Diversity. What does it mean for you?

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Diversity. the condition or fact of being different or varied; variety: genetic/biological diversity a wide diversity of opinion/ideas. 

Over the last few months, no actually, lets just cut to the chase and say years/decades/centuries, we have seen women, ethnic groups and many more suffer setbacks, prejudices and much more because of being ‘different’. The fact that this STILL continues in today’s modern society baffles me. 

So – steering away from my usual thread of thought for content, I wanted to end the year discussing an issue that I feel very passionate about. Yes, that’s right, diversity. Whilst diversity spans across many topics, my core focus is diversity in the workplace and how we, as business owners, have a responsibility to ensure we do our ‘bit’. 

Now, I am by no means an expert and this is merely my own opinion (so if you have anything negative to say about this topic, don’t bother). I’m sure there is a lot already out there by esteemed academics and researchers who can convey my message in a more detailed way, but, if just one person reads this and it has an impact on their decision to hire, promote or expand their workforce then we’re on to a good thing!

37.6% of UK’s management team consists of women.

Whilst data suggests women in senior management positions have increased over the last few years, there is still a significant difference between the genders when it comes to management positions. At Embryo, I’m pleased to say that our management team is 70/30 split. The fact that there is still a shortage of women in senior positions AND that there are discrepancies between salaries is shocking. I asked Hannah Matthewman our marketing manager how she feels about this:

“The gender pay gap is something that surprisingly a lot of businesses still need to acknowledge and work on. Salaries should and must reflect the job and the quality of work that is being done, not the gender of the employee. I feel lucky to be able to work at Embryo, a company that already has a large number of women in managerial positions and is genuinely committed to working towards narrowing the gap further to achieve greater gender equality. “

Black employees hold just 1.5% of senior roles in the UK.

With everything that we have seen and witnessed over the last few months with the BLM movement, this stat alone justifies why we, as business owners, need to do more to ensure we have a diverse workforce. A report by BITC found just 54,900 of the 3.9 million managers, directors and senior officials in the UK are black. Grim truth. 

Only recently, Lloyds Banking group published data showing that black members of staff were paid 20% less than their colleagues on average, predominantly resulting from a lack of black staff in higher-earning positions. Whilst they have pledged to improve this, we too, as business owners need to do this. 

Your workforce, your team and your environment should reflect the society we all live within and contribute towards. 

Sainsbury’s showed us diversity in marketing is needed now, more than ever

We’ve all seen Sainsbury’s 2020 Christmas adverts and the aftermath of racism it generated online. With household brands standing together and supporting their campaign, the ad highlighted that we, as marketers have a responsibility to ensure our campaigns represent the society we live in today. 

More diversity is needed in ads. Rather than reinforce gender stereotypes (I’m thinking of perfume/aftershave ads here), we should be creative with what we share and be conscious of the social responsibility we have to ensure campaigns are fair and reflective of our community.

Moving on and upwards

I’m pleased to say that as it stands, Embryo is a diverse and energetic group of individuals who all contribute towards making the agency grow. Recognising talent and rewarding it accordingly goes a long way which is why I am pleased to have recently announced the Embryo People Development Programme. I will do what I can to support my team members and ensure, I, as a Business Owner am harnessing the talents and skills of a diverse team. Can you say the same?