So what’s the big business idea about equality?

....well actually there isn't one because you’re probably doing it already....but you could always do it better

So what are the risks?


Reputation

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Not doing it right means – increased risk

Having a dynamic approach to equality and diversity can help enhance an organisation’s reputation and image. This can lead to improvements in the quality of talent you are able to attract, as well as building a more positive customer and public image.

Public attitude towards those organisations which are unable to value diversity is hardening. It means your organisation becomes associated with negative images rather than the positive aspects of inclusion.

Business factors

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Not doing it right means –hitting the bottom line

Equality and diversity should be treated just like any other business factor. It carries a risk:

  • a reputational risk
  • an employment risk
  • a productivity
  • a legal risk
  • a financial risk

You carry outrisk assessments, both formal and informal, as a normal part of your business process to try and identify risk and mitigate because it has a negative impact.

So treat equality and diversity in the same way as most countries have a comprehensive legal framework which surrounds equality and diversity.

Ignoring it could turn out to be expensive in terms of legal costs and ……ignorance is not a defence.

Recruitment and retention

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Not doing it right means –hitting the bottom line

Your organisation actively seeks talent from a wider pool of talent which can give you the edge in finding the best person.

Your organisation is more likely to retain talented people because they view equality of opportunity – be that progression or development.

Losing people not only means the loss of talent and potential opportunity to your organisation but it also costs in possible contractual disputes and recruitment costs.

The law

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Not doing it right means –hitting the bottom line

Equality legislation varies in depth and detail from country to country, depending on the country’s constitution and laws. Minimum stipulations normally declare it unlawful for organisations to discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, religion and belief, and disability particularly in employment.

It therefore makes sense for organisations to implement best practice to ensure that they are compliant with current legislation and establish the workplace culture, expertise and experience to maintain effective equality compliance.

If your organisation operates in more than one country then you need to develop a holistic approach, one based on best practice and one which gives all your employees the same rights and guarantees.

Productivity

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Not doing it right means –hitting the bottom line

A diverse workforce can help:

  • develop and deliver better services or products
  • open up market opportunities
  • broaden the customer base

Being able to draw upon different ideas and experience makes your organisation more resilient and better placed to recognise and take advantage of opportunity

Employees who feel valued and are comfortable in their working environment are often more productive.

Financial impact

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Not doing it right means – increased risk

Problems happen when organisations either don’t understand the legal requirements or fail to treat equality and diversity issues with the care and commitment they require.

It opens organisation up to direct financial risks in the form of legal disputes and claims for compensation. But it can also lead to loss of productivity, employee motivation and missed business opportunities. All of which can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

Managing and embracing diversity and equality, to become inclusive, needs to second nature in all your employees in order to minimise risk and can manage with confidence.


Why a business case?

The need for a separate business case makes equality and diversity about an optional add-on or some vague economics debate when it is actually about core business values.

So how do you do it better

The debate is about how you best achieve that.

You already know it

Making the most of all your people and your opportunities – that is what is important and makes business and moral sense.