Businesses with a more balanced workplace do better financially.
In a nutshell
What's the business benefit?
Businesses that have fair and flexible working practices are more productive, and more innovative.
Encouraging and enabling your people to reach their full potential benefits not just them, but also your business. Businesses that treat their employees fairly benefit from improved morale, greater loyalty, higher retention and a reduction in recruitment and training costs.
A diverse workforce that reflect the diverse range of customers and the community in which they are based are more creative, and more innovative. Having a wide range of skills and experience that reflects all of society, including those with disabilities, from varying ethnic backgrounds or offers a balanced gender representation means that businesses are more likely to design products and services for a broader customer base. And that’s good for your bottom line.
There’s also a strong link between gender-balanced boards and corporate performance. Businesses that have a mix of men and women responsible for corporate governance do better on measures like return on investment and total shareholder return.
Why is it included in the Scottish Business Pledge?
Equality and fairness should be at the heart of a modern Scotland. In an increasingly complex business environment, diversity helps us adapt and survive in different circumstances and changing environments.
In a small country like Scotland, it also means we’re making the best use of the talents and experience of all our people. And that’s good for business.
Taking steps to improve gender equality will support women to reach their potential. This benefits not only the individual women, but also businesses who are able to harness under-utilised female talent.
There are a huge range of benefits for businesses in employing people with disabilities. Most importantly, employers can gain access to a wider pool of talent and skills that is largely untapped. There is evidence that despite fears to the contrary, employees with disabilities take less sick leave and contribute extensively to the organisation.
Why is this good for Scotland?
Despite their higher educational attainment, women are working below their skill level. The cost of that loss of talent is high.
By supporting women, people with disabilities or from varying ethnic backgrounds to participate in the workplace equally enables businesses to become more productive and more profitable, which in turn contributes to Scotland’s sustainable economic growth.
What should I do now?
We want you to commit to making progress on diversity by putting in place progressive policies and practices that will make your business more productive, more innovative, and more profitable.
There are lots of steps that you can take to improve equality and fairness in your workforce. This could include introducing a flexible working policy, ensuring that everyone has equal access to training and development opportunities, reviewing how you recruit new employees, and ensuring that your people are paid fairly. You might also be considering how your organisational culture could better support a diverse workforce. Think Business, Think Equality is an online self-assessment tool which enables businesses to assess their employment policies and practice. It provides businesses with tailored advice and guidance which identifies small changes that can be made to improve gender diversity.
Tell us what you’re doing, or what you’d like to do, to improve diversity in your business.
If you’re committed to improving the gender balance on your company board, you can sign up to the Partnership for Change which is a voluntary commitment to work towards 50/50 gender balance on your board by 2020.
If you want more information on recruiting disabled people into your workplace, Employability in Scotland can offer support.
What help is available if I can’t make the commitment right now?
If you want to work towards making a commitment a more diverse workforce, there are a range of tools for businesses which can provide support, including Think Business, Think Equality.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced an online toolkit for employers to support them in managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace. They have also launched ‘Working Forward’, a free to join nationwide campaign aimed at making experiences in the workplace better for pregnant women and new parents.
You can get information and advice on board diversity from Changing the Chemistry.
You can demonstrate how you’re promoting fairness and equality for LGBT employees by signing up to Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
The two ticks scheme is a recognition given by Jobcentre Plus to employers based in Great Britain who have agreed to take action to meet five commitments regarding the employment, retention, training and career deployment of disabled employees. It is represented by the two ticks disability symbol that participating organisations are authorised to display.
Schemes such as Access to Work means that businesses can receive money for any extra costs incurred as a result of employing a person with a disability. If you want more information on employing people with disabilities into your workplace, Employability in Scotland can offer support.
Family friendly working approaches will also help you achieve equality and recruit and retain a more diverse workforce. Designing jobs flexibility and adding the Happy to Talk Flexible Working strapline to relevant job adverts will help you optimise talent attraction and recruit and maintain a diverse talent pipeline. Make a start by downloading the Happy to Talk Flexible Working strapline.