Business ideas for 2021: Diversity and inclusion businesses #StartUps - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Business ideas for 2021: Diversity and inclusion businesses #StartUps

Why is diversity and inclusion a good business idea?

In 2020, the death of George Floyd led to major discussions about, and action against, racial inequality, while the BLM movement gained unprecedented momentum. In the UK, 2020 also marked the 15th year since the launch of LGBT History Month. And looking further back in recent years, the introduction of gender pay gap reporting has thrust issues surrounding equal pay directly into the spotlight.

Social media has also had a big part to play in putting conversations about diversity and inclusion at the top of the agenda. During the BLM protests in summer 2020, people across the world used various networking platforms to show their support. The Pride in London Twitter account has gone on to accrue 83,000+ followers, while Kimberlé Crenshaw (who created the term intersectionality, as mentioned above) has 135,000+ Twitter followers at the time of writing.

But it’s not only on social media that calls for more inclusive societies have been made. For example, the BBC reported on how post-lockdown measures didn't take the needs of disabled people into account.

These are only a few examples of how diversity and inclusion has become a top priority. And one area in which this has been especially significant is in business – Forbes, for example, named hiring a diversity manager as one of the key ways that businesses can improve diversity and inclusion at work.

Adding to this, the CBI London Business Survey 2020 saw workplace diversity and inclusion, in particular reducing inequality, as one of the key concerns for the capital. The CBI is a UK membership organisation, representing 190,000 businesses. It also helped to launch the Change the Race: Ratio initiative in October 2020, which focuses on improving racial equality at board and senior leadership levels.

Some of the biggest businesses have highlighted their plans to improve inclusion as well. For example, ITV appointed a group director of diversity and inclusion in 2020, making it the first business on the FTSE100 to have a director specifically focused on diversity on its board.

Plus, Bupa and Mitie are two examples of big UK businesses that made it into the top 10 of the Inclusive Companies 2020/2021 rankings. To get a spot in this list, the organisations had to demonstrate best practice across multiple aspects of diversity, such as age, disability, gender, and more. This included providing evidence about recruitment and training, as well as staff data.

One of the ways that businesses can benefit from having a more diverse and inclusive workforce is in financial performance. For example, there was a 25% increase in the likely profitability of companies with executive teams in the upper quartile for gender diversity compared to those in the lower quartile.

Plus, executive teams that were more ethnically diverse had a 36% increase in the likelihood of financial outperformance, when comparing organisations in the bottom and top quartiles for ethnic diversity. This is according to the Diversity wins: How inclusion matters report published by McKinsey in 2019.

However, with Google accused of institutional racism, it’s clear that more needs to be done to make environments that are as inclusive as possible.

Yet there are some signs of change. At the time of writing, ‘diversity and inclusion’ had more than 5,000 searches on average a month, with particular interest over the past 12 months happening towards the end of September 2020 and the start of October 2020. As National Inclusion Week also took place around then, this could offer one possible explanation for the increased interest.

Plus, ‘diversity training’ had been searched on average 1,000 times a month, and had the most interest in early to mid-November 2020, when looking at the past 12 months.

This suggests high demand for people wanting to learn more, with ‘diversity and inclusion jobs’ also garnering 1,000 average searches a month, and interest at its highest around mid-June 2020 in the last 12 months. As well as this, it suggests that there are professionals out there looking for work that’s related to diversity and inclusion. So how can you start a business in this space?

via by Scarlett Cook, Khareem Sudlow