Laura Haycock and Issy Stephens for Brew People
Over the last few years there has been a noticeable increase in job adverts that include a positive action statement about the employer’s commitment to diversity. Many adverts explicitly identify particular groups that are under-represented in their organisation and encourage applications from people in those communities. We can mark this movement as something more than virtue-signalling; perhaps a sign that organisations are valuing diversity and are committed to taking action. However, although organisations are being encouraged to take such actions, there are risks in leaning too heavily on such diversity signposts to fix under-representation and we should be wary of replicating this approach without considering the potential risks. A scarcity of research evidence on the benefits of such statements should, certainly, give us pause for thought. Looking systemically at the impact of diversity signposting we see a real possibility of it counteracting our best intentions or even causing harm.
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