions in which we’ll be tackling different aspects of diversity. Bringing together industry thought-leaders which will plan and direct the future of the diversity initiative, starting with our women in recruitment roundtable on the 7th’ December.

Ahead of the event we’ve produced a quick 5-minute survey and are encouraging as many recruitment businesses as possible to complete it. It asks a number of questions about the role of women in the recruitment industry. The data we collect will help shape and steer the direction of the roundtable, meaning every survey completed will have a positive impact on what we’re hoping to achieve. Click here to take the survey.

According to McKinsey, “35% of ethnically diverse companies are more likely to outperform financially”. With stats like these it is easy to see why alongside the moral obligation to give everyone equal opportunity, bringing diversity into your company is an appealing step to take. So, to help propel the initiative of diversity we’ve put together an article which will give you a few tips and steps so you can get started creating positive workforce diversity.

You must first understand positive discrimination in unlawful

It’s always commendable to consciously want to increase the diversity in workforce. But this shouldn’t come as some concerted campaign to rebalance the split between men and women.

When it comes to equality laws it’s unlawful to discriminate against job applications and employees if it means favouring a ‘protected characteristic’, such as disability, race or gender.

However, you are able to begin taking ‘positive action’

The Equality Act 2010, still allows positive action to be carried out by the employer to help with their diversity initiative. It’s important to think about positive action as a step to removing barriers or hurdle that individuals face.

Examples of this could be offering disadvantaged groups facilities for training or to encourage an application from an under-represented group. But, when the employer is faced with the selection of candidates and eventually offering the job all parties must be considered based on merit and suitability for the job.

Bring the workforce into the decision-making process

This is a recommended step anyway, especially when you want to retain culture and reduce churn. It’s a smart idea to bring your employees into the decision-making process when interviewing for new candidates.

Getting the whole team to meet the candidates and make group decisions on their cultural fit will help promote your diversity and inclusion initiative, as you’re bringing together a whole range of cultural views, from age, gender and race.


It’s a great idea to educate your employees on the importance of diversity in the workplace. Presenting evidence for workplace diversity being beneficial is key, it’s suggested you share scenarios where under-represented minorities will perform better.

If you’re producing statistics from the productivity or results of your workforce it could be beneficial to present statistics that your female co-workers equal or better their male-counterparts, helping to dispel some contentious myths.

Understand different goals

The importance of inclusivity is to also be aware that different employees may have vastly different career goals in mind and these may differ to what you may think is important. Some are happy to stay where they are in their roles and are content with the stability of it, others may want to rise through the ranks. Let your employees be open and frank with you. At your quarterly appraisals ask them what they want from the company, often they’ll have thought long and hard about what they want from the company and will be more than willing to share this with you.


A good understanding of people’s needs to take on more flexible working arrangements is essential. Remember mothers may need more flexible working hours to feel comfortable and appreciated. Are you giving your Muslim employees not only a place but the required time to pray? Knowing not only the working needs but the religious or cultural needs of your different employees makes for a more inclusive and understanding culture; and this kind of reasonable understanding to a person’s needs will breed motivation and engagement.

There are many more ways to promote diversity, but it fundamentally comes down to a true shift in the mind-set of yourself and your company. We’ll continue covering this topic over the coming months. Here at TRN HQ we are very excited to be launching this initiative and we’d be thrilled to have you along for the journey; subscribe below to get the latest updates and don’t forget to fill in our survey to help us shape our diversity initiatives.

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