Organizations with strong gender and ethnic diversity are 15% and 35% respectively more likely to outperform their competitors (McKinsey)

Extensive research has found that Diverse and Inclusive organizations experience: ​

  • Greater success in recruiting and retaining talent

  • Employees with higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment

  • Employees with greater engagement in their work

  • Significant increases in creativity and innovation

  • Better decision making

  • A boost to company reputation

  • Improved Financial Performance.

In fact, working with people who are similar to us undermines our potential for success, so Diversity & Inclusion is not just common sense, it makes business sense for Aspire and our clients.

Aspire and, are key stakeholders in the talent acquisition supply chain, and therefore, our approach to diversity and inclusion is vital to ensure our clients and candidates receive the highest standards of best practice.

Diversity in recruitment is ensuring that candidates are shortlisted and introduced because their skills and competencies meet the criteria set out by the client. That criteria needs to be examined for indirect bias, such as degrees from specific universities, levels of experience only achievable for a specific group, hours of work that may discriminate, or descriptions of culture that is exclusive.

Decision-making should be free from bias related to race, belief, gender, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, physical individuality, neuro individuality, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to the criteria required.

If candidate pools and resulting hires are not sufficiently diverse then the employer will not develop diverse leaders of the future.

If an organization's culture is not inclusive, it will not retain diverse talent.

Diversity refers to the existence of variations of different characteristics in a group of people. These characteristics could be anything that makes us unique, such as our cognitive skills and personality traits, along with things that shape our identity such as race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and cultural background.

Aspire, positive for Diversity and Inclusion

​Aspire is an equal opportunities employer and we ensure all our colleagues have the same access to opportunities for employment and promotion based on transparent criteria such as skill levels, performance, competencies, and relevance.

Aspire will not work with any organization that does not agree to the charter below so we encourage all organizations to take up ​the diversity and inclusion initiative and sign up to the charter below and become an employer that is 'Positive for Diversity & Inclusion' (PDI).

PDI organizations will implement or commit to the following charter:

  • Promoting Diversity & Inclusion

  • Creating a Diversity & Inclusion Policy

  • Undertaking an internal audit to understand your organizations diversity

  • Plans to take positive action to be more diverse

  • Create and/or deliver training to all employees to understand the full range of diversity

  • Create and/or implement training to all employees to understand how communication and behaviors may affect another person and how to manage complaints

  • Create and/or implement training for employees on how to ‘call out’ inappropriate language, behavior or anything else in a secure and supportive manner

  • Creating an environment where employees are secure to challenge inappropriate behavior or language

  • Leadership taking a lead on being positive for diversity & Inclusion

  • Terminating relationships with suppliers and third parties that fail to be positive for diversity & inclusion.

Remaining neutral in the selection process

As humans, we are all unconsciously biased. We choose some people as friends over others. We gravitate to new people over others. It’s natural. Unfortunately, we also take these human traits into the workplace in the following ways as we are not diverse in a cognitive way:

  • We hire and promote people who are like us or in our own image

  • We attach value to things that reflect our own background or experience, such as a University we attended or a hobby we enjoy

  • We may fail to see merit in people different to ourselves

  • When developing selection criteria for senior roles we don’t use diverse language often reflecting the dominant grouping of white heterosexual men

  • We too often use the type and background of the previous incumbent as a blueprint criteria for the replacement

  • Pre-Covid 19 there was a view that those wishing or needing to work flexibly were less committed.

  • Employee referrals can promote a continuum of recruiting in own image. ​

To remain neutral, we need to: ​

  • Acknowledge our own bias

  • Ensure a diverse group of people review the criteria set for the selection process

  • Ensure job advertising uses inclusive language and imagery

  • Ensure job briefing to third parties uses inclusive language and imagery

  • Deliberately slow down the decision making to remove ‘gut feeling’ or unconscious bias instincts

  • Ensure use of a competency and skills-based selection process

  • Prepare interview questions in advance so they are consistent and you avoid anything perceived as discriminatory

  • Consider removal any identifiable data that may indicate, culture, ethnicity, disability, socio-economic background

  • Monitor each other for unconscious bias

  • Keep a record of your hiring decisions and your reasons

  • Offer and give feedback – clear reasons to unsuccessful candidates

  • Ensure a diverse group of people is involved in the selection process and decision-making. ​​

The steps Aspire takes to be diverse

  • Understanding our own demographics and strategy to be a diverse employer

  • Training for all of our people that includes:

      • Unconscious bias awareness

      • Bias aware interviewing and assessment

      • Writing inclusive jobs ads

  • Consulting with clients about their approach to Diversity & Inclusion

  • Offering video interviews so candidates can showcase skills and competencies

  • Analytics & reporting for Diversity

  • Video clip sent with all shortlists/introductions to hiring managers with a reminder of the need to stay mindful of their biases

  • Regular posting of thought leadership on the need to promote diversity

  • Taking positive action to balance our own workforce. ​

Any form of consideration an employer takes regarding protected characteristics will break the Equality Act of 2010. It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of: ​

  • Age

  • Disability

  • Gender reassignment

  • Marriage and civil partnership

  • Pregnancy and maternity

  • Race

  • Religion or belief

  • Sex

  • Sexual orientation. ​​

One of the sectors Aspire recruits into is Intellectual Property, for which we are signatory to IP Inclusive.

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