Case Study and Implementing Diversity Policies

Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles A guide for ITEC and other engineering businesses who want to benefit from employing a diverse workforce Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles A guide for ITEC and other engineering businesses who want to benefit from employing a diverse workforce Christina Evans, Judith Glover, Yvonne Guerrier and Cornelia Wilson School of Business and Social Sciences Roehampton University 80 Roehampton Lane London SW15 5SL Tel: +44 (0)20 8392 3000 www. roehampton. ac. uk For correspondence about this report please email mailto: c. [email protected] ac. uk September 2007 © The Royal Academy of Engineering ISBN: 1-903496-37-3 Content Foreword Acknowledgements List of figures Executive summary 1. Introduction 1. 1 Why the need for a set of Guiding Principles for embedding diversity in the ITEC sector 1. 2 How the Guiding Principles have been derived 1. 3 Summary of the Guiding Principles 1. 4 Schema of the Guiding Principles Suggestions on how organisations might use these Guiding Principles Guiding Principles 3. 1 Vision and leadership 3. 2 Well-defined business case 3. Company wide policies to mainstream diversity 3. 4 Education, training and knowledge building 3. 5 Supportive work practices and organisational culture 3. 6 Open and transparent recruitment and career development practices 3. 7 Partnering with external bodies 3. 8 Targeted outreach and widening the recruitment net 3. 9 Management of suppliers 3. 10 Monitor, improve and celebrate success 3. 11 Matrix of key supporting organisational case studies Conclusions Resources to help with your diversity journey Notes 3 4 5 6 9 9 10 11 12 14 2. 3. 15 15 20 23 29 36 40 45 49 53 56 60 62 63 66 . 5. 6. Appendices I. List of acronyms 68 2 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles Foreword I am delighted to welcome this new report – Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles – funded by The Royal Academy of Engineering and produced in partnership with Equalitec. Equalitec, funded in part by the European Social Fund, under the Equal Programme, is a broad-ranging partnership of organisations committed to promoting and supporting women’s advancement in Information Technology, Electronics and Computing (ITEC).
ITEC is a key driver of change in the global knowledge economy and a key contributor to the productivity and competitiveness of the European economy. But growth is being affected in some areas by a shortage of skilled ITEC workers. To meet the continuing growth in ITEC we need to encourage more individuals with diverse backgrounds and skills, particularly women, to consider a career in ITEC and ITEC related businesses.
It is now well recognised that there are many business and social benefits from encouraging greater diversity within the workplace. Yet women are currently under-represented in the ITEC sector, especially in more senior roles. This report provides some practical guidelines on how to build an organisational culture where women and others from diverse backgrounds with business critical ITEC skills are encouraged to participate and reach their full potential. It contains many examples of good practice drawn from a range of ITEC employers.

I would encourage you to use this report with a range of people in your organisation to help stimulate debate and change polices and practices to encourage greater diversity. Dr Rosalie Zobel Director Directorate G/Components and Systems Information Society and Media Directorate General European Commission The Royal Academy of Engineering 3 Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the many organisations and individuals that have made this report possible.
In particular we would like to thank The Royal Academy of Engineering for sponsoring the project; Professor Wendy Hall, CBE FREng, Senior Vice President of The Royal Academy of Engineering, for chairing each of the Equalitec Diversity Forums; Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director, Equalitec, for the initial inspiration for this report, as well as her continuing support, and all of the Equalitec partners and other participating organisations that have contributed to the ideas and case examples contained within this report.
A list of Equalitec partners and contributing organisations can be found on the back cover of this report. 4 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles List of figures
Figure 1 Summary of the Guiding Principles Figure 2 Schema of the Guiding Principles Figure 3 Diversity – Balanced Business Scorecard Figure 4 Development options to help managers manage a flexible workforce Figure 5 Recruitment strategies to assist entry and re-entry of women into ITEC Figure 6 Equalitec Career Model (reproduced with permission from Portia Ltd) Figure 7 REC – Diversity Pledge for Recruiters (reproduced with permission from REC) Figure 8 Intellect’s Women in IT Forum Survey – ‘Perceptions of Equal Pay’ (reproduced with permission from Intellect) 11 12 20 31 40 41 54 57
The Royal Academy of Engineering 5 Executive summary This report draws together key learning from earlier Equalitec Diversity Forums and reports, as well as other research on implementing diversity, in the form of ten Guiding Principles that can be applied in organisations that want to build a more diverse workforce. It is intended to act as a practical guide for managers and diversity practitioners in Information Technology, Electronics and Computing (ITEC) businesses, and other organisations. ITEC is now a major driver of change in many businesses, particularly in the service sector.
But a shortage of skilled workers is making it difficult for some firms to compete successfully in the global economy. Despite this skills shortage, fewer than one in five ITEC professionals and managers are women and the number of women employed in ITEC is declining in most industrialised countries. With organisations chasing fewer and fewer skilled workers, there is a strong business case for increasing the proportion of women in ITEC. Within the UK it has been estimated that removing barriers to women’s employment and increasing their labour market participation could be worth between ? 5 billion and ? 23 billion. This is equivalent to 1. 3 – 2. 0% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the Women and Work Commission’s report – Shaping a Fairer Future [1]. Yet many ITEC companies find it difficult to attract and retain women. One reason may be that IT continues to have a macho male image that can put women off. In addition many women and young girls are not aware of the diverse roles on offer in the ITEC sector and so do not see a match between their career aspirations and what is on offer.
Building a diverse workforce is not easy. It requires on-going commitment from senior leaders to bring about cultural change, underpinned by investment to develop a cohesive set of employment policies and practices. Furthermore, a concern raised at the November 2006 Equalitec Diversity Forum [2] is that the growing trend of global sourcing in IT is affecting the diversity and inclusion agenda in the UK. Where organisations can easily ‘buy in’ labour from other countries there is less of a business imperative to invest in growing its own workforce.
