Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is a burning topic in recruitment right now.
And rightly so.
Because we would all benefit from a world, a society, and a workplace culture where everyone, no matter what their background, is treated with fairness, respect, equality and dignity – a place where we are able to show up as our whole selves, and not have to cover or mask a key part of our identity in order to conform and ‘culture fit’.
Personally, I am hugely passionate about ensuring D&I is not just a box to check. Diversity is in all of us, and we all want to feel included and have that sense of belonging.
Within and around the MO network I’m driving change. I see the implications of not doing something, whilst the opportunities of pro-activity are obvious and beneficial to us all.
But there’s an elephant in the room.
Because I represent the very embodiment of the reason for change. I’m the white, middle-aged (just, I might add!), middle-class male stifling development; I don’t represent diversity; my background doesn’t scream inclusion.
And whilst the recruitment sector may well have an increasingly balanced gender blend, we’re a million miles away from achieving the socially accepted, modern, culture that we all know needs to happen.
We know that creating and nurturing an inclusive culture:
· Helps to better understand our customers
· Allows our people and teams to perform at their peak
· Leverage greater levels of innovation and creativity through empowerment
· Makes it easier to hire and retain talent because we’re trusted
· Will boost our relevance and alignment with the communities in which we serve and operate
So to the question of, “Who the hell is Simon Lewis to pontificate the virtues of D&I?” I say this:
I am just one man. White, middle class or not, why shouldn’t I be a catalyst for change? If you’re reading this and fit my demographic, what’s stopping you challenging convention?
And if you’re reading this as someone from a marginalised community, you could be supporting development too. Maybe you already are?
There’s a saying that suggests it’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.
And one thing I’m not, is a sheep. If you’re a recruitment agency owner and D&I is important to you, we should connect and talk. Maybe you could join our network?
I’ve begun a transformative journey; it would be great to have you on board for the ride.
AUTHOR – SIMON LEWIS
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