We at Market Inspector firmly believe that diversity in the workplace is of enormous benefit to both corporations and consumers. And many studies confirm this. The McGregor-Smith Review suggests that utilising the full potential of black and minority ethnic (BME) individuals can contribute £24 billion to the UK economy after a year. This represents 1.3% of GDP. However, the underemployment rate for the BME population is still higher (15.3%) than that for white workers (11.5%) in the UK.
Of course, diversity is not just about ethnicity. Women are still underrepresented in certain industries, and few women ever make it to top managerial positions. Only 9.7% of executive positions in the FTSE 100 companies are held by women. Currently, only 29% of British MPs are women.
This is not due to a lack of ambition from women. In fact, Hay’s 2016 Gender Diversity Report finds that almost as many women (64%) are aiming for leadership positions as men (65%). However, there is still a strong disbelief in equal pay amongst women, which might discourage them from pursuing their goals.
Our world is slowly but surely moving away from the old and stale norms of our grandparents, towards a more diverse,accepting, and inclusive society; and companies are following suit. But if they want to stay relevant with consumers, they have to pick up the pace.
This feature originally appeared in Market Inspector.