Only around one in four UK employers gives the HR team responsibility for the diversity agenda, XpertHR Benchmarking research finds. But those that do report a clear impact from HR’s involvement in diversity issues.
Nearly all employers have a diversity agenda in place in 2013, XpertHR survey finds
Diversity is firmly on the organisational agenda for UK employers in 2013:
- More than nine in 10 employers (92.8%) surveyed by XpertHR have an equality/ diversity policy in place.
- The three main aims of the diversity agenda for UK employers are: legal compliance; creating an inclusive work environment; and increasing workplace diversity.
These are among the key findings of the 2013 XpertHR Benchmarking survey of equality and diversity in the workplace. The survey is based on responses from 153 organisations with a combined workforce of 489,815 employees.
The survey also looks in detail at HR’s contribution to the diversity agenda.
Who takes responsibility for the diversity agenda?
When asked which party is responsible for the diversity agenda:
- More than half (52.3%) of respondents said responsibility for diversity is shared by all employees.
- One in four (26.1%) places responsibility for the diversity agenda with HR, and one in five (22.2%) with the HR director.
What impact do diversity initiatives have?
When asked about the impact of efforts to improve or maintain workplace diversity, the three most cited areas across the whole sample of UK employers surveyed by XpertHR were:
- Compliance with relevant legislation achieved (cited by 55.6%).
- More engaged employees (33.8%).
- Improved organisational image as ethical employer (32.4%).
But this picture changes markedly at organisations where the HR team takes responsibility for the diversity agenda, with a more inclusive recruitment process moving up the list:
- Legislative compliance achieved (59.5%)
- More inclusive recruitment process achieved (35.1%)
- More engaged employees (32.4%)
How successful are workplace diversity initiatives?
The survey suggests that HR’s contribution to the success of the organisational diversity agenda is more mixed.
When asked about their organisation’s success in achieving its diversity goals, nearly three-quarters of respondents (73.9%) said that it had been fairly successful, while more than one in eight (13.1%) said it had been very successful.
Interestingly, organisations at which the HR team takes responsibility for the diversity agenda were significantly less likely to say that they had been very successful in achieving their equality/ diversity goals.
But they were also slightly more likely to report fairly successful.
What impact does HR have on the diversity agenda? Have your say!
How does this square with your own experience of the impact of HR on the organisational diversity agenda? I’d love to hear from you – please get in touch and let me know!
Diversity resources from XpertHR:
- Diversity and HR in 2013 (1): ‘Diversity doesn’t matter to HR’ The first post in this short series looks at whether HR’s preoccupation with “navel gazing” comes at the expense of diversity issues, and whether this is reflected in the lack of diversity among the speaker panel at the recent 2013 CIPD conference.
- Eric Peterson: If I could change one thing about HR… SHRM’s Eric Peterson argues that “the topic of Diversity & Inclusion [Sh]ouldn’t be seen as one discipline among many, but as a part of everything that an HR professional does.”
- Equality and diversity 2013 The 2013 XpertHR benchmarking survey of equality and diversity in the workplace, based on responses from 153 organisations with a combined workforce of 489,815 employees.
- Equality and diversity policies: the 2013 XpertHR survey Written analysis of the key findings of the 2013 XpertHR benchmarking survey of equality and diversity.
- Equality and human rights Visit XpertHR’s equality and human rights topic page.
Diversity and HR: The Storify
Keep track of the current debate on diversity and HR among the global HR community via the following Storify story: