CIPD, United Kingdom
As a registered Charity, we were established to promote the art and science of the management and development of people for public benefit. Ever since we were founded in 1913 by a group of people responsible for the well-being of factory workers, we’ve stayed true to the same purpose: we exist to champion better work and working lives for the benefit of individuals, businesses, economies and society.
Promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management – it’s about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual. However, to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential. While UK legislation – covering age, disability, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation among others – sets minimum standards, an effective diversity and inclusion strategy goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee well-being and engagement.
The CIPD is committed to the removal of age discrimination in organisations. CIPD research shows that age-diverse teams can benefit both individuals and their organisations. Genuine inclusion boosts workforce diversity, helps address skill and labour shortages and benefits an organisation’s reputation and brand.
Organisations that have a positive and inclusive approach to managing disability can reap many benefits, including increased loyalty and commitment from staff, the ability to tap into different perspectives and skills which can boost innovation and performance, and the ability to recruit and retain good people. It also makes commercial sense. The best businesses like to reflect the make-up of their consumer base in their workforce – disabled customers and their families have a spending power worth £249 billion.
Businesses that aren’t inclusive – and don’t manage health and disability effectively – risk their wider reputation as an employer and business, as well as legal action if they fail to comply with equalities law.
People who experience bullying or harassment are more likely to be depressed and anxious, less satisfied with their work, have a low opinion of their managers and senior managers, and want to leave their organisation. Everyone should feel safe at work, and confident that their organisation will act on a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment of any form. Leaders and line managers play a pivotal role in stamping out gender inequalities at work. However, they need to receive the appropriate guidance and training, lead by example, treat people fairly (regardless of their sex), and not tolerate inappropriate behaviour.
CIPD fully support the introduction of gender pay gap reporting. Public declaration of an organisation’s figures provides transparency and focuses attention on important gender equality issues that need addressing (for example, a lack of flexible working, occupational segregation and pay discrimination). Publishing gender pay gap data provides an ideal opportunity for organisations to examine the impact their people management and development practices have on equality of opportunity at work.
The CIPD is actively contributing to government consultations on the issues and supporting employers to drive sustainable change in their organisations. For example, in 2019, the CIPD in consultation with senior level members provided practical recommendations to the UK Government on whether organisations should be required to report on the pay differentials between people from different ethnic backgrounds.
We were also one of the first organisations in the UK to sign the Race at Work Charter. Internally, the CIPD’s EmbRACE employee action group on race and ethnicity is actively working with HR to raise staff awareness of issues and advise on action the CIPD needs to take as an organisation.
The CIPD believe that a person’s religious or philosophical beliefs should not affect whether they get a job, benefit from training or get promoted. Everyone deserves the opportunity to develop their skills and talents to their full potential, work in a safe and inclusive environment, be fairly rewarded for their work, and have a voice in their organisation.
It’s in the best interests of any organisation to understand and be sensitive to employees’ religious or philosophical beliefs (or the absence of such beliefs). It’s important that all employees are aware of the need to respect each other’s religions and beliefs to prevent conflict and any form of harassment and discrimination.