Missing (by) Inaction
by Andrew Penker
The CMI have published their 75th Anniversary Report, The Everyone Economy, which shares the same fundamental principle that sits under the Levelling Up agenda – that prosperity results when opportunity is shared more widely and more fairly. The report, which is quoted in this article, specifically states that companies should demonstrate their commitment to recognising talent in all its forms, and to hold leaders and companies to account when they fail to act on diversity and inclusion in all its forms.
From Exclusion to Inclusion
“Getting this right requires ambition and action from everyone – business and other employers, employees, and government. We need to do more to step out of our comfort zone, reach out to others who don’t necessarily look like us, or feel they’ve had similar experiences, talk to them about their aspirations, interests and strengths, and most importantly what is holding them back.
We will have to take some risks and often we will get it wrong. That’s fine, if we are authentic in our ambitions we will be forgiven and we will collectively learn. Then we can take the right actions to level the playing field.”
What is Missing?
Under-representation (over the last 10 years):
- The proportion of women in management roles has only increased by one percentage point to 41%, (women taking senior management roles, has increased from 33% in 2011 to 38% in 2021)
- Little growth in the proportion of disabled managers. An 8% increase of disabled managers compared to a 32% increase of disabled people within the UK working population.
- Currently, 12% of the management population are from diverse backgrounds, just one percentage point below the UK working population (UKWP) of 13%. This is a slight improvement from 2011. Despite this progress, those from Black and Pakistani backgrounds are underrepresented at senior management level.
- The proportion of individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds has declined by 19% compared to a decline of 12% within the UKWP.
Action on access
Digital technology can enable interactions that improve outcomes of knowledge exchange by placing people at the core of this process using a pioneering new framework of reciprocal mentoring.
‘Stepping out of our comfort zone’ to talk with others and support & challenge our perspectives is not easy especially when access to people, networks and communities can be restricted or conditional.
At XSectorMentor we regularly ask the question: Why shouldn’t a lawyer be mentored by a Vet, a Charity director mentored by a Police officer, or a Surgeon mentored by a customer service advisor?
The answer is often a lack of access, time, and affordability. That’s why we designed our programme for people and all organisations across SMEs, charities, public sector, and NfPs as well as larger companies.
Andrew Penker Chartered FCIPD is the Founder of XSectorMentor and an independent HR Consultant with Andrew Penker Ltd, Trusted HR Advice.