So why does this matter? Is diversity, particularly gender diversity, more difficult to achieve in the ITEC sector? Wider research suggests that women in Science, Engineering and Technology workplaces face difficulties over and above those experienced by women in other occupations, as these workplaces have traditionally been male dominated [3]. Industry commentators also acknowledge that the sector does create additional pressures for employees something that can make it more difficult for women and others with caring responsibilities.
First, there is often a need to deliver projects to specific deadlines, involving working long hours. Second, individuals need to spend significant amounts of time keeping abreast of the latest developments in the field and maintaining their skill levels; for women with caring responsibilities this can be especially problematic as updating of skills is costly and time consuming. Many women working in ITEC are concerned that maternity leave and career breaks accelerate skills obsolescence.
Although funding is allocated to training graduates (new entrants) this is generally not the case for women returners [4]. In addition women, and indeed men, who choose to work part-time often find their commitment questioned. 6 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles Whilst the equality duties (race, disability and gender) have created a ‘burning platform for change’ in public sector organisations, this same burning platform does not currently apply to private sector companies.
But changes in the public sector tendering process, to ensure compliance with the general duties, are beginning to influence practice in private sector companies who bid for public sector contracts; this change forms a key component of the business case for some private sector companies as this set of Guiding Principles shows. Equalitec, originally supported by funding from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and latterly the European Social Fund (ESF), was established to promote and support women’s employment in ITEC.
Over the six years that Equalitec has been running it has worked with over 50 organisations to help build and disseminate good practice for employing and retaining women in ITEC. The Guiding Principles covered within this report, and listed below, are supported with many examples of good practice drawn from a range of ITEC employers. Many of these employers are working in partnership with Equalitec. Adopting the good practices contained within this report will help build workplaces that benefit all workers, not just women.
Guiding Principles for embedding diversity in ITEC and other related businesses 1 Vision and leadership 2 Well defined business case 3 Company wide policies to mainstream diversity 4 Education, training and knowledge building 5 Supportive work practices and organisational culture 6 Transparent recruitment and career development practices 7 Partnering with external bodies 8 Targeted outreach and widening the recruitment net 9 Management of suppliers 10 Monitor, improve and share success Recommendations for taking these Guiding Principles forward Business leaders ¦ Use this Guiding Principles report creatively to help raise debates and develop policies and practices in your own organisation. Some initial suggestions on how to do this can be found later on in the report. A key policy to review is your career and succession planning, making these more open and transparent. This will help address the needs of individuals at different life-stages and with different needs and aspirations, thus encouraging them to join your organisation. Revisit data monitoring policies and practices to find ways of enabling greater availability and transparency of data. Where firms are reticent about making specific data public they could perhaps share techniques of data gathering.
This would help the measurement of progress both within and between organisations and help establish industry-wide benchmarks, against which broader change could be measured, particularly in relation to the gender pay gap. ¦ The Royal Academy of Engineering 7 ¦ Consider partnering with a range of educational and professional bodies to ensure that the skills needed to work in the sector meet changing employers’ needs. One possible way of achieving this is to work in partnership with HE institutions, professional bodies, and other employers, to create an ITEC Academy, something similar to the Power Academy recently established to address the shortage of skilled power engineers. This would help continue the excellent work started by Equalitec.
Equalitec partners have found the Equalitec brand, underpinned by the European Social Fund and support from the DTI, has created a legitimacy for the various activities that they are engaged in to bring about change. Without a similar body going forward there is a concern that change will not happen at the pace that is needed. Central government and other policy makers ¦ Provide more resources for educational institutions as well as the careers service to promote the diverse career opportunities available within ITEC. ¦ Review policies to help women returners, especially occupational returners (i. e. returners to the industry after an extended career break), who are an under-utilised pool of talent.
A key policy area for change is education, where there is an opportunity to develop conversion courses for people with a degree in a discipline other than computer science, enabling them to take up an ITEC role. This would not only help women returners, but other people who may want to move into ITEC at a later stage in their career. e-skills UK: work more closely with businesses to develop skills frameworks and progression pathways for ITEC professionals working in different business sectors. ¦ Professional bodies ¦ Work closely with educational partners to change the general perception of the ITEC sector and encourage more people to seek employment in the sector. Encourage and assist ITEC employers to introduce and develop good employment development practices. This could be achieved by gathering data on the gender balance among members, promoting cultural change, and brokering learning networks. Develop the range and accessibility of professional development programmes, qualifications and networks, that address the development needs of women on maternity leave, as well as men and women who want to take a career break. Apply these Guiding Principles within their own professions and organisations. ¦ ¦ 8 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles 1. Introduction 1. 1 Why the need for a set of diversity guiding principles for ITEC organisations?
In today’s global knowledge economy the innovative use of ITEC technologies is fundamental to business survival in an ever complex and competitive business world. The ITEC sector continues to be a growth sector. Ten percent of the GDP in the UK comes from the ITEC sector, according to Intellect, the Trade Association for the UK high-tech industry. Furthermore 34% of the worldwide GDP comes from the ICT market according to the Public Technology Association [5]. With this amount of investment and growth in ITEC it is not surprising that the demand for skilled ITEC workers is outstripping supply. This is the case in all businesses, not just amongst the major ITEC producers.
Despite this increasing demand, the number of women employed in ITEC roles remains much lower than women’s participation in the workforce more generally and is declining in most industrialised countries. In the UK fewer than one in five ITEC professionals and managers are female and this figure is even lower in IT strategy and software development roles [11]. With 40% of business requirements being for skills at advanced levels, the gender imbalance in the IT workforce creates a continuing challenge for businesses according to Karen Price, CEO, e-skills [6]. What these figures indicate is evidence of horizontal and vertical segregation [8] in a sector that was optimistically viewed in the 1960s and 1970s as a golden era for women’s employment.
