Blog by Patrick Vernon on 'Are employers embracing diversity in their hiring process?'
According to the Equality Act 2010, it’s against the law to discriminate against anyone at work or elsewhere on the basis of their age, sex, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, if they are pregnant/have children, or have a disability of some kind – say they are blind or rely on auditory equipment from the likes of Hidden Hearing. The question is are employers following these rules? And are they embracing diversity in the hiring process?
Well, as many companies go global and rely on staff across the world to keep their business afloat, it can be argued that a significant number of employers are indeed embracing diversity. In fact, a wide range of organisations made the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list 2014, showing how entrepreneurs are prepared to share their business ventures with people of different races and cultures. Thanks to improved communication networks and transportation links, the world is certainly becoming a smaller place, which is in turn nudging business-minded individuals to branch out further afield.
Similarly, women seem to be enjoying more and more opportunities at work and are breaking down that glass ceiling in style. Not only are they being awarded roles that would previously have been considered suitable for men only, they’re also being paid the same wage as their male colleagues. Of course, some inequalities are still present but the likes of Meg Whitman (the CEO of Hewlett Packard) and Sheryl Sandberg (the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook) have shown that it’s entirely possible for women to land themselves top jobs within world-famous organisations.
Despite all the good news surround diversity and equality in the workplace, there’s also a lot of negative information, which suggests there’s still a long way to go before everyone is treated fairly. Many people are scared to list their ailments on a CV out of fear of being discriminated against. In fact, it’s thought around 80,000 people hide their condition from prospective employers to give themselves the best chance of being hired, with one person polled claiming they hadn’t had an interview in 16 years after noting they were deaf on their CV.
Maggie Hampton of Fairwater, Cardiff, told BBC Radio Wales that she found never being called in for an interview "very disheartening”. Speaking of her battle to find work she said: "It was very, very difficult. Nobody wanted to employ a deaf person. Even for the most lowly of jobs really. I never got interviews. I just never heard back.
"I did follow it up with one organisation and asked 'why have I not got an interview?' And the reply was 'Well you are deaf, you couldn't possibly manage.'
There are two sides to every story and it seems while some companies are embracing diversity there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to equality at work.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
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