Equality Academy Newsletter Spring 2014

Great Leaders who Make D&I Work – Harvard Business Review

HBR research says that business leaders send a powerful message when they make a commitment to diversity that goes beyond rhetoric. The executives interviewed saw diversity as a strategic and moral imperative and made promoting it a personal mission. Eight best organisational practices for instilling such a culture that emerged were:

1. Measure diversity and inclusion

2. Hold managers accountable

3. Support flexible arrangements

4. Recruit and promote from diverse pools of candidates

5. Provide leadership education

6. Sponsor employee resource groups and mentoring programs

7. Offer quality role models

8. Make the chief diversity officer position count

It is important for CEOs to dedicate time to working on diversity initiatives, setting an example for all, and ensuring the organisation attracts and retains talent. http://bit.ly/1ioOnKq

Same Sex Marriage

There were great celebrations as the the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force, starting 29th March 2014 http://tinyurl.com/pq3y6uy

Lack of Diversity puts British Companies Competitiveness at Risk

A study of over 10,000 British executives by Green Park leadership reveals a deep ‘diversity deficit’, which puts leading UK companies at a serious disadvantage domestically and globally. Of 289 senior executives only 12 were women and 10 were Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME). The research found that 53 companies have no minority ethnic presence at all among their Top 20 leaders, and two out of every three have an all-white board. http://bit.ly/QyW4X5

Code of Practice on age discrimination

This EHRC draft guide is essential for public authorities (and good practice for others). It provides guidance on a key provision to the Equality Act which came into force in 2012, explaining its implications and its multitude of exemptions http://bit.ly/1l9V05X

The Muslim Pound

Research by the Muslim Council of Britain highlights that there are now nearly 2.8 million Muslim people living in the UK, with a combined spending power of £20.5billion. Among this population are 10,000 millionaires, who are the most generous on-line givers to charity. pic.twitter.com/ItBQbE6yy2

Extension of the Right to Request Flexible Working

The right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees with 26 or more weeks’ service from 30th June 2014. Employers have statutory duty to consider applications, and to negotiate an agreement if requested hours are not possible. ACAS is producing a new Code of Practice and non-statutory guidance for employers. http://bit.ly/1ki5gHZ

Children and Families Act 2014 gains royal assent This Act is aimed at helping people to better balance their work and home life:

Lloyds sets diversity target

Lloyds Banking Group has set itself a target of having women comprise 40% of its most senior roles by 2020, up from the current level of 28%. Director of diversity and inclusion Fiona Cannon says they planned to build a talent pipeline of women by “starting further back in the organisation to develop women earlier in their careers”. The 30% Club say “A numeric, measurable goal can provide a useful focal point and it is exciting that Lloyds has decided to take a similar step – the first we are aware of from any FTSE 100 company – to accelerate progress. We look forward to seeing the results – and which company is next!” http://bit.ly/1js8o5g

Nationwide Research shows Benefits of an Older Workforce

“As far as Nationwide is concerned, employing older workers is a good business decision. Having a diverse workforce which reflects our customer base makes sound commercial sense.”

Moving mindsets on gender diversity

The McKinsey survey of 1,400 managers from a range of companies worldwide reveals that: “Corporate culture is twice as important as individual mindsets in determining whether women believe they can succeed.” The report identifies three cultural ‘boosters’ which help overcome barriers to women reaching the top:

It highlights three areas for action:

Two Recent Legal Cases:

An employer who insisted on part time employees working 3 full days rather than spreading the hours over more part-days is held by an employment tribunal (ET) to be liable for indirect sex discrimination, in a case taken by an employee who could not work the required hours because of childcare responsibilities. It was held that the requirement was not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (Henery v Quoteline Insurance Service Ltd).

An employer was held liable for sexual harassment of an employee by a 3 rd . party over a long period of time. The claimant had made no previous official complaints, but the ET held that an employer was under a duty to take steps to prevent the harassment. NB this holds even if the claimant does not want the steps to be taken.