As a relatively new sector it was anticipated that some of the traditional barriers experienced by women in the workplace would be removed, and that women would be able to participate on a more equal basis with men. Sadly the reality has not matched this optimism. A concern voiced at one Equalitec Diversity Forum is that the growing trend of global outsourcing in IT is affecting the diversity and inclusion agenda [2] . Where organisations can easily ‘buy in’ labour from other countries, there is less of an imperative for firms to invest in developing its own workforce. However having IT systems developed and serviced by third parties does have skills implications for organisations’ internal workforce. In practical terms this means a growing need for IT literate staff who understand the business and know how to use IT to drive the business forward [7].
With organisations struggling to attract and retain skilled knowledge workers, it does not make business sense to under-utilise diverse pools of talent, including women. Speaking at the November 2006 Equalitec Diversity Forum, Meg Munn MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Women and Equality) endorsed this view: “If the UK is to further develop and sustain a flexible, highly skilled workforce – one that is able to cope with the twin challenges of globalisation and rapid demographic change – then we have to ensure that all our talented people are involved. ” The Royal Academy of Engineering 9 Yet the reasons for the lack of participation of women in ITEC roles are complex.
Sector image, as well as organisational culture, has a role to play here. ITEC work is still perceived as a place for ‘geeks’ and ‘anoraks’, working long hours and with little interaction with others. However as other Equalitec publications have shown this image does not reflect the reality of ITEC work, or the diversity of employment opportunities [8]. The changing nature of ITEC work, particularly as offshoring and outsourcing has become more commonplace, has led to an increased demand for ‘hybrid’ workers. These are workers who can demonstrate both technical and behavioural skills, such as team working, communication, relationship management, flexibility and innovation, and project management.
Behavioural skills are viewed as those that women are able to contribute, drawing on these from their multiple roles inside and outside the workplace. But if businesses want to capitalise on these behavioural skills they need to find more creative ways of attracting and retaining women. 1. 2 How these Guiding Principles have been derived Working with a diversity agenda is challenging. There is no single simple solution. Organisations have to ensure a common understanding of diversity and the link with Equal Opportunities (EO). Whereas EO is concerned with difference at the social group level, diversity management is focused on individuals, with organisations striving to recruit and retain individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences [9].
In addition, the diversity agenda is heavily contextualised: economic, political, legal and social forces each impact on business priorities and internal organisational practices. Despite these broader forces there do seem to be a number of key practices that organisations can focus on if they want to mainstream diversity. Developing an organisational culture that is supportive of diversity and where women are encouraged to reach their full potential is not easy. The nature of some ITEC roles can make it difficult for women, and others with caring responsibilities, to combine their work and family lives. Yet as other Equalitec projects have identified, some organisations are actively trying to change their culture so that people from diverse backgrounds, and with diverse talents, feel included.
These Guiding Principles draw together some of the good practices developed in a range of private and public sector organisations. They have been derived from categories drawn from various sources: Equalitec Diversity Forum reports; the DTI and Equalitec sponsored report – Successful Recruitment Strategies and Practices; Times Top 50 ‘Workforce Diversity’ index; BCS Women in IT awards; Aurora’s ‘Where Women Want to Work’ awards; US National Academy of Engineering – Diversity in Engineering report, as well as the National School of Government’s Diversity Excellence model and the Civil Service diversity performance indicators. The supporting case examples are drawn largely from Equalitec publications.
They have been tested out with Equalitec partners, and other organisations closely involved with Equalitec’s work, to ensure that they cover the key areas that ITEC and other organisations need to focus on to build a diverse workforce. 10 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles 1. 3 Summary of the Guiding Principles From the background sources outlined above we have identified 10 Guiding Principles. These are shown in Figure 1. 1 Vision and leadership: senior leaders demonstrate an on-going commitment to mainstreaming diversity by ensuring that the relevant policies, practices, metrics and action plans are in place. Ongoing commitment is also demonstrated through frequent and consistent communication, internally and externally, about the organisation’s achievements against its published action plans.
Well defined business case: the diversity agenda forms an integral part of the strategic business planning agenda – not something that is a ‘nice to have’, perhaps especially for private sector firms that are bidding for contracts within the public sector. In the public sector the ’effectiveness argument’ i. e. ensuring the diversity of the workforce matches the diversity of service users, is perhaps more of a key driver. Company wide policies to mainstream diversity: overall diversity policy is supported by changes to other organisational policies e. g. recruitment, reward, flexible working and work-life-balance, performance management, career management and retention policies. Education, training and knowledge building: on-going commitment to education and training for all employees in order to change behaviours and develop organisational practices.
Supportive work practices and organisational culture: a workplace that is open and welcoming of people from diverse backgrounds and which can demonstrate good examples of implementing different forms of flexible work arrangements. Transparent recruitment and career development practices: commitment to changing the recruitment and promotion practices so that women and others from diverse backgrounds are able to develop satisfying careers. Partnering with external bodies: relationships are developed with a range of partnering institutions to advance the diversity agenda, using this as a way of further developing internal knowledge and capabilities.
