In recent times, social, political, and economic developments around the world have pushed diversity and inclusion (D&I) to the top of HR leaders’ agendas. From the value of employer branding to workplace harmony, D&I touches on all aspects of operations and is no longer a bonus part of the agenda. However, faced with such a sensitive and pressing topic, HR leaders must devise a strategy that is innovative, credible, comprehensive and understandable to all sections of the workforce. A well-executed strategy that incorporates these elements will help employees full their potential and the business to meet its objectives.
In this case study, Dawn Moore (group people director, J. Murphy & Sons Limited) outlines how her uniquely developed ‘Three Ts’ strategy has created improvements in the long-term.
Assessing the D&I issue
D&I has been talked about as an issue within the construction sector for many years – but real, tangible progress is often hard to find evidence of. Much of this is down to organisations not being clear on their starting point – i.e. how diverse they are (or aren’t) based on their workforce data. As a result, many develop D&I strategies which ‘feel’ like the right thing to do, but the success of which can’t really be evidenced. The problem of data has been further exacerbated by the now legal requirement on gender pay gap reporting, the soon to be mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and the potential future disability pay gap reporting. Many organisations cite multiple barriers to accurate diversity data collection, which include :
- HR systems not being user friendly, reliable or secure
- Ethnicity data is much more multi-faceted than gender – which categories to use?
- Diversity data collection is seen as ‘too intrusive’
- Employees fearful of career impact, so ‘prefer not to say’
- Data collection is too onerous
- Employees feeling that their gender, ethnicity and other diversity data status is not relevant to their work.
The issue for construction and most other sectors was summarised well by PwC in a recent report on ethnicity and gender pay:
“The complexity is far from limited to the [diversity] data collection exercise. There is a lot of hesitation around employees being willing to give the data needed at all. Innovation is key to the approach organisations take and needs to balance the need for data and reporting with engagement, communication and building trust to get that data.”
With that in mind, this case study shares real life and innovative examples from what is now over 25 years of experience in construction and a variety of sectors on how to address this challenge through the Three Ts – transparency, technology and most importantly, trust.