Is your company ready for more diverse leaders?

In recent years, organizations are realizing that in order to succeed, they must be authentic and create an inclusive brand that reflects wider society.

If your company want to be strong and active advocate, they need to do the hard work in implementing strategies and refining processes to attract and retain diverse talent.

However, without preparations in place, they will struggle to attract diverse candidates, and even if your company does attract diverse leaders, they will not ultimately succeed in a culture that isn’t inclusive; especially in an organization that hasn’t shown a legitimate commitment to change.

What can companies do to help attract and retain diverse candidates?

Training programs and workshops

Implementing company-wide training programs and workshops is imperative to identify and eradicate potential biases at play within your business and the recruitment process.

These trainings and workshops can provide insight such as:

  • how to talk about race in the workplace
  • share practical actions for leaders to become advocates of colleagues of all backgrounds
  • equip participants with practical tools and resources to help them become more consciously inclusive leaders
  • take practical action to tackle biases, rather than just raising awareness that they exist
  • equip leaders with tools to help tackle their own and others’ biases through both introspection and practical action

Trainings and workshops such as these are imperative if your organization is aiming to foster a diverse culture. It shows that you are willing to address many of the challenges in creating an inclusive workplace and are building a foundation ready to allow diverse talent to succeed.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are workplace groups where employees with similar cultures and life experiences come together.

ERGs are important for many diverse colleagues as they not only provide support, but also enhance career development, shape workplace regulations, and contribute to personal development in the work environment.

What you need to consider, though, is if your workplace ERGs impact the wider business; ensure that they are not just an after work get together, and that they have a voice and influence in all aspects of business such as managerial and administrative.

It is also important that different ERGs within a company should be collaborating and supporting each other to ensure that there is an intersectional approach to address the concerns and challenges faced by all diverse individuals.

Data collecting and reporting

Businesses are currently seeing the demand for more accountability and transparency in their actions. It is important to understand who works within your company and where potential gaps may exist when it comes to equity between different groups.

It’s here where Gender Pay Gap and Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting comes into place.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

The Gender Pay Gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women across a workforce. If your company has 250 or more employees, you must comply with regulations on Gender Pay Gap Reporting.

Reporting and commentary on your company’s Gender Pay Gap is essential to help understand why a Gender Pay Gap is present and what is being done to analyse and close it.

When disclosing it, you may want to consider publishing an action plan that explains how you intend to tackle your Gender Pay Gap with clear measurable targets for action.

Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting

The Ethnicity Pay Gap shows the difference in the average pay between staff from minority ethnic background in the workforce, compared to white staff. Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting is vital to track progress of ethnically diverse colleagues and correct the course for equal pay.

While reporting on a company’s Ethnicity Pay Gap isn’t yet mandatory, taking the initiative to carry it out highlights your organization’s willingness to improve their diverse culture and ensure a level playing field for all employees.


To support these reports, your organization needs to provide legitimate action and a commitment to transparency when sharing those actions happening to support inclusion.

It’s important that you are showing to your consumers and colleagues that you are taking important steps within the organization to reflect their culture in all aspects of the business.

For example, if a clothing company is hiring a plus size model to promote their brand, they need to ensure that they are catering for plus sizes in their clothing, or if an organization’s target audience includes those from the Black community, they need to show and commit to representation throughout their organization.

Mentoring and sponsorships

High potential diverse talent often get stuck unrecognized within the lower levels of an organization without the opportunities and tailored support often afforded to other employees who find it easier to break through and build their careers.

Dedicated talent development programs can bring together emerging diverse talent and senior business leaders from across your company in both mentoring and sponsorship partnerships.

Mentoring and sponsorships facilitate career-expanding opportunities to those being mentored in two different ways. Mentoring is one-on-one support that can include mentors across all levels of the business sharing their knowledge and experience with mentees in order for them to independently progress in their careers. Sponsorship does that too, however sponsors also leverage their leadership position to provide opportunities for their ‘protégé’, such as increasing their network and creating opportunities to grow their career into leadership.