engage magazine issue 006/\'08 - Page 65

SUPPORTING DIVERSITY 65 supports the principle of inclusion for all and in particular race, age and gender because of the demographic drivers. This is particularly important for Birmingham as not only is it due to become one of the most diverse cities in the UK and Europe; it is also the youngest city in Europe. Traditionally DiverCity’s activities and initiatives have focused around managing the implications of demographic change, Work Life Balance, Corporate Social Responsibility and of course our ongoing work that is specific to our clients’ business needs. For example delivering support in good recruitment practice, progressing women and minorities into more senior positions, helping clients to achieve the new public sector tendering requirements and in connecting communities and educational initiatives with corporate clients. DiverCity has a database with over 400 such initiatives and organizations, known as ‘partners’ that enable clients to quickly target effective potential groups to work with. The team at DiverCity have also held several events and clinics designed to raise awareness and support clients in realizing both the benefits and tackling the challenges that managing diversity brings. “Everything you DiverCity wanted to ask about diversity but were afraid to ask” and “Has Political Correctness Gone Mad?” are just two events that typify the approach DiverCity has developed. Allowing people an opportunity to openly discuss the issues (that are often barriers to progression) has been particularly well received. DiverCity will be re-launching their new events programme on the website in April. In January 2003, the Prime Minister asked for practical recommendations for organisations and government to work together to make a real difference to the issues of race equality and diversity in the workplace, covering a range of areas. This inspired the team at DiverCity to develop other areas of work, such as the highly successful Diversity Assured Recruitment programme. DiverCity has developed DAR with the Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) and IODA (Individual and Organisational Development and Assessment). The highly innovative and practical quality standard in diversity is a comprehensive ‘health-check’ exclusive to the REC membership which comprises 8,000 businesses and 5,500 recruitment consultants. The reason why this programme is so significant is that not only does it fundamentally change the way the recruitment industry recruits for itself, but also how agencies recruit staff for their client companies. Currently around 76 per cent of vacancies in the professional serviced sector and 80 per cent in all sect ors are handled by recruitment agencies. Like many sectors the recruitment industry is committed to raising the standards bar and like other sectors struggles to know how to do this effectively in the challenging area of equality and diversity. Going forward the team is looking forward to continuing along the same trajectory whilst expanding to cover other areas in the UK. Our expertise in developing genuinely collaborative working partnerships for the benefit of clients in the professional service sector will provide the basis for our innovative and practical work in the coming year. Further information: The Recruitment & Employment Confederation is the trade association for the UK’s £24.8 billion private recruitment industry. All members must sign up to and adhere to the REC’s ten point Code of Professional Practice. • The REC’s Diversity Charter and Pledge, launched in December 2005 in conjunction with Jobcentre Plus, was the first of its kind whose aim was to give effective guidance to SMEs on their delivery of a more diverse workforce. • The Pledge includes a diagnostic tool to assess current diversity practice against best practice and provides specialist support on diversity issues through a range of specialist partners, model forms and policies. • The ground-breaking nature of the Pledge was recognised when it won the CBI Trade Association Forum’s first-ever Social Initiative Award. • IODA (Individual and Organizational Development and Assessment) is a premier commercial national and international provider of training, consultancy, research and project management services. • The Diversity Assured health-check is being delivered through Birmingham Professional Divercity, one of the REC’s partners for the Diversity Pledge, in association with IODA. ISSUE SIX 2008 engage | uk