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Helping businesses to become more diverse

Companies will be able to gain a new perspective on how to hire and promote talented staff from more diverse backgrounds this month.

Despite Leicester being one of the UK’s most diverse cities, this is not reflected in the make-up of its business community, particularly among senior managers.  Now De Montfort University (DMU) is offering a limited number of businesses the opportunity to work with experts to understand how they can improve their diversity and become a more attractive employer as a result.  

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The university in consultation with diversity experts, students and Leicester business partners Freeths LLP, Eileen Richards Recruitment and Brewin Dolphin, has developed a toolkit to help businesses cast a critical eye over how they attract, recruit and retain talented graduates from a Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

It is all part of the Leicester’s Future Leaders programme, which has seen students and staff work alongside businesses to identify barriers to employment and promotions and encourage more inclusive strategies.

Eileen Richards MBE, of Eileen Richards Recruitment, said: “The Leicester Future Leaders programme is such a prominent project to be a part of, as a city we celebrate diversity but still our professionals at board level do not represent this. The programme provides the tools for leaders to be more consciously aware of their recruitment processes, enabling us as a region to retain top BAME talent.”

Research from across the globe has shown that having a mixed ethnicity workforce enables businesses to be more creative, develop more relevant products and services and make better decisions, which drives revenue and growth. 

The toolkit is being launched to Leicester businesses on Monday 15 November at the Leicester Business Festival, with an interactive demonstration of the toolkit in action. Businesses that attend the session will have a priority opportunity to book their own expert consultation.

Book here to join the event on Monday and get a demo of the toolkit

In 2015, the Mcgreger Smith Review found that 1 in 8 of the working age population were from a BAME background, yet BAME individuals only make up 10% of the workforce and hold only 6% of top management positions.

Rabeya Choudhury, Project Manager (Business Engagement) for Leicester’s Future Leaders, said: “By taking part in a short diagnostic meeting, you will be joining a group of high-performing businesses in Leicester who recognise the importance of improving workforce diversity. We recognise that each business will be at a different point in their diversity journey, which is why we will tailor approach to every business so that you gain recommendations specific to you.”

The £230,000 project has been funded by the Office for Students and supported by companies Freeths, Brewin Dolphin and Eileen Richards Recruitment in Leicester. It has also worked with the Prince’s Trust, Access Generation, Inclusive Grads and GradConsult.

A conference which took place last year to bring companies and students from a BAME background together to inform the toolkit has been shortlisted for a national higher education award. The Times Higher Education will announce the winners later this month.

DMU graduate Josiah Hyacinth was among those who worked with companies as part of the student team. He said: “Taking part of this experience was life changing for me. Not only did I get the opportunity to represent important voices within my student community, [RC2] but I got to make an input to build a structure which will hopefully continue to impact the student - graduate experience,”

If you are interested in finding out more and working with DMU, please contact Rabeya Choudhury
Posted on Thursday 11th November 2021

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