Religious and cultural hate in Scottish workplaces urgently needs to be banished.

Scotland is not particularly a very ethnically diverse country. The percentage of the population who identify as white currently sits at 96 percent.

“As Scotland’s population changes, it’s clear that organisations which truly value diversity need to understand and account for differences in ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, language, education, and more,” says Event Organiser and Leadership Coach at Connect Three, Katy Morrison.

“Scotland can and should be the most inclusive place to succeed professionally. Providing practical steps to leaders will be a key factor in building a good workplace nation,” adds Morrison.

 

What can business leaders do?

Corporate workplace diversity expert, Lisa Charlwood-Green urges business leaders to do something about this. She says “We need to be very mindful of the fact that although Scotland is a welcoming country, there are still pockets of hate borne through religion and culture. That hate can come into the workplace too.”

“Unfortunately, although many do, some businesses still aren’t taking diversity and inclusion seriously, and many organisations are guilty of tokenism and othering which are incredibly harmful and need to be eradicated from Scotland’s workplaces,” adds Ms Charlwood-Green.

“As a nation, we need to make sure that we don’t just speak with ambition, we show it with our actions too, being active allies and celebrating a diverse population and by extension, workforce. A more diverse workplace is happy, more creative and has better staff retention.

“My advice for business leaders is to embrace reverse mentorship, where a junior employee helps to fill knowledge gaps of a senior employee, to truly understand lived experiences, and then do something about it.”

 

Managing Director at Passion4Social, Thiago Carmo:

 “Scotland is making progress on diversity through a range of initiatives, but we are far from doing enough. The biggest barriers are prejudice (against disabled people, immigrants, social class, and other diverse backgrounds) and resistance to doing things differently. Hence, the antidotes are being more open to learning new ways and giving opportunities to those normally employers would not give.

“Increased diversity and inclusion lead to higher productivity, collaboration, flexibility in decision making and versatility in tackling problems. It’s about removing prejudice, and leaders can achieve this by giving opportunities, using unbiased recruitment, and looking at people as people without labels.” 

“The challenges of the past two years have shown that resilient businesses were often those that were most invested in supporting their employees.

And while many businesses have already made some positive steps to implement diversity and inclusion policies into the workplace, there continue to be serious shortcomings that hold teams back,” says Morrison.

“Diversity is often only seen as just multiculturalism, but it is important for businesses to think outside of the ‘ethnic’ model of diversity,” concludes Morrison.

 

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Lisa Charlwood-Green, Thiago Carmo and Katy Morrison were speaking ahead of the Connect Three Strive to Thrive diversity conference in Glasgow on Thursday, April 28.