CBI claims data-driven diversity will fail to deliver

Enforcing more data collection was not the way to improve employment opportunities for ethnic minority women, the CBI said last week.

A report by the Equal Opportunities Commission found that Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean women faced significantly greater penalties than white women in the workplace.

The report recommended “practical” solutions to tackle the problem, including finding out and publishing the facts about the number of black and Asian women working at an organisation and at what level.

But CBI deputy director-general John Cridland said obliging employers to collect more data about staff would not in itself achieve a more diverse workforce.

“It would only take the focus away from those actions that help encourage more ethnic minority women in the workplace,” he said.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development warned that adopting “policing legislation” would not help businesses understand the benefits of diversity. “Organisations should not simply focus on increasing diversity, but learn how to manage it better. This requires more than minimal legal compliance,” it said.

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