Targeted outreach and widening of the recruitment net: resources (time, energy and money) are invested in developing awareness of the changing nature and opportunities within the ITEC sector and encouraging young girls and women of all ages to develop a career in ITEC. Management of suppliers: current and future suppliers understand the organisation’s diversity agenda and the organisation ensures that suppliers adapt their practices appropriately. Monitor, improve and celebrate success: demonstrates a commitment to gathering quantitative and qualitative data to monitor progress on the diversity journey, using this as a way of further refining policies and procedures. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Figure 1: Summary of the Guiding Principles The Royal Academy of Engineering 11 1. Schema of the Guiding Principles Mainstreaming diversity is not a simple linear process. There are a number of inter-related areas that require working on simultaneously. The schema in Figure 2 is intended to illustrate the dynamic relationship amongst the Guiding Principles defined earlier. Depending on the organisational context, change may be initiated from any one of these areas at a given point in time. In some organisations, for example, data on female attrition rates, or lack of diversity in the recruitment pipeline, may act as a catalyst for change. In others a change in leadership, such as the appointment of a new CEO, may act as the catalyst. At different times in the business life cycle organisations may eed to focus on developing policies and practices that have more of an internal focus and at other times they may need to work on policies and practices that have more of an external focus. Vision & leadership Well-defined business case Company wide policies to mainstream diversity Internal focus External focus Education, training & knowledge building Supportive work practices/ culture Open and transparent recruitment & career development practices Partnering with external bodies Targe ted ou treach & widening the recruitment net Management of suppliers Monitor, improve and celebrate success Figure 2: Schema of the Guiding Principles 12 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles
What is clear from the background research carried out to produce this report is that implementing polices and practices to mainstream diversity is not easy, given the complexities that we are dealing with. Other reports on diversity have likened this to the complexities of the software engineering process itself, highlighted in the book The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brookes, formally of IBM: “There is no silver bullet, no magic potion that can fix things. Things only get fixed if you take the problem personally, and you want to make a difference. It is that simple. If you care enough about it to put your money where your mouth is, and you put somebody in a eadership position to do something about it, you can make a difference. ” [10] It is not surprising therefore to find leadership at the top of these Guiding Principles. The Royal Academy of Engineering 13 2. Suggestions on how organisations might use these Guiding Principles One of the key aims of Equalitec is to share and disseminate good practice in the employment and progression of women in ITEC. This report draws together much of the good practice gathered through Equalitec projects. Whilst many organisations have made great progress on increasing the representation of women in ITEC roles, most would agree that they still have more to do.
It is hoped that this set of guiding principles will support change in organisations, thus helping to stem the current decline in the number of women in ITEC. Some suggested ways that organisations could use this report include: ¦ Using this report in your diversity training programmes for line managers, helping to raise awareness of the issues and stimulate debate for change. The questions at the end of each section would provide a start point. Recognising that successful change involves a top-down and bottom-up approach, consider using specific sections of the report with different employee groups/forums to help stimulate a dialogue about change. You could perhaps start with the section ‘Monitor, improve and celebrate success’ with a group of senior managers.
This could prompt a review of the diversity data that are currently available, as well as where the gaps are. Using the section on ‘Supportive work practices and organisational culture’ with different employee groups could generate further ideas for change. Making the report available to all staff as part of your e-learning resources. This could help those aspiring to leadership roles broaden their awareness of the diversity agenda. Using the report as a basis for reviewing existing policies and practices. ¦ ¦ ¦ 14 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles 3. Guiding principles “having the genuine support of senior leaders sends a powerful message to the rest of the organisation that diversity matters. ” 3. Vision and leadership Effective leadership is crucial in all culture change programmes and developing an organisational culture that embraces diversity is no exception. When testing out these guiding principles with experienced managers there was general consensus that vision and leadership needs to be the number one guiding principle. It needs to be number one for a very simple reason – having the genuine support of senior leaders sends a powerful message to the rest of the organisation that diversity matters. Without this, as many Equalitec partners will testify, diversity does not happen. So what type of leadership is required? ¦ Leaders with a personal commitment to diversity Effective management of diversity requires ongoing commitment from the CEO and other senior leaders.
This commitment can be demonstrated in many ways: setting a clear vision for diversity, linked to the business case; making sure that others understand the business case in the context of their organisations; modelling the behaviours needed to build a diverse workforce; making sure that the appropriate structure and polices are in place, as well as ensuring that all employees are aware of their responsibilities and where they fit into the diversity agenda: “Chuck Prince, who is our chairman, aims to make sure that we are not only the largest financial services organisation but also that we are the most respected. All of us, as employees, have to attest to our shared responsibilities.
Those are our responsibilities to the organisations, the franchise through to our clients and also to each other, to make sure we recognise and respect diversity – which includes gender diversity. ” Sharon Pagram, Recruitment Manager, Europe Middle East and Asia (EMEA), Citi [2]. Many organisations have introduced Diversity Councils as one of their supporting structures. These can help build insights and knowledge to support the change agenda. A case example of this from Symantec appears at the end of this sub-section. ¦ Leaders who demonstrate ‘mindset flexibility’ A key skill referred to time and time again is that of ‘mindset flexibility’, particularly amongst those in leadership roles: “I think there is something about having men with the right attitude.
I don’t know quite how you articulate this, but it is to do with having a diversity of thinking and approach in the senior executive team. Having men who are different from each other and function well in a flexible remote culture. Men who encourage interaction at all levels and really believe that difference is a good thing. I really do believe that if you have a culture which encourages bright, creative individual men to stay at senior levels, women will benefit too. ” Rebecca George, Partner, Deloitte [11]. Mindset flexibility is seen as being important to help rethink jobs and how best to resource these: The Royal Academy of Engineering 15 What you are looking for [when recruiting] is a set of outcomes and you try to be more flexible about the people who might be able to provide those outcomes for you. You’re much less prescriptive about the inputs. ” Steve Palmer, London Borough of Hillingdon [12]. It is also important when considering flexible work options to ensure that all options are considered: “We have just gone through a reorganisation at Citigroup Technology Infrastructure (CTI) and we now have two very senior members who are direct reports to the head of EMEA for CTI … One of these will be working remotely, using flexi-working as well as other means. She will be working from Scotland whilst playing a major role in the CTI organisation.
