Diversity & Inclusion at the CIPD: Update, July 2019

By Brad Taylor, Director of People and OD, CIPD

At the CIPD, our mission is to champion better work and working lives for everyone. And that mission needs to start with us. We strive to provide a workplace and working practices that reflect our mission.  We’re committed to attracting the best talent; people who will get behind our mission and make it their own. We want to make sure there are no barriers in place for the best talent out there to not only join us, but to stay with us and thrive.

We’ve done a lot of work in this area over the past couple of years. We’ve drilled into our data to look at how diverse and inclusive our workforce is and used that insight to inform the steps we can take to improve it.

We’ve examined our recruitment process thoroughly and looked at where we could be better. For example, we’ve been offering flexible working in various formats for many years, but in 2017 we made a renewed commitment to attract talent with different work/life needs by adding “happy to talk flexible working” to all recruitment adverts and job profiles.

We’ve completed a total review of how we structure and assess pay across the organisation, giving a lot more transparency on salaries and salary bands as part of the pay review process.

Health and well-being has also been a significant area of focus for us in the last couple of years. We’ve introduced a Financial Assistance programme and created a dedicated Well-being group. The group support the CIPD through the formulation of our well-being statement, they help facilitate and organise well-being initiatives, and bring issues and ideas to the attention of management. Something the group have looked at is the way we support mental health. In March 2019 we introduced our first Mental Health Champions, all of whom have received training from MHFA England.

We believe that everyone should be able to be their true self at work, and feel they belong. Our people help to shape the CIPD into a great place to work via employee resource groups. Our LGBT+ group is very active, and we were delighted to climb over 200 points on the Stonewall index this year. We also have another fantastic group, EmbRace, who help us to explore, discuss and champion ethnic diversity in the CIPD. They’ve just celebrated their one-year anniversary. Both LGBT+ and EmbRace sit within our D&I steering group, which brings together people from across the organisation with a focus on each key area of diversity to support us in making the CIPD the most inclusive employer it can be.

Supporting neurodiverse job applicants and employees is an important area of inclusion for us. We want everyone to be able to showcase their skills and talents in their job and we will review reasonable adjustments to make this happen. Our managers have taken part in neurodiversity training to increase their awareness and understanding of alternative thinking styles and a ‘lunch and learn’ session for all colleagues was very well-received.

We’re growing our Hiring team at the moment, and one of the key objectives they will be tasked with is ensuring that our recruitment, assessment and selection methods remain relevant and inclusive. We want talented people from all backgrounds to have the same opportunity to start or continue their career with us. We’ve also run unconscious bias training for all colleagues, to reduce the risk of this occurring at job interviews and career development discussions.

Our unconscious bias training aims to reduce bias as much as possible at every stage of the recruitment process. And because we know that getting a job here is just the first step on someone’s CIPD journey, we’ve made the training available for any colleague who wants it. This should ensure it is embedded into our culture as a whole, not just on the interview panel.

What we’ll do to improve in 2019 and beyond:

  • Recruit a Talent Acquisition Manager who’ll continue to regularly review our recruitment approaches to ensure they are fair and inclusive and in doing so help us attract a more representative group of people.
  • Embed new approaches to neurodiversity in our policies and development programmes, thus ensuring that neurodivergent people are able to enjoy successful and productive careers with us.
  • Offer support to women experiencing the menopause, so that they can continue performing their best at work. This will start with awareness training amongst managers and colleagues about the menopause and the impact it can have.
  • Continue with line manager training and continuous support about key areas of diversity and inclusion, seeing this aspect of their role as a vital part of good people management.
  • Progress our analysis and understanding of the balance of age, gender and ethnic identity across the CIPD. This will enable us to better understand where can make improvements.

The overall aim of all this work is to make sure that the CIPD stands out as a place where everyone working here feel welcome and are celebrated for their differences. Our vision is for the CIPD to be seen as a truly inclusive workplace by our people, our volunteers, our associates, our members and everyone who does business with us. We know that this focus will make us a stronger organisation that is fit for the future, and really acts to unleash the potential of our people.

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