Posted by Tamara Toothill | Posted 29/09/2022
Last week was National Inclusion Week, a week aimed at learning about and celebrating an inclusive culture.
National Inclusion Week originally started 10-years ago, with the first theme being ‘think differently’. Since then, it has become a worldwide celebration for organisations and individuals to take part in and take action towards inclusion.
Initially created to encourage organisations to focus on inclusion and to consider the benefits of having a diverse workforce, the week has now become a milestone event in the ED&I calendar, where organisations can champion inclusion as one.
Michelle Wright, from Sanderson Government & Defence, reached out to share her thoughts on ‘Inclusive Recruitment’.
“Here at Sanderson Government and Defence we are asking the question…’what is the stigma behind completing the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion employee questionnaire?’ Below are some common thoughts when completing this form…
- What if I fill out the form and I get treated differently, will it affect my future promotions/career path?
- It doesn’t affect my job, so I don’t see why they want to know my personal information.
- Why does my employer need to know my personal information?
- What will this achieve?
- Why it is important?
Regardless of how open-minded people think they are, bias and unconscious bias is in everyone, its human nature. Most companies these days want to know how diverse their current workforce is and give everyone the same opportunities, regardless of gender, age, disability, sexuality, ethnicity. It’s a shame that people feel that they `prefer not to say’ based on the thoughts or feeling above.
“As a single working mother, if there was a question about being a single parent, would I answer this? Absolutely. I don’t feel that it reflects my work or me as a professional, although I am proud to be a single working mother of 2, I am a driven and committed individual and this is reflected in my work and would not stop me completing the form. If I was bisexual and or transgender or from a minority community, I would also complete the form, I would want my employer to know that they have a diverse workforce, with the possibility that I could educate them and give an insight to a culture that they may not know is out there. I am lucky enough and proud to know that an employer like Sanderson promotes ED&I within their business/workplace and that I can be my authentic self.
“However, everyone has their own thoughts on these forms, but the point I want to get across is don’t be afraid of the form, Inclusive recruitment processes are designed to eliminate as much bias as possible when hiring for open positions. It is therefore important that the recruitment team have a greater understanding of unconscious bias and how that can affect the hiring process and knowing that they are practicing what they are preaching.
“Sanderson Government and Defence have monthly ED&I workshops where we are educating our employees to be “allies” within the workplace, and feel that they can speak up, and be approachable, giving them all the tools that they need. We are hoping that by spreading the knowledge and educating, the forms are less of a personal infringement and more of an exercise to make sure that we are recruiting inclusively moving forward.”
By Michelle Wright – Talent Partnering, Sanderson Government & Defence