The UK has seen a 58% increase in the number of diversity and inclusion (D&I) roles available over the past five years, and many of the top D&I roles are being created at senior level.
According to data from LinkedIn, UK organisations employ twice as many D&I professionals per 10,000 employees than any country in the world and have the second largest number of D&I professionals globally, behind the US.
Diversity and inclusion in HR
The number of UK D&I roles has grown four-times faster than HR roles over the past five years and there was a 33% increase in the number of D&I roles posted on job boards in June 2020, compared with the previous year.
The attention UK organisations are now giving to improving D&I has also been reflected in a survey by PwC, which found two-thirds of businesses are collecting ethnicity data on their employees and a quarter have calculated their ethnicity pay gap.
But according to Janine Chamberlin, a director at LinkedIn, more still needs to be done to achieve equality in business.
“D&I professionals have a crucial role to play in instigating change and steering companies towards creating fairer, equitable and inclusive workplaces,” she said.
“Businesses are rethinking organisational culture, allyship and accountability, as well as how they attract and importantly retain diverse talent. This means carefully assessing everything from the language of job postings to ensure people from diverse backgrounds feel encouraged and empowered to apply, to having clear career development opportunities so people feel they belong and can reach their full potential.”
Employers should ensure their diversity and inclusion commitments are a “central anchor” of their plans as a “new era” of work begins to emerge, said Yvonne Smyth, group head of equality, diversity and inclusion at recruitment firm Hays.
“If purposeful progress has slowed or stalled in light of the pandemic, it’s time to get things moving again,” she said. “Increasing numbers of employers recognise that a more diverse workforce and inclusive workplace offers many advantages, including improved customer orientation and service, innovation, productivity, profitability, morale and staff retention.”
The top five fastest growing D&I roles across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), according to LinkedIn, are:
- Director of Diversity
- Diversity Officer
- Head of Diversity
- Diversity Consultant
- Diversity Manager