Do you know that embedding diverse and inclusive practice is good for business?
Research shows how diverse teams result in better performance, innovation, creativity and success.
It is important to ensure your workplace is inclusive — this is no exception for the property sector. All employees want to feel they can be their authentic selves and that structures, policies and procedures do not adversely affect them. A recent RICS report highlighted issues and barriers for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) professionals and how organisations can support black professionals in the property sector, as well as developing an Inclusive Employer Charter Mark to support inclusive organisations.
We know that sometimes it is difficult for organisations to know where to start when it comes to addressing diversity and inclusion. You may be at a point where you have implemented these plans and aren’t sure of your next steps, or are just starting out and need support to ensure diversity and inclusion are embedded within all your functions and practices.
So where can you start and what actions can you put in place? Here is a checklist for action planning:
- Carry out a diversity and inclusion audit of your business. This can assess if your organisation is fair in all its processes. You can review areas including: your policies and procedures; recruitment process; leadership commitment to inclusion; marketing and communications; and delivery of services and accessibility.
See how you currently address inclusion within your practices. For instance, do you have an equality, diversity and inclusion policy in place? Do you ensure you attract a wide range of candidates when recruiting? What messages does your business convey regarding diversity and inclusion?
- Develop an action plan. Following the audit, you can develop a diversity and inclusion strategy or include diversity and inclusion deliverables within your organisational strategy. Ensure the actions are reviewed regularly and that they are implemented.
- Educate and enhance learning. Are your teams aware of diversity and inclusion issues and how this can positively affect the business? Is it time to raise awareness of issues and enhance employees’ knowledge? This can cover management and leadership learning, including managing diverse teams; inclusive recruitment; and inclusive leadership.
- Get diversity, inclusion and accessibility on the agenda. Consider how the business can start a conversation regarding these areas. Diversity, inclusion and accessibility should form part of agendas for senior managers and teams.
- Monitor your workforce. Do you monitor who is within your workforce? Is there any under-representation? Are you missing out on diverse talent? Review your data to see if there are any gaps and think about how you can reduce barriers to recruitment.
These steps should help you to enhance your practice regarding inclusion. Embedding diversity and inclusion is an ongoing process and will support your business for growth. As a business you may not have started to think about inclusion, diversity or accessibility.
Do not worry – start the process and journey now. It will make a positive difference.
Natasha Broomfield-Reid is director of Diverse Matters