IoD: New Commission to look at how business can harness diverse talent for success

Louise Macdonald (National Director of the Institute of Directors Scotland and Commissioner)

THEInstitute of Directors has today announced the launch of a new Commission, ‘The future of inclusive business: harnessing diverse talent for success’, to examine the key barriers to the recruitment, retention, and progression of individuals from underrepresented groups, with specific reference to disability, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

The Commission will be led by Lord Shinkwin, who has made equality of opportunity his key focus since entering the House of Lords in 2015 and has lived experience of severe disability, and guided by a panel of eleven senior business leaders and experts. It will identify and promote business best practice in overcoming these barriers and in creating working environments in which all talent can thrive and contribute to business bottom-line and growth.

The Shinkwin Commission’s White Paper will include specific, user-friendly and practical guidance on how to inspire and drive mutually beneficial change across business leadership, as well as make insightful policy recommendations for Government and other bodies to bring about the most favourable conditions for businesses and directors to flourish.

The Commission is today launching a call for evidence for employers to make their voices heard and help inform its deliberations and White Paper. Responses can either be submitted through the consultation document or an online form. The deadline for responses to this consultation is 30th April 2022, with the White Paper due to be published in the autumn.

Commenting on the launch of the Commission, Lord Shinkwin said:

“I am delighted to have been asked to chair this important and timely initiative, and I am excited that the IoD is taking such a strong lead in this area. It is too easy for politicians like me to dismiss diversity and inclusion as woke when actually every successful business knows that diversity is not just a good thing; it gives them that competitive edge.”

“Now as never before, we need to go for growth. That means thinking big. The collective brainpower, experience and expertise of the Commission’s members are phenomenal. I am hugely grateful to them for their time and commitment and look forward very much to harnessing their diverse talents and insights in the months ahead.”

Louise Macdonald, National Director of the Institute of Directors Scotland and Commissioner, said:

“The evidence of the benefits of a diverse workforce is well established and given the much-publicised labour and skills shortages that exist across the UK and Scotland, now is the time to take action to demolish any legacy barriers that have held those in underrepresented groups back. To create a fully representative set of findings, IoD Scotland is calling on all cross-sector leaders from across the country to share their experiences of diversity – the successes and the challenges. The insights shared will be extremely valuable in shaping the Commission’s recommendations which will provide practical guidance on how organisations can unleash the untapped talent that exists and give people who have barriers placed in their way the chance to thrive in every workplace.”

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