She is working flexi-hours and she is working remotely and that has enabled her to take on a position of the size that she has. ” Sharon Pagram, Recruitment Manager, EMEA, Citi [2]. HR and diversity practitioners in particular need to demonstrate effective leadership by challenging line managers who are reluctant to try out different flexible work options. ¦ Leaders who listen to and communicate openly with their staff Open and honest communication is crucial if employees from diverse backgrounds, and with diverse needs, are to feel fully included: “I believe that communication is very important … ensuring that there are adequate team briefings, newsletters, bulletins and staff gatherings. There are one-to-one meetings, for example for all staff.
I think that this mix ensures that there is the opportunity to accommodate individuals and that those for example who are on flexible working, or those who are part-time are kept fully informed and up-to-date just as much as the staff who are there full-time. ” Angela Clements, Head of ICT and Business Development, West Dunbartonshire Council [2]. As the Microsoft example below indicates, senior leaders can send out a powerful message if they are personally involved in finding out what women are looking for in the industry: “Simon Brown is the general manager for Developer and Partner Evangelism and he is looking to attract more females into technical evangelist roles. He has been helping by investing time and thinking about what it is that women want in the industry, and what they want at Microsoft at different levels. ” Helen Duguid, Partner to Microsoft EMEA [2].
It is just as important for female leaders to listen to the needs of their junior female colleagues, rather than make assumptions that they all have the same needs: “… so many of the women who are at the top, they don’t have families, or else they might have had them, but it’s been with a totally supportive background, or they haven’t needed to be the carer in the family … but you wouldn’t necessarily get from somebody at the top who didn’t have that empathy, let’s hear about you and what’s it like for you? You don’t get enough of that. ” [13]. 16 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles ¦ Leaders who act as role models and who champion change The importance of senior leaders acting as role models during organisational change is well documented.
But as so much change involves top down and bottom up thinking it is important that organisations mobilise and nurture leaders at all levels to support the change journey. An innovative practice identified from a non-ITEC sector organisation, but one that could be adapted, is illustrated in the case example below. Case: Recruiting internal diversity champions at Wigan & Leigh College [14] The college has 23,000 students located across six different sites. The college recognised that although it had achieved the disability element of the diversity agenda it needed to do more on the other strands. To support its philosophy of inclusion, the college introduced a leadership and management programme to help change behaviours amongst its senior managers.
This programme highlighted a need to do more to create a genuine culture of inclusion across the whole of the college. Following an equality and diversity ‘health check’ the college went on to recruit internal equality and diversity champions to help promote their diversity agenda. The role was open to individuals at all levels and in different areas: management, administration and academic staff. All applicants went through a structured selection process. The rationale for such a rigorous process was to ensure that those selected could act as role models, as well as have the skills to help deliver the organisation’s diversity learning programme.
Staff recruited into the Diversity Champion roles, were then given additional training to ensure that they were able to perform effectively in their new role. Having a diversity of role models could help junior staff feel a greater sense of belonging, as well as develop a sense of where they might aspire to: “I like the idea of people from throughout the organisation at all levels, who are happy to be kind of champion …not just the high-flyers. If you have people where you are, or the next level up, where you are aspiring to be, its doable and you can relate. ” [13]. ¦ Leaders who are willing and able to change Developing an organisational culture that is committed to diversity requires leaders who are willing and able to change.
A key point made by Terry Marsh, from the Women into Science, Engineering and Construction (WISE) Campaign: “We talk a good deal about changing culture but actually the culture that we have to change is one that does not cope with change in many cases. You do not have to change the culture but you have to change people’s ability to want to change, or their ability to cope with change … We therefore have to look at whether there is a culture, in certain companies and certain sectors, that cannot cope with change at all. ” [2]. ¦ Leaders who reinforce the diversity message Given that change takes time, leaders need to find different ways of promoting and praising those who are helping the organisation achieve its diversity goals:
The Royal Academy of Engineering 17 “One of the practices that we have in place is that whenever a requisition is posted in our system the hiring manager receives a letter, signed personally by our senior VP for the EMEA region, talking about why a diverse workforce is important to the future of HP, for innovation, again referencing the business case. It reminds them that we have hiring goals and encourages them to work with the recruiter for a diverse source pool. ” Lisa Kepinski, Diversity & Inclusion Director, HP [13]. Case: Supporting structures to mainstream diversity in Symantec Symantec Corporation is the fourth-largest independent software company in the world.
It is the world leader in IT security, providing security and storage products solutions and services, to virtually the entire Fortune 1000 companies. One of Symantec’s best known products is the Norton consumer security solutions. The organisation employs just over 18,000 employees in 40 countries. Deborah Davis, Vice President, Enterprise Support Services, EMEA and India, explained how commitment to diversity within Symantec comes from the top. The group president, Tom Kendra, is the global leader and executive sponsor of the diversity and inclusion initiative within the organisation and Chief Technology Officer, Mark Bregman, is the executive sponsor of the organisation’s global women’s initiative.
The organisation has established five goals for increasing the representation of women: a) increase the percentage of women in leadership positions to reflect the overall female demographic and management hierarchy; b) increase the percentage of women at the high end of the technical track in engineering; c) increase the number of women in sales; d) increase the number of women across all of our technical fields, not just software development areas; and e) build a work environment that supports and encourages women in their career aspirations. As well as executive commitment to ensure that goals and metrics are in place, the organisation has created a number of structures to sustain its diversity and inclusion initiative, as shown below. Supporting Structure Global Structure Global Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee • Executive D Steering Committee meets quarterly • 16 Diversity & Inclusion Councils established • D Office – – – – Global Diversity & Inclusion Office 16 Diversity & Inclusion Councils – – 18 SWAN Champions – –
Act as a link between SWAN and Executive Leadership Seek support for SWAN recommendations Identify, share and implement best practices Build Symantec brand as an employer of choice for women Identify external women’s organizations and build long term partnerships Establish Metrics and Reporting Build collateral to support activity of SWAN Champions Conduct quarterly conference calls with SWAN Champions 1 18 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles There is an overall Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee as well as a network of 16 Diversity and Inclusion Councils, a figure that is expanding across the globe.
