"You don't need to recruit to improve diversity" – Diversity Network

Published: 25/09/2014

At Diversity Network we are well and truly aware that the mining boom is over. The focus is now is most definitely on increasing productivity. A recent ANZ study described by Pulse Mining Services*, has called this Phase III of Australia’s Mining Boom.**

The focus on productivity has resulted in recruitment slowing (or stopping) for many of the companies that we deal with. Their response to increasing gender diversity in this situation is often to declare, “look, we’d love to hire more women, it’s just that we are not appointing anyone right now.” Our response is:

You don’t need to recruit to improve diversity

Increasing diversity during a downturn is possible and, in fact, can lead to greater productivity. It can be done by paying a lot more attention to leveraging the value of working flexibly and strengthening engagement.

A recent EY study found that female flexible workers are 6% more productive than their full-time counterparts. Read on for our top 5 tips on improving diversity when times are tough.

*Pulse Mining Systems – Mining Productivity Slump

**ANZ – Phase III of Australia’s mining boom

Diversity Network’s top 5 tips for increasing performance and diversity

  • Hold on to the diverse talent that you already have!  Women drop out of professional and mid-level manager roles at an alarming rate. Identify what your organisation can do to stop the leaks. Diversity Network partnerships and consulting enable you to minimise turnover losses and maximise corporate knowledge through activities to address inclusion and address bias. We can assist you to customise initiatives for your organisation  including Returnships and Transitions to Operations.
  • Educate leaders at all levels through the organisation on effective management of all workers to be more inclusive. Address the disconnect between physical presence and organisational performance. Focus on delivery and accountability. Set quantifiable performance goals and metrics for all staff.
  • Utilise technology. Collaboration and delivery can occur at a range of places beyond the office…
  • Determine benefits of working outside ‘normal’ office hours. Some employees may be able to start early or work into the night. Are there timezone or additional performance benefits in this for your organisation? When an employee requests flexible hours, are all the options being considered?
  • Validate the assumptions around every open role. Does it need to be a 40 hour, 5 day week? If so, could it be job-shared?

Just because times are tough and organisations are focussed on improving productivity does not mean that improving diversity should be pushed down the priority list. In fact, Diversity Network maintains that focussing your resources on greater inclusion and diversity will have performance benefits. A more flexible and engaged workforce is one way to get you there.

More information about Diversity Network here

You can contact Lucy Stocker on lucy@diversitynetwork.com.au, +61 419 936 365
and Kristie Young on kristie@diversitynetwork.com.au, +61 402 403 769