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Is Your Company Ready for DEI Regulations?

26th Jan 2024

As expected DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) will remain a hot topic for most organisations in 2024. However, the question remains: where does it rank on their priority list, and how serious are companies about creating inclusive workplaces?

This week the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is tackling these questions head on with the announcement of new measures and regulations to improve diversity and inclusion to support healthy work cultures in the financial sector. This means organisations are going to feel the heat to make sure DEI isn't just a tick box exercise and instead, they’ll need to step up and actually make the changes necessary to become more inclusive workplaces.

What are the FCA proposing?

The proposals will mean that firms need to:   

  • Develop a diversity and inclusion strategy setting out how the business will meet their objectives and goals. 
  • Collect, report and disclose data against certain characteristics. 
  • Set targets to address under-representation.

Why now?

So, you’re probably wondering why now? 

Well, the not-so-great news is that not much has really changed, especially in the financial sector. Let's face it – the numbers tell the same old story of disparities and not enough progress. Let’s take a look…

But, is this a step in the right direction…

If you've been with us for a while, you know we're big fans of creating inclusive workplaces. That's why Flexa exists in the first place – Molly, our founder, needed a job with more flexibility because of her autoimmune disease, and we wanted to make workplaces more inclusive for everyone and easier to discover.

But we get it, it might be a bit scary, especially if your company has never thought about DEI, let alone be regulated for it. There are many challenges that companies face when it comes to DEI but overcoming these will mean organisations can truly create a more inclusive workplace for employees. 

The truth is, DEI is not going away, and that's a good thing. Why? Because having a more inclusive workplace is a win for everyone. 

  • Access a larger pool of talent : Embracing DEI opens the doors to a broader and more diverse talent pool, bringing in unique perspectives and skills. A poll by SurveyMonkey shows that 79% of job seekers express the importance of working for a company that actively recruits individuals from diverse backgrounds, particularly emphasising the inclusion of women and people of colour. Our Flexa candidates are 2.5 times more diverse than the average global tech company.
  • Increase your employee engagement: Inclusive workplaces create a sense of belonging, leading to increased employee satisfaction, morale, and commitment.
  • Improve innovation and problem solving: Diverse teams bring a variety of viewpoints, leading to more creative and effective problem-solving and innovation. A study carried out by the World Economic Forum revealed that companies with above-average diversity scores drive an impressive 45% of their average revenue from innovation. Compared with companies with below-average diversity scores who only generate 26% of their average revenue from innovation.
  • Enhance your employer brand: Companies that prioritise DEI are seen as progressive and socially responsible, improving their reputation and attractiveness to both clients and employees. Creating a positive employer brand doesn't just bring in talented people who want an inclusive workplace. It also makes your company stand out in the market and shows that you're a great place to work.

How can DEI targets help unlock diverse talent?

Unlocking diverse talent is one of the main benefits the FCA hopes to see through the new DEI regulations. This brings us back to the all important EVP (Employee Value Proposition), which is a great place to start when evaluating DEI in your organisation. Research shows that 86% of candidates looking for their next role are considering diversity and inclusion as a critical factor, which means companies that prioritise these values are better positioned in attracting and retaining a diverse pool of talent.

Here are a few ways to start building a more inclusive value proposition.

  • Define Your Commitment to Inclusion: 

Start by defining your company's inclusive values and mission statements. These will guide you in creating a workplace that welcomes diversity and should be something everyone who is already in, or thinking of joining, your company can easily see.

  • Remove Bias from Job Descriptions:

Create job descriptions and messages that appeal to a varied group of candidates and emphasise a culture of fairness and equal opportunities. Regularly review and update these descriptions to ensure they follow the latest best practices, fostering diversity and inclusion in your hiring procedures.

  • Introduce Flexible Work Policies and Company Perks:

Every person has individual needs, likes, and duties, such as disabilities, health conditions, childcare, or family caregiving. It's crucial to offer various flexible work options. Flexibility shouldn't be exclusive or optional; it should be accessible to everyone, recognising that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work for everyone. Offer flexible schedules, remote work, and diverse benefits. Our latest flexible working report revealed that the supplier of remote jobs is not enough to meet the demand. This suggests that many organisations are missing a crucial tactic by leaving flexibility out of their DEI strategy, when it most certainly should be front and centre.

  • Showcase Your Culture of Inclusion:

By using an Employer Branding platform like Flexa you can clearly showcase your commitment to DEI allowing you to attract, retain and engage talent. by being Flexified, you can be among innovative companies like Amplifi, who have seen a 65% increase in the diversity of their pipeline after using Flexa.

So, how do you get started?

Not sure where to start with DEI? We know it's essential, but figuring out where to focus can be tricky. Begin by checking the gaps in your current DEI efforts. Get our free DEI audit tracker in your inbox to see how diverse and inclusive you are.