Diversity makes ‘good business sense’

The advantages of a more diverse working environment are substantial, says the CBI

Increasing diversity within the workplace brings “huge benefits” to businesses, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The CBI, which is launching the report entitled Talent or Tokenism tonight in conjunction with the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said there are many benefits to improving diversity within the workforce at little or no financial cost.

The business benefits of employing staff regardless of their sex, race, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion include higher morale and productivity, increased retention rates and lower recruitment costs. The TUC and the CBI also believe that utilising currently untapped talent will help address skills shortages.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The need to unlock the talents of all – to create a truly representative workforce – is even more crucial at a time of economic uncertainty. The issue is not whether business can afford to diversify, but whether it can afford not to.

Richard Lambert, director-general of the CBI agreed that the transition to an increasingly diverse staff will reap huge rewards. “Employers who take steps to encourage a more diverse workforce notice huge benefits from doing so, whether it is hiring skilled staff, understanding their customers’ needs better or more fundamentally through improved morale and productivity.

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