In addition the organisation has a Symantec Women’s Action Network (SWAN). SWAN champions attend external women’s conferences and organisations, acting as a spokespeople for the company, and build the Symantec brand as the employer of choice for women. There is also a dedicated diversity and inclusion office that acts as a link between the SWAN networks, the Councils and the executive leadership, to ensure that information and knowledge from the various fora and groups are shared. Source: Equalitec Diversity Forum, June 2007 [13]. Points to discuss in your organisation ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ Do staff believe that the leadership is really committed to the diversity agenda? What do they believe that they are committed to?
How is this monitored, communicated and acted upon? How diverse are the role models in your organisation? How is personal commitment to the diversity agenda monitored in your organisation? Is it something that current and aspiring leaders need to demonstrate in order to gain promotion? How is ‘mindset flexibility’ developed in your organisation? The Royal Academy of Engineering 19 3. 2 Well-defined business case There are several drivers for implementing diversity policies and practices: ethical and social justice, regulatory, economic, and business case. In private sector companies it is the business case argument that provides the main driver for change.
There are many dimensions to this. It can help organisations tap into new markets, as well as appeal to a broader customer base. In an increasingly diverse society the importance of the demographics of the workforce mirroring that of clients and customers is also a powerful business case argument. Access to wider pools of labour can be a powerful argument particularly where critical talent is in short supply, as in the case of ITEC. Increasingly organisations are adopting a balanced scorecard approach to the business case for diversity, as indicated in Figure 3. • Enhanced understanding of new and emerging markets Marketplace • ‘Mirroring of clients’ – Customers Winning new business • Products and services that meet the needs of diverse customer base demographics of client base reflected in the workforce • Better understanding of needs of diverse customers • Access to wider customer base • Leveraging diversity of suppliers and other partnerships • Enhanced reputation and profile amongst clients and other stakeholders Workplace Access to wider pools of talent • • Better staff retention – lower recruitment costs Productivity/effectiveness Enhanced creativity, innovation and problem solving • • Enhanced employer image/reputation • Richer business processes • Greater organisational flexibility and responsiveness to change Employer of choice • Inclusive work environment where all employees are fully • Better utilisation of diverse/scarce engaged and performing talents optimally Figure 3: Diversity – Balanced Business Scorecard Although it is important for those working in change agent roles to have a broader awareness of the business benefits of diversity, it is crucial that they are able to focus on the key business benefit for their organisation, as this is what gets the attention of the senior leadership team: “For us in Pfizer, the diversity business case rests on the values of creativity and innovation because we want to bring new medicines to patients. ” Trish Lawrence, Diversity Initiatives Manager, Pfizer PGRD [15]. 20 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles The Value Proposition Profitability and Business Success Invention and High Performance The Business Advantage Creativity and Productivity Diversity and Inclusion 14 August 2007
Having got the attention of senior leaders, those working in change agent roles also need to find ways of communicating the business case in a form that line managers identify with: “One of the things we have learned is that to get the attention of line managers, we need to make the business case much more explicit. In our early efforts, we had a business case but we did not publicise the financial implications enough. ” [16]. One way of doing this is to link cost/benefit data directly to line managers’ budgets: “If it’s someone you know, who was a good employee, who wants to come back and they need ? 2,000 of training, but you’re not paying for an agency to recruit them, it’s a no-brainer from a business case viewpoint. ” [23]. A continuing challenge for those working in diversity roles is being able to make direct linkages between diversity policies and enhanced operating performance and bottom line results.
As Stephen Alford, HR Manager at Fujitsu Services, pointed out at the first Equalitec Diversity Forum [15] this problem arises as often a range of policy interventions are needed to address a specific diversity issue. The following case study from Fujitsu Services provides further guidance on how diversity champions can build a sound business case for diversity. Case: Building the Business Case at Fujitsu Services Fujitsu Services design, build and operate IT systems and services for customers in the financial services, telecom, retail, utilities and government markets. It employs 21,000 people worldwide. Around 12,000 of those are located in the UK working for a wide range of Public and Private sector organisations.
At the 2006 Diversity Forum Stephen Alford, HR Manager, pointed out that one of the key arguments he uses to get senior business leaders to focus on diversity is to link back to the goal of ‘winning new business’. As an IT services company a key business driver is winning new contracts, something that as Stephen explained is now influenced by the changing legislation especially when tendering for public sector contracts. The Race Relations Act 2001, Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2006 mean that public sector organisations have a statutory duty to The Royal Academy of Engineering 21 promote equality in these three areas in their own organisation. In addition they have a responsibility to audit their suppliers to ensure that they too have equality schemes in place.
Some of the arguments that Stephen draws on to convince managers about diversity include: Legal drivers – focusing on the pre-tender bid situation where questions are asked about whether there have been any cases taken against the organisation and whether any have been lost. In particular pointing out how the discrimination legislation which underpins equal opportunities is uncapped and how claims can hit the bottom line significantly if the organisation gets it wrong. Raising the profile of Fujitsu – using the strapline – ‘Why focus on diversity inclusion? ’ – to point out how as an organisation Fujitsu wants to be employer of choice in the IT service sector and partner of choice for winning business.
