There is a real opportunity for our sector to take positive steps to attract a more diverse workforce with broader skills and perspectives by looking at its inclusion policies. Diversity aside, our inclusion messages still seem to be falling short. Working in waste can be a tough enough sell without perpetuating the view that we work in a male-dominated industry and that women can only mentor women. This perspective is putting a drag on recruitment as we are not seen as an attractive sector to work in.
For some companies, culture is the issue and it can seem like a minefield to know where to start. However, small changes can have a huge effect on diversity and inclusion in your company and your workplace. Here are 10 small changes to increase diversity and inclusion in your company. Taking action is the only way to change anything.
1. Mix teams up that would not normally work together to cross pollinate ideas. Give these teams tasks to resolve and rotate the team leader, giving everyone a platform to understand multiple viewpoints.
2. 6+3 = 9, so does 5+4, 3×3 and 8+1 – there are many ways to arrive at the same answer. Use mind mapping with your teams to allow everyone the same opportunity to show their thinking.
3. Use a critical success tree to show all your departments and functions. This shows everyone has a role in your success and it provides a dynamic influence on inclusion.
4. Make inclusion and diversity workshops and training available for all.
5. Teach colleagues how they can hold someone accountable for their behaviour. If you see someone being left out, say something.
6. Invite a wider skill set of people to meetings to drive diversity. Having the same people in the same meetings will only ever give you the same responses.
7. Celebrate employees work and acknowledge how their work adds value to the team.
8. Awaken people and help them to achieve their potential. Introduce policies that support succession planning, where employees are not restricted and can apply for more senior roles.
9. Look at achieving a balance of demographics when recruiting apprentices.
10. Provide catch up training for employees who have had career gaps due to family leave to help them jump back onto the ladder and not be left behind.
Written by Gill Mulroe MCIWM – North East Centre Councillor