Turning your diversity strategy into deliverable and consistent practice
DIVERSITY: HELPING YOU PUT
POLICY INTO PRACTICE
When it comes to diversity, many organisations talk The Diversity Team at Barkers, headed by the
a good game, seemingly content that they’ve sat hugely respected practitioner Gamiel Yafai, is
down and developed a policy. helping numerous clients ﬁnd informed and
But a policy is only a statement of intent, not inspired answers to these crucial questions.
a plan of action. The key to achieving true equity This booklet provides a snapshot of what
is turning policy into deliverable and consistent we’re doing, and what we could be doing for you.
practice. What are the most efﬁcient and cost- From a simple half-day training workshop to
effective ways of connecting with hard-to-reach a full-scale deep research programme over many
communities? Does everyone in your months, our team is working with clients in all
organisation really understand the importance kinds of ways to improve their diversity
of diversity and its impact on your business? processes, practices and policies.
How do you embed diversity strategies into Here are just a few brief examples.
every aspect of your processes and practices?
case study “It made me “Inspirational, “Just a note to
BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL think about how because it shows say a big thank
I approach what can be you for last
individual achieved in Monday.
children within the context of It was brilliant.
the class setting, ‘failing’ pupils” Reading the
and much more evaluations,
aware of valuing there was
individuality” nothing but
praise for your
part of the day”
A LESSON FOR
The City Council of multicultural Birmingham The issues and challenges surrounding learning
needed to be sure that Supply Teachers coming in a multicultural classroom were fully explored.
into its schools were fully aware of diversity issues Delegates discussed their own experiences
in the classroom. Barkers’ Diversity Team was and examined ways of integrating diversity
called in to help. good practice into the learning experience.
We designed and delivered a bespoke The training workshops were an unqualiﬁed
workshop at Birmingham University for 40 success, as the comments from the client and
teachers. delegates conﬁrm.
BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
British Transport Police needs a workforce that We established databases of ethnic minority
reﬂects the diversity of the communities it serves. organisations that could play a key role in
Building trust with different communities is a huge disseminating information to targeted groups.
challenge with no quick ﬁx, especially in such a These included Asian women’s projects, black
diverse city as London. Our approach has been employment support organisations, African
to develop links incrementally over a sustained Caribbean community centres, self help groups,
period to build long-term afﬁnity. mosques, temples and Chinese and Indian
Extensive research gave us the tools to create community centres.
a highly targeted campaign that challenged the The programme has unquestionably broken
mindset of those who had never considered down barriers between BTP and minority
being a police ofﬁcer. groups. Applications from all sections of the
The strategy included a diary of cultural community are up, and increasing.
events to foster relationships with speciﬁc What’s more, BTP reached its targets for the
communities. recruitment of women and black minority ethnic
The media mix was as inventive as it was police ofﬁcers for the ﬁrst time in 2005/2006.
effective, from posters in mosques and leaﬂets
at female-focused yoga exhibitions to cinema
advertising with Bollywood ﬁlms and niche
HM PRISON SERVICE
REMOVING THE BARS
TO THE PRISON SERVICE
It often takes more than an advertising campaign We consulted with organisations such as local
to redress an ethnic imbalance in a workforce. Race Equality Councils and BME employment
Such was the case with HM Prison Service’s advisers to pinpoint appropriate venues. Then
Eastern Region, which wanted its Prison Ofﬁcers we organised and publicised 20 recruitment
to reﬂect the diversity of its prison population. events over a two week period. These were
We knew advertising would not overcome extremely well attended and hugely successful
negative perceptions surrounding the Prison on two fronts.
Service among ethnic and socially excluded Firstly, the Prison Service was seen to
minorities. Instead we devised a strategy that be credible in its commitment to diversity;
would allow individuals to learn more about awareness of the opportunities (and realities
becoming a Prison Ofﬁcer from people already of the role) was raised. Secondly, BME
working in these challenging roles and in a employment advisers and other key inﬂuencers
neutral, non-threatening setting. saw the Service’s employer brand in a new light.
