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Greater Diversity & Inclusion could be a Silver Lining of the Current Crisis

 

Working environments have changed fundamentally and at an unprecedented rate since the Covid 19 crisis emerged.  It has been a period of significant change with companies and individuals having to adapt quickly to new working environments.

For those in hospitals, nursing homes and front-line services, change has been rapid and obviously most important.  However, change has affected all organisations.  Retailers and those in the hospitality sector, have had to find new ways to operate, balancing the need to service their customers while providing a safe environment in which to do so.

For us at FK International and for all our clients, the working environment has also seen a huge shift.  Almost overnight, companies had to put their Business Continuity Plans into action and employees began working from home.  Meetings, interviews and team huddles are now being conducted over video calls, webinars are providing market updates and insights into current trends and virtual quizzes are replacing team nights out.

The current situation is unprecedented, but people have risen to the challenge and are making it work.  What has occurred has accelerated workplace transformation and in particular the digital transformation of businesses at a rate much faster than any business plan or IT strategy could have.  It will change the way we work forever.

There is an opportunity in all of this for our workforces, an opportunity to accelerate workforce transformation.  It allows for a new approach to working, to greater flexibility.  The advice of Carol Stubbings, Global Head of People and Organisation PwC is to create optionality for your workforce.  By doing this, not only will your workforce benefit, your entire organisation will benefit.  If your organisation can cater to people with very different needs, it opens up the potential to employ people from very different backgrounds.  This should help to accelerate the Diversity & Inclusion agenda which already has been at the forefront of many employment strategies over the last number of years.

Let us find these silver linings and use this time wisely.  The forced changes have brought about a realisation for many that the status quo has long needed to be reviewed and challenged.  The Diversity and Inclusion agenda is definitely an area that needs focus and will hopefully see some strong positive growth in its journey over the coming months.

Emer Murphy

Director – Financial Services & Tax

emurphy@fkinternational.com