Diversity. Don’t just tick boxes.

Diversity - it's not about tokenism it makes total business sense.


Andy and Poorna Bell

Andy and Poorna Bell

Forget tokenism and box ticking, diversity should be an enriching experience for every business – but not only in altruistic terms. It makes sound financial sense.

Research in the McKinsey Report in 2015, claimed that companies with an ethnically diverse workforce outperformed their peers by 35%, and those with better gender diversity were 15% more successful.

For Poorna Bell, the executive editor of the Huffington Post, hard work and mentoring are two key ways that made a big difference to her progression up the career ladder.

Nevertheless, the creative industries mirror the general malaise in the UK when it comes to attracting and retaining employees from the BAME (Black, British, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities.

Andy and Poorna Bell pose

Poorna was part of a panel at Advertising Week Europe discussing how to recruit and encourage talent from diverse backgrounds to ensure people not only stay but thrive. You can watch our full interview here.

She told me: “This is not about doing the right thing, it’s about financial sense. Also it’s about reflecting the ethnic make-up of our communities. At the moment 14% of our country comes from BAME communities. Over the next couple of decades that will double so really that’s a market that’s going to grow and grow.”

“Rather than telling people what to do, and saying you must do x, y and z, it’s about educating people about what some of the nuances might be around how to be inclusive and how to do it in the right way. And, above all, how to do it in a way that’s not tokenistic.”