When it comes to diversity, where do you start and stop?

A recent report from LinkedIn Talent Solutions put the spotlight on diversity as “the biggest game-changer” for hiring processes in 2018.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of most companies’ agendas. But what exactly are those companies doing other than being aware that they should be thinking about diversity.

“Lots of organisations I think pay lip service to the terms diversity and inclusion,” said Oisín O’Gogáin, head of HR at the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics. “I think we have made substantial investments, both monetary and time and efforts outside of our own organisation.”

O’Gogáin said that diversity in its purest sense is simply the mix of people that you have in an organisation.

“What we really try to concentrate on is actually inclusion, which is: ‘How do you make that broad range of people feel welcome in the workplace?’”

Having a broad mix of people will give way to a more innovative and entrepreneurial organisation. That’s why companies such as Aon have a clear ambition around diversity and inclusion.

“We talk quite fluidly about diversity and inclusion in the workplace to the extent that all hiring managers and people managers must go through a course called ‘The Power of Inclusion’,” said O’Gogáin. “It’s really an education session, which is based around the concept of unconscious bias training.”

Female leaders

O’Gogáin said that Aon is exercising the duty it believes it has to showcase how diversity can really benefit organisations. This includes everything from age, race and sexual orientation to gender.

“We recognised over the course of the last two or three years that we were not seeing female leaders climb the ranks, which is a phenomenon that is not unique to Aon.”

O’Gogáin said Aon’s continued sponsorship of the Women’s Rugby World Cup gives them the opportunity to talk about the value of a diverse leadership team.

While all corporations still have a long way to go in terms of diversity and inclusion, that is certainly changing.

O’Gogáin said the boundaries of diversity are so broad that it’s hard to know where to start and stop. “We’re really happy to just continue to chase it.”

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