COVID-19 wasn't the great leveller many thought it would be. Instead it highlighted inequality and societal issues that still exist, with those from ethnic minority backgrounds being hit the hardest. Organisations responded by examining their workforce diversity, recruitment, talent pipelines and their ethnicity pay reporting. As part of its work to help people professionals tackle racism and racial discrimination in the workplace, the CIPD also published guidance on developing an anti-racism strategy.

Inclusion and diversity is good for business for many reasons; firstly it enables you reflect and understand your customer/client base better, a Harvard Business Review study found that when at least one member of a team has traits in common with an end user or client, the entire team better understands the them. Secondly, research from Deloitte and McKinsey have shown that it can significantly increase your bottom line and ability to innovate Deloitte’s research, which included the findings of seven major research studies, showed that I&D enhances innovation by about 20%. and McKinsey’s report, Diversity Matters, examined data for 366 public companies across a range of industries in Canada, Latin America, the UK, and the US. They found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have better financial returns than their non-I&D industry competitors.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly creating inclusive workspaces where all employees feel that they belong, that they can contribute to the business and thrive is the right and fair thing to do to.

This guide offers some practical advice on how to source diverse suppliers for your business, with examples of race and gender diversity that can be broadly applied to any protected characteristic, such as: age, sexual orientation, disability etc.

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