THE LEARNING AND SKILLS COUNCIL
A LEARNING CURVE
FOR THE LSC
The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) provides a Collectively these explored awareness levels
wide range of services to an ethnically diverse and perceptions of LSC as a potential employer;
customer community. So it made every effort to the pros and cons of working for LSC; what
ensure its own workforce reﬂected this diversity. people look for in an employer; and what the
Nevertheless it was still failing to attract BME LSC could do to attract more BME applicants.
recruits and needed to understand why. Barkers’ The consultation equipped the LSC with a
Diversity Team was engaged to research wealth of information which is now being fed
motivators and perceptions amongst existing into strategies for better targeting of BME
staff and other BME individuals. communities and higher retention of existing
We designed a research programme BME employees.
involving no less than 26 focus groups. Barkers has also designed an outreach
recruitment communications campaign
channelled through ethnic minority
organisations. Now, LSC is strongly positioned
as an employer of choice for BME people.
SWINDON BOROUGH COUNCIL
PINPOINT TARGETING FOR
A PRIORITY APPOINTMENT
Wanted by Swindon Borough Council: an We agreed with The Guardian, but disagreed
Equality & Diversity Specialist to ensure BME with the other media whose circulations were
and disability groups have full access to all very London-centric. Instead, we recommended
Council services. a Guardian ad supported
Must have: empathy with people from wide by a campaign of direct contact with 1,000
range of backgrounds. BME and diversity organisations along the M4
Rightly, the Council was keen to advertise this corridor, plus an e-mailshot to 150 diversity
position widely to BME and disability audiences practitioners.
in the local area. Wrongly, it requested Barkers Result: 40 requests for application packs,
to place ads in The Guardian, The Eastern Eye 13 completed forms and a successful
and The Voice. appointment, aided by Barkers’ candidate
assessment to ensure appropriate skills,
experience and personality ﬁt.
SWINDON BOROUGH COUNCIL
AND INTO THE CULTURE
Swindon Borough Council isn’t content just to At the time of writing this work-in-progress
comply with equality legislation. It wants inclusivity programme has several months to run before
and diversity embedded into its culture and ﬁnal conclusions and recommendations can be
ﬂagged as a core element of its employer brand. made on future communications strategies.
It wants to be seen as a leader, not a follower, But, in the meantime, Barkers is spreading
in diversity. positive messages about the Council’s inclusive
Barkers is partnering the Council on several philosophy through the very conspicuous medium
projects to inform key strategies, involving of recruitment advertising. Diversity is now a
bespoke research, focus groups and reality. The perceptions are fast catching up.
collaborative working. Project teams are
exploring employee cultures, attributes and
motivations, as well as perceptions from outside.
One delegate was
“The best module
I’ve ever attended”
A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE
The HR team at technology giant Siemens This covered a broad range of issues, including
saw the need for business managers to fully the implications of the UK’s changing
understand the business case for a diverse demographic and its impact on workforce
workforce. Barkers’ Diversity Team designed planning. Managers gained a better grasp
a half-day workshop at Warwick University. of race relations legislation, deeper
understanding of the issues and solutions
around diversity and tools to help them tackle
recruitment challenges.Feedback forms rated
the sessions 9/10 or 10/10.
HEAD OF DIVERSITY PRACTICE
Gamiel Yafai joined Barkers in January 2006, Gamiel helped develop the educational
bringing with him extensive experience and CD-ROM ‘The Race for Talent’ for SOCPO (now
expertise in diversity and equality. His pedigree in the PPMA) and worked with the Department of
attracting and encouraging people from hard to Health to compile the diversity good practice
reach communities into public sector organisations reference guide now used across the NHS. He
is unrivalled. His track record in improving also sits on the Diversity Taskforce for Scotland.
community cohesion is second to none. A qualiﬁed teacher and NVQ Assessor,
Gamiel has a strong partnership with the Gamiel utilises his vast experience to champion
Commission for Racial Equality and other key the beneﬁts of diversity and equality at seminars
bodies. These links help us to keep our clients up and conferences across the country. Under his
to speed on changes to their equalities duties and inspirational leadership, our team is ready to
the implications for their recruitment processes. bring those beneﬁts to your organisation.
ATTRACTION: RESEARCH, STRATEGY, BRANDING, ADVERTISING & COMMUNICATIONS
RECRUITMENT: RESPONSE HANDLING, CANDIDATE MANAGEMENT, ASSESSMENT
RETENTION: ONBOARDING, ENGAGEMENT, COMMUNICATION, DEVELOPMENT
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