Diversity and inclusion – new report offers best practice blueprint

A commitment to diversity and inclusion is crucial if the industry is to tackle key issues like the skills shortage, retention, productivity and building more sustainable businesses, says new ACE report.

“Companies no longer have any excuses not to implement a diverse and inclusive culture in today’s modern work environment,” says ACE chief executive Dr Nelson Ogunshakin. “Our industry can, and must, embed a diverse as well as an inclusive culture for positive, sustainable change within our workforce. Otherwise the industry will falter under the magnitude of challenges ahead,” he said.

Ogunshakin was speaking ahead of the launch of a new ACE report which outlines a step-by-step strategic guide to spur progress towards diversity and inclusion. Based on interviews with 30 industry leaders, Diversity & Inclusion – Marginal or Mandatory? is packed with best-practice advice and suggestions for driving diversity and is accompanied by a new online hub with case studies and other resources.

“Recently, we have seen the publication of a wide range of reports on diversity and inclusion, with most shining a high level of scrutiny into the current state of affairs,” Ogunshakin said. “This scrutiny has led the industry to develop an awareness of the positive business case that is essential to the prioritisation of diversity and inclusion, particularly the positive correlation between diverse teams and increased productivity, as well as retention. Upcoming challenges such as the skills gap, low retention, and an ageing workforce forms an imperative for the potential pool of recruits to be expanded, to satisfy not just an HR need but to foster a forward looking business strategy,” he said.

Ogunshakin said that while the level of awareness of these issues has been raised, many companies have now started or are contemplating the implementation of a business strategy that fosters diversity and inclusion. However many, he said, are caught at a crossroads, wanting to make a difference, but not knowing what actions to take.

ACE’s report aims to provide the consultancy and engineering sector with tangible recommendations that can be incorporated in full, or in part, by all companies regardless of size. The recommendations, derived from one-on-one interviews conducted with over 30 leaders in the field, explore different experiences within the industry in order to identify those trends and initiatives that achieve targets for diversity and inclusion most effectively.

The report, which will be launched on 21 January at an event at the Royal Academy of Engineering, will focus on 10 tangible and realistic strategies that could be adopted to foster diversity and inclusion through issues such as benchmarking, the implementation of best practice, upcoming procurement needs, ACE actions, and the 10 key strategies.

“Our report examines best practices in the areas of transformational leadership, business foundations, staff wide knowledge, flexible work parameters, as well as sourcing recruitment and nurturing career progression,” Ogunshakin said. “I invite all within our industry to start their journey towards better diversity and inclusion in partnership with ACE, because all of us have positive contributions that can be made, and results that can be achieved to move the agenda on,” he said.

Sign up below to attend the launch of the report

ACE’s report Diversity & Inclusion – marginal or mandatory? is being launched at the Royal Academy of Engineering, Carlton Terrace, London SW1 at 4.30pm on Thursday 21 January 2016. 

To attend the event please register here

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