Diversity tsar Trevor Phillips has backed proposals to create a new diversity association for practitioners in the field, following research from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).
The chairman of the forthcoming Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) told diversity gurus at the launch of the LSC report into equality and diversity practitioners that a new body would help raise diversity standards among professionals, save businesses money, and prevent “rogue” advisers and consultants from damaging the credibility of the profession.
The LSC study found that 80% of 1,500 diversity practitioners want to see a new professional association to establish common standards and agree proper career paths.
Speaking at the event, Phillips applauded the “specificity” of the topic, outlining why diversity was important, and why it deserves its own association.
“Labour globalisation is growing at an exponential rate,” he said. “As the population becomes more diverse, they will be showing up more in the workplace. To meet these changes, we need to be more radical in our approach to recruitment and retention,” he said.
He added that embracing diversity is “not complicated”, and urged firms to realise the financial gains of raising standards, stating “rogues must be kept out of the business”.
“There needs to be an architecture set up where those who give advice do it honestly without making money,” Phillips said.
Equality and diversity practitioners are essentially white, British, female and aged between 35 and 54, according to the LSC report.
Whether the new association will come into being, how it will be managed, who will sponsor it, and whether it will have a regulatory function or be regulated, are all issues still to be decided.
Professor Chris Mullard, research director of the project, will put the report’s findings to policy makers and legislators later this year.