As an organisation they are now monitoring their workforce more closely, so that they have the facts to be able to manage the business more effectively. Recruiting and retaining the best talent – pointing out how with changing demographics you may not always be able to recruit the talent from the same place as you have always recruited from. In addition women, and those from ethnic minorities, are more likely to join an organisation where there are role models and where they feel that they can get on. Having attracted the best talent then the organisation needs to focus on retention. Losing key talent is expensive. At Fujitsu Services mothers returning to work after maternity leave return on 120% of their salary until their child is 15 months old.
The more senior the women then the more this costs the organisation, but as Marjan Kuyken, Practice Manager, Programme and Project Manager points out “… with that seniority comes more knowledge of the organisation and more expensive skills”. Clearly these are knowledge and skills that the organisation would not want to lose. Limitations of a lack of diversity on performance – diversity practitioners need to be able to provide a number of case examples to show how other organisations have made productivity gains from building a more diverse workforce, as well as examples of where things can go when there is a lack of diversity in the decision-making teams. Sources: Equalitec Diversity Forum, May 2006 [17]; Effective Recruitment Strategies and Practices Report [12].
Questions to stimulate debate in your organisation: ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ Do you have key data to support your business case? Are they in a format that line managers can easily understand? Do you have a range of case examples, internal and external, that you can use to support the business case? How do you communicate the business case for diversity in your organisation? Do line managers have easy access to the data on changing demographics so that they can make informed recruitment and retention decisions? 22 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles 3. 3 Company wide policies to mainstream diversity Building an organisational culture that supports diversity and inclusion is not easy.
As Juliet Webster, Involvement and Participation Association (IPA), points out organisations need to go beyond value statements and develop a coherent set of policies to ensure that they attract, develop and retain employees from diverse backgrounds: “The most ‘women-friendly’ ITEC organisations are, not surprisingly, those which have clear, coherent and thoroughgoing equality and diversity frameworks encompassing their employment policies and practices. These frameworks underpin and support a variety of practical initiatives which help organisations to attract, promote and retain women … some of the strongest examples of good equality practice are not always labelled as such, but what distinguishes them is a coherence of approach to staff development and progression and the express inclusion of all employee groups. ” [8].
Many organisations, large and small, have realised the importance of planning for diversity from the outset when developing their policies and practices, especially when the company is growing, or plans to grow in size: “If you find yourself with 15 engineers, none of whom are women, you’re suddenly in a bad position for trying to hire your first woman. As you build up from zero, you’ve actually got to be especially careful in the early days. There is something about thinking early on, when we’re working in a field that is by its nature male heavy, to think carefully about those early hires. ” Doug Fraley, Head of People Programmes for EMEA, Google [12]. So what key policies and practices should organisations focus on? • Recruitment and selection The Effective Recruitment Strategies and Practices research [12] highlighted how the ITEC sector has developed a reputation for informal ‘grapevine’ recruitment, where job openings are transmitted via established networks.
Employee referral schemes, which have become increasingly popular with organisations, operate on a similar principle of tapping into employees’ existing networks. However there is a concern that practices like these can make it more difficult for women, especially returners, to gain entry into ITEC organisations. Where organisations want to attract a more diverse workforce it is important that they use a number of recruitment methods to signpost their vacancies and employment opportunities – we say more about this in the section on ‘Targeted outreach and widening the recruitment net’. Selection methods should also be clear and consistent, as we explain in the section on ‘Open and transparent recruitment and career development practices’. •
Induction In some organisations, such as Fujitsu Services, the induction process is used to ensure that all new staff are aware of the organisation’s position on diversity and the actions that the organisation is taking to build a diverse and inclusive work environment. Performance management Wider research suggests that a key policy that needs to be revised in organisations committed to diversity is performance management. According The Royal Academy of Engineering 23 • to the Corporate Leadership Council, organisations that are the most successful in building a diverse workforce are those that have developed their performance management systems so that managers in particular are held accountable for achieving the organisation’s diversity objectives. In the US, some organisations link Executive bonuses to the achievement of diversity goals [18].
In other organisations performance ratings are based on the ’How’ as well as the ‘What’ and a specific case example of this occurs at the end of this subsection. A range of tools can be used to gather feedback on whether management behaviours support organisations’ diversity goals: 360 degree feedback, peer review, and employee attitude surveys [19]. However, ORC, a US based consultancy suggest that organisations should be cautious about linking diversity goals to managerial performance, as it might distort behaviours. An additional strategy could be to publicise a list of managers that have met the goals for increasing the diversity of their unit [20]. •
Flexible working and work-life-balance policies Wider research suggests that offering flexible work arrangements, including high quality part-time work, is part of the ‘new business case’ argument [9]. Flexible work arrangements can help women sustain their career through the child rearing phase. The benefit to organisations is better retention of skilled female employees, thus lowering overall recruitment costs. Whilst a policy on flexible working is important, as it signals the organisation’s intent, making flexible working work in practice is more problematic. This requires line managers who are committed to the principle, as well as having the necessary skills to manage flexible working. This point will be covered in more detail under ‘Supportive work practices and climate’ later in this subsection. •
Pay and reward The government’s survey on earnings (Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2006) shows that women’s mean full-time hourly pay in computing and related jobs is 79. 6% of men’s [12]. Thus there is gender pay gap in the sector of just over 20%. This is larger pay gap than the overall UK one [20]. The main reason for the greater pay gap in ITEC is the tendency for women to be concentrated in lower paid jobs. If organisations want to attract more women to work in the sector then the gender pay gap needs to be addressed through the use of equal pay audits and job evaluation schemes. Intellect’s annual survey – ‘Perceptions of Equal Pay May 2006’ [22] – identified that only a small number of firms had carried out an equal pay audit.
