To pursue diversity effectively and get the best talent into your organisation, you need to create changes in the way you recruit, appoint, and promote, in order to design out as much of the bias in all of our decisions as you can. Your HR department will be at the centre of supporting that process of change.

In thinking about diversity, we focus on two overlapping but separate aspects the deficits and the dividends.

The deficits are widely known – the gender pay gap, the lack of black, asian and minority ethnic (bame) people in Exec jobs, the bame attainment gap in student attainment, the lack of women Vice-Chancellors etc. We will work with your HR team to collect and analyse your data to identify where the specific blocks to talent are in your organisation and then design, with you, appropriate solutions.

The diversity dividend comes from the combination of difference. What gives diversity its power is not some inherent value in an individual, or the group they belong to, but the mixture of the differences of individuals. These differences, when well-managed, mean that diverse teams or organisations will outperform homogenous ones.

Creating these teams to realize the diversity dividend will require a significant change in the way that you decide on and design your Person Specs. So we will concentrate on who you should recruit — not the JD — and what valuable difference they, as individuals, will bring to the team.

We have designed a process to pilot these changes in a number of different departments/units in your organisation, which you can then evaluate and roll out.
The process will require the pilot departments/units to articulate what they are doing strategically; to use our diversity matrix to work out who have they got in their groups/team; decide should they recruit to bring diversity/difference and what are the explicit criteria that describe that person.

Our method is based on this concept of recruiting difference into teams, because research – particularly the work of by Professor Iris Bohnet and her teams at Harvard Kennedy Business School — demonstrates increasingly convincingly that it is the way to get the highest performance and to reap the diversity dividend.

We will support your HR team through understanding and implementing these changes in your ways of recruiting and promoting, in order to describe, shortlist and select the person who will bring the most creative difference and value to your organisation.