Diversity and inclusion

The GBC requires businesses to evidence how they monitor the diversity of their workforce and their commitment to close the gender, disability and ethnicity pay gaps as well as narrow the executive-worker pay gap.

What it is

The Equality Act 2010 protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.

It set outs a range of protected characteristics. These are:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Gender reassignment
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability including mental health issues
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Religion or belief

There is also an increasing focus on socio-economic background and improving social mobility.

Diversity is about recognising and valuing difference and the benefits of a representative workforce. Inclusion is the practices that ensure the workplace is inclusive of all and that every individual feels respected, valued, accepted and included within their workplace and can bring their whole selves to work.

Why it matters

A diverse, equal and inclusive culture is imperative for a business to continue to thrive because it puts its people at the heart of its operation. When people feel valued and included, they are more likely to flourish at work. More diverse teams lead to better business outcomes. Diversity will also boost the reputation and brand of a business in line with an increasingly globalised working world.

A more diverse workforce and inclusive workplace therefore offers many advantages; including improved customer orientation and service, innovation, productivity, profitability, morale and staff retention.

Improving diversity and inclusion

To make progress on diversity involves looking at an individual’s journey in the workplace,

considering especially:

  1. Attraction of talent
    1. Diverse imagery and language used in adverts
    2. External communication about the fact diversity is valued
    3. Accessibility of adverts
  2. Selection of talent
    1. Importance of a diverse range of people involved in the shortlisting and interview process
    2. Consider the possibility of blind recruitment
    3. Accessibility of overall recruitment process, taking into account specific needs of applicants
  3. Retention of talent
    1. Internal communication that diversity is important
    2. Employee groups for under-represented groups whose voices are heard
    3. Structured career progression plans for all
    4. Commitment to reduce pay gaps
  4. Inclusive culture
    1. Inclusive workplace through all lines of management with a priority to see managers fostering an inclusive workplace as part of their objectives
    2. A budget assigned to diversity and inclusion
  5. Data
    1. Importance of explaining why you are collecting any relevant data to try and get highest level of response
    2. Publishing and tracking this data
  6. Training and awareness
    1. Increasing understanding of inclusive language and behaviour amongst all employees through training
    2. Raising awareness of all our differences and different strands of diversity through campaigns and employee-led networks.


We will ask questions about:

  1. Whether you assign time and money to making your business an inclusive place to work and take active steps to increase participation from underrepresented groups at all levels?
  2. Whether you collect (voluntarily from your employees) diversity gender, ethnicity and disability data from your employees, explaining clearly how it will be used, and analyse this data against a baseline and sector trends?
  3. Whether you have measures in place to encourage diversity at every stage of recruitment, selection and retention of employees as well as measures to prevent harassment or victimisation in the workplace?
  4. Whether you communicate both externally and internally your commitment to diversity and inclusion?

For companies with over 50 employees we will also ask you about your reporting on gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps and diversity data with plans to close these gaps as well as narrow your CEO/worker pay gap where applicable.

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Calling all employees, customers and suppliers.

If you have reason to believe that a GBC accredited organisation is not meeting its obligations, please let us know.