Addressing the fear…

I recently had an incredibly insightful conversation with the owner of a mid-sized company. We discussed his company’s requirements and Xist4’s inclusive approach to hiring experienced professionals. It was noticeable that his staff were predominantly white males, which is typical of most organisations in the UK. He said he was very keen to increase diversity in his workforce. He knew it would greatly benefit his company but candidly revealed several fear factors holding him back, which can be summarised with these three questions.

  1. Where to begin?
  2. Would he lose out on the best talent?
  3. What about the toilet arrangements?

These are common questions surrounding the issues of incorporating inclusiveness to have a workforce comprising individuals of varying ethnic backgrounds, religions, cultures, physical abilities and gender identity, but they are seldom asked out loud because we’re afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing or causing offence.

We learn from our mistakes – and successes – but fear should never be a factor in making decisions for positive change!

I applaud individuals like the business owner I spoke to. He was willing to talk about diversity and inclusivity rather than shying away from a subject that can be awkward to talk about. He knows that we are all collectively responsible for being part of the solution, not part of the problem.

So here are my answers to those three questions:

  1. Where to begin?

He is already on the journey to increasing diversity. Thinking, discussing and planning leads to doing.

  1. Would he lose out on the best talent?

Not at all! In fact, the opposite is true. ‘Talent not background’ is the mantra we should all be following. Inclusiveness means you get the best talent from a broad spectrum of backgrounds.

  1. What about the toilet arrangements?

The UK Government has guidelines for toilets and changing facilities. Good Practice: ‘Assume everyone selects the facilities appropriate to their gender’.

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