Businesses must adopt a three dimensional perspective towards diversity and inclusion (D&I) to make strides and attract Gen Z talent, says the latest white paper from global talent and acquisition and management firm Alexander Mann Solutions.
In the whitepaper “Early careers recruitment: What are the opportunities from digitalisation, STEM and Diversity & Inclusion?” Alexander Mann Solutions goes into detail on the generational perception of diversity.
Diversity of thought
Previous generations saw diversity as race, gender and religion, however emerging Gen Z talent now view diversity as three dimensional. This encompasses true cognitive diversity – differences in lifestyle, culture, political beliefs and thinking.
The report also explains how a real commitment to change, which may mean shifting the company culture, is crucial to firmly embed D&I into organisational strategies. For global MNEs, regional nuances must also be factored in.
Diversity quotas may also be ineffective as a long-term sustainable solution to creating three-dimensional D&I workforces. While they can be a quick fix to boost numbers for under-represented groups, targets are more suitable for achieving lasting success. That’s because targets send out a positive signal that diversity is a business imperative.
Commenting on the importance of taking a 3D approach to diversity, Global Head of Emerging Talent Consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, Jane Clark, said: “Where once diversity was seen purely in 2D terms – age, ethnicity, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation, the definition of diversity to the new generation of workers goes much further and incorporates other facets of a person’s makeup, their different experiences, knowledge and opinions.
“Often referred to as ‘cognitive’ diversity, it is this mix of different perspectives, ways of thinking and information processing styles that allows teams to solve problems faster. Embracing true cognitive diversity won’t just be beneficial in attracting and retaining top graduates but will also help create more productive and creative workforces.”
Commenting on the emphasis of D&I during training, especially during the induction period, when new joiners can choose to attend workshops on topics of interest, such as LGBT or women’s leadership, Louis Ng, Senior Manager for Early Careers Talent Acquisition at Fidelity International, said: “I can tell you, it’s something most of the graduate and intern population – more than 78% – is interested in. If you invite them, they will definitely join in, feel a part of the community and want to contribute. So, we encourage those graduates to play an active role in those diverse and inclusive networks.”