Written by HEIDI WADSWORTH

With equality very much in the spotlight, it has never been more important to address workplace equality and promote diversity. It’s vital for businesses to realise that no workplace is immune from these issues and there’s still so much that needs to be done.

We consider below some practical steps employers can take to demonstrate their commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace.

Ensure recruitment policies are fair

Review your recruitment policy and factor in any requirements of the policy in the recruitment process. To attract a varied talent pool through your recruitment strategy you need to ensure that all requirements for the job role can be justified and do not indirectly discriminate against. This should continue through to the selection process where all candidates should be marked against a fair and objective selection criteria.

Provide training to your team

Regular training should be given to all staff on equality and diversity and managers should be given specific training in relation to recruitment and promotion. This includes regularly reviewing your equal opportunities policy, looking to see where changes could be made and communicating these to your team. Look into providing company-wide training that ensures all employees have a mutual understanding of your equality and diversity policies, this will help your employees to understand what is expected of them.

Make sure processes are in place

Do you have a process in place for reporting harassment? Claims could be based on but not subjected to race, sexuality and gender. Any complaints regarding harassment should be taken seriously, and quickly addressed in line with your company’s anti-bullying and harassment and disciplinary and grievance procedures. It’s important that employees know where to report incidents of harassment, and feel confident in doing so – you should encourage your team to seek HR support.

Equal pay review

Equality extends across a wide range of areas, including pay. Many businesses are now enforcing equal pay reviews which aim to ensure that male and female staff receive equal pay for the same work. Equal pay reviews are also necessary to eliminate pay disparities between ethnic groups. Addressing any issues demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as promoting equal opportunities within the business.

Celebrate equality and diversity

Equality, diversity and inclusion should be present in your company values as well as policies and procedures. Facilitate and encourage employees to have conversations about equality and support members of your team who are actively doing so both in and outside the workplace – you might promote the sharing of culture and traditions in the workplace or sponsor an employee taking part in an event.

Innovative and forward-thinking companies have already heavily invested in HR strategies that ensure and celebrate equality and diversity, but it may be some time before we reach a level playing field. Having a diverse, happy workforce that has confidence in you as a fair employer will pay dividends in the long-term – in terms of morale, staff retention, and productivity – and is the foundation stone of a successful business.

For further advice on ensuring equality in the workplace, contact the team at info@realityhr.co.uk