Yet as the survey also showed; perceptions of unequal pay can affect recruitment. • Talent management and succession planning Having attracted more women into the organisation it is important that they then have every opportunity to progress. Several organisations seem to be developing their succession planning policies to ensure greater diversity amongst their leadership population. A good example of this is shown in the IBM case study at the end of this section. Michael Chivers, Vice President, Human Resources for Sales and Marketing at Sony Ericsson spoke of the importance of organisations moving away from the 24 The Royal Academy of Engineering
Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles ‘rear view mirror’ approach to succession planning [11]. By this he meant that instead of appointing leaders that are clones of the current leadership there is a need to think more about the leadership qualities that will take the organisation to where it wants to be in the future. Ensuring that women are given early responsibility in their career so that they build up their reputation and visibility was raised as a good strategy by several participating Equalitec organisations. This is something that will be discussed in more detail in the section on ‘Open and transparent recruitment and career development’. •
Restructuring and downsizing As part of the background research for this report we had several illuminating conversations with HR managers about what happens to diversity when organisations are restructuring or downsizing. Some interesting perspectives emerged. One was that where organisations have made significant investment in their diversity policies and practice they need to make sure that all of that good work is preserved in the new structure. A further perspective was that restructuring could create opportunities to bring in people with different experience because that is what the business needs. In addition to the key policies discussed above there are many other policies that may need revising, or developing, to build a diverse and inclusive workplace, as the following case from HP indicates.
Case: HP Policies and Practices Supporting Diversity and Inclusion Within HP there are three main areas of focus for diversity: attracting diverse talent, promoting and developing diverse talent, and retention of diverse talent. The term ‘diverse talent’ is used within HP as it is broad and allencompassing. The organisation also has a number of policies and practices to support its diversity and inclusion strategy. These include: Non-discrimination policy Electronic job posting Diversity Hiring Goals VP’s message to hiring managers Harassment-free work environment Degree education program Domestic partner benefits Employee resource groups Development opportunities Open door policy Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Open communication Management by objective Work-Life-Policies and Resources Common Thread’ diversity newsletter A key policy lever is the ‘Diversity Hiring Goals’, which reflects the philosophy that having a metric in place gives diversity a business grounding and helps the business get to where it wants to get to – a rich, gender diverse workforce -faster. As Lisa Kepinski, Diversity and Inclusion Director, EMEA Region points out “Having a metric creates a focus for the The Royal Academy of Engineering 25 business and it encourages a partnership between the business and HR, as it is the business that sets the metric, not HR. ” A practice that reinforces the ‘Diversity Hiring Goals’ policy is the – ‘VP’s message to hiring managers’.
Each time a new recruit is taken on the hiring manager receives a personal letter from the senior VP for the EMEA region, pointing out why a diverse workforce is important to the future of HP, thus reinforcing the business case. Lisa acknowledges that organisations need to watch out for the impact that metrics might have on the focus of their work – “If you only have metrics in place for hiring and ignore promotion, development and retention, then you could have the revolving door syndrome. ” Source: Equalitec Diversity Forum, June 2007 [13] Organisations that have effective monitoring in place should use these data to develop new policies, as well as refine existing policies (see section on ‘Monitor, Improve and celebrate success’ later in this section).
Policies need to be initiated with the use of statistics, but they also need statistics so that monitoring and evaluation, reconstitution and re-evaluation can happen. Finally, policies need to reflect the legislation in the country in which they are being introduced. The legislation makes it easier to introduce family-friendly polices. With an increasingly mobile workforce, opportunities for sharing different policies for attracting and retaining women in ITEC in different country contexts is something that would be most valuable. But again without appropriate data, policies can be meaningless or at worst pointless; this relates as much to individual companies as to countries.
Case: Managing the female talent pipeline at IBM IBM is a global company that invents, develops and manufactures information technologies, including computer systems, software, storage systems and microelectronics. These technologies are used to provide professional solutions, services and consulting for businesses worldwide. It employs around 160,000 technical professionals, worldwide. Diversity is critically important to the business: having a diverse workforce is crucial for developing diverse products and services. The organisation has developed its employment policies and practices to ensure that it attracts and retains people from diverse backgrounds, including female employees.
As part of the Effective Recruitment Strategies and Practices research [23], Wendy Papworth, Gender Programme Manager, EMEA Workforce Diversity, outlined some of the practices to develop, progress and retain women. “We run regular pay audits, as part of our salary rounds. We always look very closely at the gender element of the pay rounds, to make sure there’s fairness and it’s a level playing field. But we do run specific exercises where if there’s something that maybe suggests we should have a look at it, then we do. And we dig quite deep down into the data, and, you know, on pay for graduates, when I last looked at it about two years ago, there was no discrepancy.
And there are so many factors involved in the determination of pay, so it was quite a lengthy exercise, but it was really positive. 26 The Royal Academy of Engineering Implementing Diversity Policies: Guiding Principles So, a couple of things we do. We have women’s leadership councils in each country, looking very closely at pipeline and progression. We’ve worked with the HR teams in each country to specifically identify the creme de la creme of the female talent, and actively manage those women to make the next step change. That could be a move outside their business, or promotion. The women’s leadership council can assist by profiling role models, by getting women more actively involved in mentoring or networking and engaged in education programmes.
We also look at our attrition rates in terms of propensity to leave, so if there’s a particular part of our structure where we’re seeing a higher increase of women likely to leave, say, for example, in the UK compared to that same position in the structure in another country, or overall in Europe, we conduct round tables with that part of the structure, and the band just below as well. It’s very important that we know how the women in the level below see, their future opportunities. So we conduct focus groups and round tables to get a feel for what will keep you with IBM. We keep an eye on where the key pressure points in our pipeline for women are.

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