Is HR's own lack of diversity part of the DEI problem?

1 minute read

With HR being a predominantly female profession in many countries, is its own lack of diversity one of the reasons why organisational diversity, equity and inclusion is not advancing as fast and as far as it should be? Armstrong Craven's Rachel Davis looks at the evidence and suggests what HR can do to encourage a wider diversity of candidates into the profession

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Stephen Frost – former diversity and inclusion advisor to both the UK Government and the White House and ex head of diversity and inclusion for the Olympic and Paralympic Games – believes one of the reasons HR doesn't have the capability it should when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is that HR itself isn’t diverse.

“It’s dominated by white women; so there’s no lived experience about what to focus on first," he told us in an article on how to improve HR capability in DEI – part of The People Space's Let's Make a DEI Difference campaign in partnership with Armstrong Craven

Rachel Davis, joint managing director of Armstrong Craven, agrees that at first glance HR is a non-diverse profession. But, she argues, this does not mean the focus should be on getting more men into the profession. That would only exacerbate the gender inequality in leadership across organisations. Rather, there needs to be a stronger focus on getting diversity from under-represented groups. 

In the first of two short video interviews Davis talks about the lack of diversity in HR. In the second video she looks at some ways HR can tackle this. 

Published 16 June 2021
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